Posted June 27, 2013 by Peter in Events

Deadpool launch party: hubris and chimichangas

Deadpool logo
Deadpool logo

I’ll let you in on a secret – journalists eat well. Companies seem to have worked out that full journalists are happy journalists, and so there are good odds of receiving food and drink while covering events. Activision have taken this one step further, with the release party for Deadpool making the press work for this food via a chimichanga challenge for those brave enough to accept.

Brave, or foolish. As one of those who attempted the challenge, I still cannot say which.

Let’s start at the beginning. Fitting with original comic character Deadpool’s fondness for burritos, the launch party was held last night at the perfectly named Death By Burrito in Shoreditch, London. Arriving just a few minutes early, the venue was already active – in part thanks to last minute preparation getting ready for everyone (“it’s a big of a ‘Challenge Anneka’” said Henry Clay of Activision as a pool table was pushed aside, referring to the regular last-minute finishes of projects on the show).
Deadpool screen
There were two systems set up to allow the game to be played – much shooting and slicing occurred during the evening, and this was exacerbated by the in-game challenge mode to see who could get the highest score in a three-minute timed zone. The game’s mechanic of combo scores was very much key here – players savvy enough to juggle enemies, use flashier moves, and most importantly not get hit (which loses the bonus) could comfortably rack up several thousand points in short order.

Watching the game does have a fascination of its own. While regenerating health in games is fairly standard these days, the lack of regenerating appearance is not – seeing Deadpool run through situations in progressively more damaged costumes, with body wounds to match, got a lot of mentions; failed runs were often marked more by people wanting to see how disfigured he was on the losing screen than any frustration at not winning.

However, watching people play and/or lose was only part of the entertainment – watching people eat was also a perverse pleasure.

Death By Burrito had come up with a Deadpool Chimichanga recipe for the event – and the challenge laid down was simply to eat one. Of course, when a challenge sounds that easy you know it will not be. Thus was the case here. When it came my turn, I was sat down opposite Duncan from ready-up.net, who was just finishing eating and trembling in a way I haven’t seen since the opening scene of Scanners (he did however manage to get the highest score in the gaming challenge and so win a prize, potentially posthumously). His place was then taken by Ben from xboxer360.com, and two fresh plates were brought over…

The Deadpool Chimichanga

This. THIS. Run while you can.

The first mouthful was made with caution, and found nothing too much like the hot and spicy warning we were given. By the third mouthful however, the ingredients had been identified – it was the primal fire that will likely one day cause the heat death of the universe, folded inside a wrap and then deep-fried in the optimistic belief this could somehow add more to the temperature.

Probably a large part of the reason for this was the apparent decision that the planned recipe wasn’t hot enough, leading to the addition of ghost chillies. It was hot, and there appeared to be no relief – within a few minutes Ben said his eyesight was going, which I couldn’t comment on as my tongue appeared to have died. We tried to play the long game, hoping to ease the pain with smaller portions that didn’t need chewing or tasting. However, after about 25 minutes, and most of the plate cleared, I suddenly realised that my last will and testament wasn’t up to date and that finding a cool drink might be beneficial.

(Around 20 minutes after that, Ben pointed to his empty plate – it was obviously a very long gameplan. Victory had been achieved, but potentially at the cost of moving, breathing, or existing comfortably for some time)

Deadpool prize being given

Duncan Aird from ready-up.com receiving his prize for the highest challenge score from Henry Clay of Activision, in an entirely spontaneous and sincere photo *cough* [NOTE: apologies for the low quality image]

Come the end of the evening, as many people eased themselves carefully into London’s streets, one thought occurred. “You win this round, Activision…”

Deadpool is released in the UK tomorrow, June 28th; The life expectancy of a significant minority of London-based games journalists is currently unconfirmed.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.