Disney hopes to expand its audience in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two by building on its foundation with co-op multiplayer and a simultaneous multiplatform release on the PS3 games console, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Wii.
The original Epic Mickey promised a style of game where the player actions within their game world would create overarching consequences, both in the immediate and the long term. It’s no surprise that Warren Spector, the innovator of this type of gameplay, is behind the development of Epic Mickey. Spector, most noted for his work on Deus Ex, believes that “every choice has a consequence” and “play style matters” would be the core focus again in Epic Mickey 2. More so in the sequel, the player now has the ability to completely change the ending as a result of their actions throughout the game. Because of this, your experience might completely differ to your friend’s playthrough.
The newest addition in Epic Mickey 2 is the inclusion of co-op multiplayer. This time, you and a friend can play as Mickey and Oswald as they traverse through a world, each with their own unique abilities. Mickey still uses his paint and thinner ability to dynamically alter key objects in the environment. Oswald, on the other hand, plays a support role through his handy-dandy remote control which is used to mind control enemies or directly attack them with a current of electricity. Every world will have its set of challenges and dilemmas, for example, siding with one faction will incur the wrath of another and has permanent consequences for the ending.
To build upon the “playstyle matters” philosophy, Epic Mickey 2 includes branching paths that play on the player’s skillset. If you’re comfortable with platforming and puzzle solving, you’ll discover that taking the harder paths will yield better rewards. The incentive is there if you choose to take it. The latest build I played from PAX Prime showed that the camera angles are tighter this time around. The camera adjusts from free-roaming to fixed positions depending on the part of the level you’re playing. I never encountered a moment where my field of vision was blocked or where it conflicted with the reticule from Mickey’s paintbrush.
Epic Mickey 2 hopes to build upon the vision that the original which includes exploration of lost, forgotten worlds, a playable Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and a central villain with co-op gameplay and a stronger narrative that’s ultimately decided by you. The appeal towards young and older gamers is certainly there and we will see if Epic Mickey 2 delivers upon its promises when it releases Nov. 18.