Synopsis: Things seem weird, even by Deadpool’s standards, when Matt “Daredevil” Murdock offers him a profitable – nay, straightforward! – contract. No chaos, no unpredictability, no funny business… C’mon, Murdock, that’s just not Deadpool’s style. Sensing something is up, Deadpool grabs an innocent bystander off the street to confuse any semblance of predictability the universe is trying to force on him. Good-hearted mischief spirals into a sinister plot full of impenetrable bank vaults, crime lords stroking their (lack of) mustaches in very evil ways, and an assortment of offensively stylish suits that are begging to be blown up, Deadpool discovers his choices are no longer his own – they’re yours!
This review copy was provided to us by Aconyte Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Resurrecting the classic game-book format made famous with the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy series, Aconyte Books has launched the Marvel Multiverse Missions range of stories, with everyone’s favourite ‘Merc with a Mouth’ headlining the first adventure. You are (not) Deadpool places you in the unenviable position as Deadpool’s latest (disposable) sidekick in an adventure to track down some dangerous alien weapons flooding the streets of New York. As with all game-books, players are armed with a pen, paper and dice to complete all manner of skill rolls as they navigate the multiple-choice narrative.
Writer Tim Dedopulos does a great job at capturing Deadpool’s stream of consciousness in prose format as he spouts out all manner of pop culture references and fourth-wall breaks. With his awareness that he is a fictional character, Deadpool is the perfect protagonist for this kind of adventure and Dedopulos often uses this to his advantage to create a snarky irreverent tone for the book. Rather than simply copying the game-book format from his predecessors, Dedopulos modernises the concept by adding things such as achievements and secondary attributes that help customise the book beyond simple choices. Players can accrue these secondary attributes such as “Chaos” based on their choices, that’ll force them into certain paths later on in the story – it’s similar to videogames with a morality system.
Difficulty-wise, I found the game to be a tad easy as I was often given bonus stats that ended up making my attributes far higher than the targets I needed to achieve. At one point I had 8 Merc Points and my goal was to get 9 Merc Points with the help of two dice rolls. Most of the time I just automatically won skill rolls because it was impossible for me to lose based upon the attribute points I’d accrued throughout the game. Not sure whether this was because I used the bonus points awarded for reading the introduction, or whether the game isn’t quite balanced. Either way, the game element flowed nicely for me and I found myself progressing pretty far into the book – one nice touch was the ability to visit multiple areas in the same section; it allowed me to experience different paths in the one play through. There seems to be plenty of alternate endings and the achievements section in the end of the book encourages multiple play-throughs.
While the original Fighting Fantasy books felt like a game of Dungeons & Dragons condensed in a book form, Marvel Multiverse Missions definitely feels more like a videogame. Fans of narrative-driven games such as TellTale Games’ The Walking Dead or reaching further back, the Monkey Island series, will absolutely love this book. You are (not) Deadpool has been released in both eBook and paperback formats, and the eBook edition has been specifically formatted to allow readers to experience the branching narratives in the same way with hyperlinked text transporting players to the correct sequence. I experienced the eBook version and it was easy enough to play along with a pen and paper and random number generator website. It would be cool to see the title eventually get developed into a proper app like some of the classic Fighting Fantasy books have done, incorporating the inventory system and dice rolls into the actual book.
Manic, zany and a bundle of fun from the beginning to its many endings, You are (not) Deadpool is a brilliant launch title for the Marvel Multiverse Missions range. With a second title set to feature She-Hulk, it seems like Aconyte Books are continuing to focus on fourth-wall breaking protagonists and I think that is a wise move. The anarchic and tongue-in-cheek tone of You are (not) Deadpool definitely distinguishes it from other books of the same format and helps create a unique relationship between reader, protagonist and author.
Score – ★★★ ½
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.
For more information visit marvel.com. © 2022 MARVEL
#Marvel #MarvelEnt #AconyteBooks #Review