Marvel gets meta: Deadpool knows he’s in a game

deadpool hostage activision marvel hero video gameHigh Moon Studios has already shown what it can do with licensed material, having worked with the Bourne and Transformers franchises. Now the Activision-owned studio is targeting its first comic book license, bringing the Merc with the Mouth to Mature-rated life. Marvel’s Deadpool stands out from the super hero crowd for many reasons, including his ability to say whatever he wants and do whatever he feels like doing.

“Deadpool is a character who knows he’s a comic book character, and in our case he knows he’s a comic book character in a videogame,” said Sean Miller, game director on the Marvel project at High Moon Studios. “He’s making this game for himself. This is a game that he wants to play. The takeaway from that is that he really lets us do things that we can’t do in a lot of other games in the Marvel universe. He talks a lot. He’s irreverent. He’s funny. He’s a wise ass. He’s also really powerful. There’s no other character that loves kicking ass and getting paid for it — and eating chimichangas — more than Deadpool.”

Deadpool’s superhuman healing power, which he got from Wolverine, allows him to take intense amounts of damage. The game will feature this ability, showing first the damage and then the healing. This will include the dismemberment and all the outlandish stuff from the comic books.

“Deadpool is a martial artist and a swordsman,” said Miller. “What’s cool about this for us is that Deadpool isn’t just restricted to knives or swords or guns. It’s about using all those things, and it’s about changing the way that you play the game based on what it is that you’re using. So the seamless transition between gun play and melee is really important to us.”

In the comics, Deadpool is known for being insane. In the game, he literally will have multiple voices in his head to show this split personality. The developer is embracing this antihero as the ultimate case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. In fact, the character will learn things from listening to his different voices, just as the player will. And this dialogue, as shown in the early build, was very funny. So players will be laughing while they’re slicing and dicing enemies, or blowing them away with really huge guns.

deadpool gunpoint marvel hero activision game“Because the voices inside his head don’t know what the other one knows, there’s some great fun in the conversations that he has with himself,” said Miller. “As a character who knows he’s in a videogame, he’s also aware that you have the controller in your hand. His fate is tied to the way you play the game, so he’s going to be playing with you while you’re playing with him. Those extra voices actually do a good job of giving us another way to explore who Deadpool is and how you interact with him.”

In sticking with his comic-book personality, Deadpool will make quips and remark on just about everything that happens in the game. He’s got quite the personalities. And since he’s the star of this show, everything is seen from his perspective, through his filter. High Moon promises that other Marvel characters will appear in this adventure, although they’re only confirming Psylocke at the moment. These characters may look different than fans are used to, since Deadpool has enhanced or modified things based on his unique perspective.

“Like in many of the comics, the level starts with Deadpool as a mercenary on a mission,” said Miller. “This is not a Deadpool team-up. This is not a Deadpool X-Force thing. This is a Deadpool game. He’s been paid to assassinate a crazy billionaire media mogul, who has got his own personal militia. He’s been doing some things that are not quite right, so somebody has paid Deadpool to go and kill him. This becomes the impetus that brings Deadpool into a much larger story.”

High Moon is working with Marvel comic book writer Daniel Wayne, who’s penned the last six years of Deadpool, to create a unique story that fits in with the current Marvel Universe. And it’s a story that only Deadpool can solve. The story spans everything from the world everyone knows to some places that Marvel fans will be very familiar with.

The demo showcased why Deadpool will be one of the rare Marvel games that’s rated Mature. The Punisher was the last game to push the violence quotient that high. But while that game was somber and dark, Deadpool is funny and gory. His personality, as brought to life by actor Nolan North, makes the blood and bullets seem a bit less deadly. It’s so over-the-top that the game doesn’t get dragged down into any type of darkness. It’s violent, but funny. And you want to pull that trigger or use those swords just to hear what his voices will say next.

deadpool enemies activision marvel hero game“The game has a lot of violence, a lot of suggestive themes and things like that, but it’s all done with an eye towards entertainment value just being good clean fun to play,” said Miller. “Deadpool has fun at everybody’s expense, including his own. And we get to go along for the ride and see how he pokes fun at the videogame universe, at the Marvel Universe, and all these things.”

Deadpool, who has appeared as a minor character in games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, is anything but ordinary. Miller said that in choosing this project, which isn’t attached to any movie in the works, the studio wanted to give this character justice.

“We like to looked at what we wanted to see in a game as a fan of this character, and our Deadpool game takes it to another level,” said Miller. “He’s an anti-hero. I would say that he challenges what it is to be hero.”

And while this game will certainly challenge players in how to creatively kill off enemies, it will be a fun ride. Deadpool is coming. And the gaming world may never be the same.


‘Gears of War’ designer Cliff Bleszinski says he’ll never make another game

Cliff Bleszinski, the game designer best known for his work on the Gears of War series, says he will never make another video game. His studio, Boss Key Productions, shut its doors earlier this year.
Digital Trends Live

Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Nerf has a new line of Overwatch tie-in guns coming out in 2019, and Product Design Manager Jae Yoo appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the collaboration, and how he comes up with designs.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Twitch viewers aren’t tuning in to watch ‘Fallout 76’ gameplay

Fallout 76 has experienced a sharp decline in viewership not just when compared to the numbers for Fallout 4, but also compared to the game's B.E.T.A. period last month. Sales also appear to be lower than they were with Fallout 4.
Product Review

‘Let’s Go Pikachu’ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee’ feel like true ‘Pokémon Go’ RPGs

Pokémon: Let’s Go’s simplified reimagining of Pokémon Yellow has a great balance of old and new mechanics. It has a streamlined approach that makes it easy to get into, but depth remains for longtime fans.

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…

Want to game on your Chromebook? Here's where to start

Chromebooks aren't great for gaming, but there are a few titles that most machines can run. There's a surprisingly diverse crowd that includes role-playing games, action side-scrollers, and puzzlers.

Dominate in multiplayer with a few of our favorite 'Battlefield 5' weapons

Here are some of the best weapons you can use to get the upper hand in Battlefield 5's multiplayer, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, and anti-tank tools.

How to become a master assassin and perfect the art of execution in 'Hitman 2'

'Hitman 2' introduces new and improved story missions with a scale that can feel overwhelming if you're not prepared. Learn everything you need to know to obtain a high score while remaining unnoticed.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…