The lights are on
Retro's next title isn't
Metroid as speculated, it's a next-gen sequel to the excellent Donkey Kong
Country Returns for the Wii.
As such, it's a 2D
platformer that features the same demanding platforming as DKC Returns.
However, the move to Wii U has allowed Retro to add a level of visual fidelity
and polish that far exceeds what we saw on the Wii. Donkey Kong looks great in
HD, and we witnessed some very impressive fur textures on both him and Diddy
Kong. Oh, and we should mention that the pair won't be alone; though we didn't
see her, Nintendo did reveal that Dixie Kong will be a playable character in
the game as well.
The gameplay is largely
identical and seems to be tailored to use a Wii remote and nunchuck, though
apparently it can be played with the Wii U controller. However, the controls
for pounding the ground and a roll attack are still done by shaking the Wii
remote and/or nunchuck. Retro is adding a few new gameplay twists to the mix,
like the return of swimming to the series and new rings embedded in the ground
that DK can pull up to reveal new platforms or other elements in the
You'll have a new set of
enemies to try your moves out on. Although the title suggests a frozen DQ
treat, it's actually in reference to the hoard of Vikings and other arctic
creatures that are invading Donkey Kong's turf. Walruses, seals, penguins and
more are available to be stomped on and thrown.
Two-player co-op is part
of the game, with the second player assigned to Diddy Kong.
While the game is still
very much a 2D platformer, the power of the Wii U has allowed Retro to use
dramatic camera shifts (we saw DK traverse a series of barrels that curled
around a huge tree. The game also adds more detail in the backgrounds of
levels; we even witnessed a giant Viking ship explode in our gameplay demo.
Character animation was also dramatically improved. Coupled with gameplay that
felt just as tight and responsive as Donkey Country Returns, it seems to bode
well for this sequel.
Visit our E3 News Headquarters for all the stories from the show. This preview was originally published on June 11, 2013.