Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Preview
It’s the power of two, which means two characters will have choices…and two sets of choices that have long-lasting repercussions is what should appeal to the intrigued gamer. Warren Spector’s Epic Mickey didn’t come to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 but the upcoming sequel, The Power of Two, will. A platformer featuring an innovative form of gameplay that utilizes paint and thinner, this one should be great fun for any Disney fan…and who doesn’t have at least a little love for Disney? Does such a Scrooge exist?
Part puzzle, part platformer, part action, Epic Mickey 2 should be a vibrant, engaging adventure that tests both your reflexes and your decision making prowess. There will be treasures and various secrets to find, and you will alter the environment with both the aforementioned paint and thinner. In the first game, you could pretty much undo whatever you did, thereby making it a little more accessible. But this time around, the team is more interested in making you think…so if you decide to destroy a certain part of the landscape, that part will be gone forever. No going back. You can leave the level as many times as you like; whatever you did remains.
This is the sort of restrictive adventure that could cause serious design problems, as it’s very likely that parts of the game would be downright broken. I.e., you made a bad decision and now you can’t do anything ‘cuz all your options are gone. To avoid this, Spector and Co. have gone to great lengths to create an adventure that, while bending to the player’s whim, remains fluid and mildly challenging. Also, this should encourage fans to play through the game multiple times, just to insure they’ve collected everything there is to collect. Longevity is always a plus, yes?
You may remember that Spector was part of the team that developed the original Deus Ex, which was a first-person RPG that also hinged heavily on choice. If you wanted to go through the entire game without killing someone, you could do that. That same philosophy applies to Epic Mickey 2, as Spector told GameSpot, you could get through the entire game without using paint or thinner. In fact, you can complete it without using either tool, although you’re destined to miss a lot. This is the kind of freedom that has become awfully popular over the past few years.
Obviously, you’ll get the most fun out of this one when playing with a friend; the evidence is right there in the title. Co-op entertainment is another factor of gaming that has really taken off this generation, and when you combine freedom of choice with co-op goodness that’s appropriate for all ages, you’ve got what could be a hugely popular title. Of course, we’ll still need some solid and reliable gameplay mechanics, but there will be no denying the appeal of such a beautifully designed environment. Without any doubt, the artistic quotient will be through the roof.
Lastly, bear in mind that a separate studio is preparing the PS3/360 versions (Blitz Studio), while the original development team at Junction Point will handle the Wii version. One thing to remember if you’re deciding between the PS3/360 versions: The PS3 version supports PlayStation Move while the 360 version does not support Kinect. At the time of the announcement, a company representative said due to the requisite precision and control, Kinect “isn’t the ideal user interface.” …I’d make an additional comment here but I’ll refrain. The statement sorta speaks for itself.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will be ready to go on November 18.
10/6/2012 Ben Dutka