Ever wanted to see Mario fire a super weapon? How about Princess Peach blasting a shotgun?
Well, now you can because Nintendo’s heroes are armed to the teeth in the upcoming Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
This Switch exclusive sees the plumber and his pals fight to save the Mushroom Kingdom, which has been torn apart by a mysterious Vortex.
Thankfully, the Rabbids have come along for the ride and team up to help Mario and co. battle evil.
Here’s why you should be very, very excited.
It’s not your usual Mario game
Believe it or not, Kingdom Battle is actually a turn-based strategy game – think a child-friendly X-Com: Enemy Unknown.
You control three characters and guide them through beautifully detailed maps, fighting enemies along the way.
There are multiple routes, meaning that you can avoid some battles if you’re not in the mood.
Be warned, though – the enemies make it very difficult to do so.
There are tons of guns
Thankfully, if confrontation does occur, you’ve got the firepower to do some serious damage.
The standout weapon is Peach’s shotgun, that deals a devastating amount of damage at close-quarters and sets foes alight from distance.
Mario has a more precise blaster that knocks enemies back with a satisfying thump, too.
The key with Kingdom Battle, though, is teamwork. Running in ‘Rambo style’ will get you killed instantly (It’s a very hard game).
Moves such as ‘Overwatch’ – which automatically causes one of your team to damage fleeing enemies, are vital to stay alive.
You’re encouraged to keep moving, too – stay in one place and you’ll soon be surrounded.
It’s better with friends
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again… Kingdom Battle is seriously tough.
Now, it does have an easy mode, which heals your squad and boosts their HP count by 50 per cent before a fight, but you’ll still die plenty of times.
That’s where your friends come in.
Thanks to the Switch’s ingenious controllers, you can work together to outsmart the enemy. Think chess with guns.
Players take it in turns to move characters around specially designed maps.
You can’t play through the main story, but when gameplay’s this fun, it’s no big deal.
It looks stunning
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the Switch’s visual masterpiece right now, but Kingdom Battle isn’t far off.
The Snowdrop Engine brings the vibrant world to life – whether you’re battling it out in the lush Ancient Gardens, or dodging Ghouls in Spooky Trails.
There’s very, very little slowdown – even when the most hectic of firefights is taking place – while cutscenes blend perfectly with the in-game action.
Then there’s the enemy design, which cleverly manages to bend both IPs to create monsters fans of both Rabbids and Mario can relate to.
By far the best creation we’ve seen was the The Phantom of the Bwahpera, an enormous, flamboyant Rabbid opera singer – who can be destroyed by keeping him out of spotlight. Clever.
Mario and Rabbits Kingdom Battle arrives on August 29 for Nintendo Switch.
We can’t wait.
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