Love him or hate him, Deadpool is on his way to consoles in a game all his own. The sword-wielding, gun-toting mercenary who simply can’t be killed (or silenced) may be the ideal character for a high-intensity action game, but the developers at High Moon Studios have more than gameplay on their minds.
New comments from the minds behind Deadpool‘s next game promise big things for fans of the comic book source material (and laughing); the latest screenshots prove the action will take care of itself.
The announcement trailer for the game may have been a cinematic, but the emphasis on slicing-and-dicing, gravity-defying swordplay was as noticeable as the injection of humor along with it. Whether it’s Deadpool’s signature fourth-wall-breaking monologues, or even hints at his split-personalities being planted in the game’s concept art, the developers know the character through and through.
In an interview with CVG, creative director Sean Miller, a self-professed Marvel fan, points out that besides his trademark wit and lethality, Deadpool – as opposed to more ‘classic’ characters – offers the perfect opportunity for High Moon to carve out a genuinely unique ‘superhero’ game:
“If you do games based on Wolverine it has to be that character, you’re kind of limited because everybody knows that character. Here we had this character who was this flawed superhero, that was interesting. The idea that he was insane created this mixture of comedy and really visceral action. I love the visceral action but I also like to laugh, I don’t think we do that enough in games.”
“There’s the more vulnerable state; he’s a guy that cracks wise. Why do people make people laugh? Because they want to be liked. There’s an element of that in the comics and it was fascinating to me… So we put together a pitch for what we thought would be a good Deadpool game and found that Marvel was interested in it too. When we did our prototype and showed them the mature take they dug in with both feet, which was fantastic.”
Mixing blades and guns into a single third-person combat engine won’t be completely foreign to the studio, thanks to their work with the Transformers license. But the gameplay isn’t the only concern when dealing with a comic book character whose fans tend to be of the ‘highly-devoted’ type. According to Miller, all the high-flying action couldn’t distract from the key elements of the man under the mask:
“On the first outing with a character like this you have to start with the essence of that character, appeal to the people that know that character. Together that becomes a base. Deadpool is a character that’s fun to talk about, it’s almost infectious, that’s why he’s risen in popularity recently. There’s a decent amount of recognition among gamers, those are the people we want to reach out to and have show up.”
They’ve certainly gone about convincing the most devoted fans, with in-game appearances by Domino, and even Cable and Death confirmed so far. For the game’s writing, High Moon has even called on renowned “Deadpool” scribe Daniel Way to help with writing duties.
The last time we saw such dedication to doing justice to a superhero in a video game, it bore the title Arkham Asylum. And while Miller isn’t going to compare Deadpool to the pinnacles of superhero or third-person action games, they are certainly using them as inspiration:
“[Rocksteady] grasped who Batman was, that’s why those games were so awesome. They made sure everything in the game supported who Batman was. In Bayonetta they had really smooth, slick mechanics, even though they were second or third generation mechanics, and they’d been developing them for a while.”
“I don’t necessarily look at them as competition as much as I do inspiration in creating experiences. I love the idea of creating an experience that’s more than just a single mechanic. That’s what we’re striving for with Deadpool, I think we’re achieving some success with that.”
Fans will have to wait to see if Miller and company manage a similar feat. All we know for sure is that Deadpool is going to be starring in his very own game, with his very own sense of humor, and his own signature brand of action. We’re willing to give High Moon the benefit of the doubt in the meantime.
If you’ve still got doubts, have a look at the new screenshots:
What do you think of the developers’ approach? Is Deadpool one of your most beloved characters, or will this be your first exposure? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Deadpool is targeting a 2013 release date on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.