Preview: Epic Mickey (including exclusive videos)
Monday, November 02, 2009 3:14 PM
Last week we were invited to a Disney event in London, where Epic Mickey was exclusively unveiled by Warren Spector.
Nintendo Wii exclusive Epic Mickey was officially debuted to the world last week in London.
The adventure-platforming role-playing game tasks Junction Point development studios and game designer Warren Spector to resurrect Mickey back to his former glory.
The game will tap into Disney and Mickey's history, bringing archive material to the forefront of the game's story and artstyle.
"Mickey is an adventurous and rambunctious mouse," said Warren Spector, creative director and vice president at Junction Point.
"I want to bring his personality to the forefront, place him in a daunting world and connect his spirited character with video game players worldwide. Ultimately, each player decides for him- or herself what makes Mickey cool."
The game sees retired Disney creations thrive in a twisted and forgotten world created by the Sorcerer, Yen Sid, from Disney's Fantasia. Here, Walt Disney's first cartoon star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, wallows in the Cartoon Wasteland as he becomes resentful of Mickey Mouse's popularity.
Soon Mickey is dragged into Oswald's world, where he must face the destruction he unknowingly created.
Oswald was to be Walt Disney's great success. Created in 1927, the 26 cartoons Oswald starred in were contracted to Universal for distribution. When Walt asked for more money to ensure the quality of his cartoons, his request was turned down and he lost Oswald's rights. Soon after Walt and his long-time friend Ub Iwerks created a character they themselves could own; Mickey Mouse.
Though the game's concept was originally thought up at Disney Interactive Studio's Think Tank, Spector has taken the reigns to develop a game that benefits from his earlier creations, such as Deus Ex.
Joining the game's unique storyline, the player will be able to affect the world around them with magical paint to restore the Cartoon Wasteland, and magical thinner to destroy it. The player will be given the choice to be the Hero, or the Spatter. Will you create or destroy?
These decisions will not only result in the world changing around you, but also the animations and abilities of Mickey himself, in addition to unearthing new missions and opportunities.
Though the game generally puts the player in a linear story, the world and its missions can be completed in a number of ways. For example, a quest we were shown involved finding Donald Duck's parts (a robotic Donald created by the lonely Oswald) which can either be used to put him back together, or to trade his parts to make Mickey more powerful.
In this way, every player will have a unique gameplay experience; a goal Spector and his team is specifically targeting.
"The core of this game is the idea of choice and consequence, and how that defines both the character and the player," says Spector.
"By putting the mischievous Mickey in an unfamiliar place and asking him to make choices - to help other cartoon characters or choose his own path - the game forces players to deal with the consequences of their actions.
"Ultimately, players must ask themselves, 'What kind of hero am I?' Each player will come up with a different answer."
Spector even revealed that you can get around boss fights, as long as you work out exactly what it is these characters want. As to whether you can switch between heroic and mischievous Mickey, this is a problem Spector has been trying to solve previously in his games.
In Epic Mickey you can indeed switch between scrapper and hero, but it will be especially tough to do later in the game, since your behaviour during your quests will influence the Cartoon Wasteland's characters and eventually this will affect the game's ending.
As for the game's visuals, Epic Mickey uses a mix of 3D characters in a painted environment. This is predominately seen in 2D platforming sections that eschew the 3D world.
Although the game will feature more dramatic lighting than we had seen at the event, we couldn't help but notice that the gameplay graphics didn't quite live up to its previously released concept art.
Despite this, we're looking forward to seeing more of Junction Point's Epic Mickey, which will come to the Nintendo Wii in the autumn of next year.
Epic Mickey Announcement Event Photographs
Epic Mickey Screenshot Gallery