Super Mario Odyssey gameplay, trailer, release date and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:  

Super Mario Odyssey release date: Holiday 2017
Format: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo
Price: TBC

Super Mario Odyssey trailer is packed with gameplay clues

After a fleeting glimpse of the game in the Switch’s own reveal trailer, Super Mario Odyssey now has an extensive video showing gameplay, locations, and a new character – Mario’s hat! So take a look at the trailer above, then we’ll dissect the details.

According to Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario Odyssey is a return to the core, open-world Mario gameplay style of Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. It would be rude to immediately tell him to ‘shut up and take our money’, but essentially that’s all we needed him to say. Odyssey is the next, true 3D Mario game, it’s exclusive to Switch, and we’re probably in for something very, very special. But, after duly picking up the money that bounced off the screen, what can we learn from this tantalising teaser?

Super Mario Odyssey release date is Q4 2017

Yep, we’re going to have to wait until the Holiday period sadly, but what could be better than spending all of Christmas Day playing a new Mario, on a new system? Literally nothing. Hopefully we’ll see some sweet new Switch bundle deals around then, too. 

Super Mario Odyssey setting is New Donk City

This is the strangest sight for Mario series veterans. The plumber happily wa-hoos his way around a realistic city, not dissimilar to New York. It’s called ‘New Donk City’ (seriously?), in reference to Nintendo stalwart Donkey Kong. Indeed, you can see Donkey Kong Country characters referenced throughout the area, like in advertising for ‘Diddy’s Mart’ in ‘Dixie Street’. But despite this happy crossover of Nintendo worlds, this city is predominantly inhabited by homo sapiens. Tall, slim, people are walking its streets, complete with their tiny heads and gloveless hands. They’re significantly taller than Mario (which Twitter had a lot of fun with), which lends further credence to the theory that the plumber and his friends are, in fact, a different species. 

Even so, the city environment affords plenty of new things to see and do, as Mario bounces off the hoods of yellow taxis, swings on street lamps, and wall jumps between buildings to reach the rooftops. He can also have a go on the skipping rope two NPCs are happily playing with in the park. 

But this doesn’t look like the logical blending of the Mushroom Kingdom and Donkey Kong Country. In fact, outside the relative normality of a bustling city, it all seems even more surreal than usual. There’s a food-themed level complete with anthropomorphised cutlery and a boiling pot of stew that burns like lava. Then there’s a dark forest that sees a welcome return for the classic beanstalk ascending to the heavens. There’s a town level too, apparently based around Mexico’s festival of the dead, complete with colourful, maraca-shaking skeletons in sombreros, who appear to be friendly NPCs like the Pianta of Isle Delfino in Super Mario Sunshine. Interestingly, several locations are indeed seen in bright sunshine, then later in moonlight (the moon is huge, too), so a day/night cycle might be featured too, perhaps affecting the gameplay. Skulls with starry eyes do walk the desert at night, reminiscent of the nocturnal skeletons of Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule Field.

Mario’s Super Mario Odyssey hat is alive...?

Subscribing to Rare’s design ethos that any inanimate object can be turned into a game character by ‘giving it some googly eyes’, Mario’s hat is now sentient and also simultaneously the newest and joint-oldest character in the series, which is an impressive feat. You can throw it like a boomerang, allowing you to attack enemies, after which it returns to your head, even if you’ve moved from the spot you threw it from. Hat’s clever.

But that’s not all – the hat also acts as a makeshift platform, allowing Mario to throw it, then bounce off its top as it hangs momentarily in the air, affording extra height and distance on his jump. After that, it just follows on, back to his head. What a hat trick. OK, no more hat puns. Sorry.

In Super Mario Odyssey, Bowser is marrying Peach

There are posters all around New Donk City (is it really called that? Really?) and one of them is announcing ‘A Royal Wedding’. It’s Bowser to Peach. You’ll no doubt be absolutely shocked to hear that the pictured Peach - in full bridal gown already - doesn’t exactly look thrilled at the proposition, so presumably Mario must stop the wedding, The Graduate-style.

Super Mario Odyssey bosses include rabbits and robots

One fleeting shot in the trailer shows a bunch of rabbits in their own airship, just like the Koopa Kids used to do. They’re a funny-looking bunch, and one of them is seen attacking Mario in a boss arena, literally spewing purple goo in a circle. That’s gross. There’s also a rather terrifying-looking robotic caterpillar/tarantula hybrid, which scuttles nimbly around a skyscraper. So New Donk City appears to be under threat too. Mario’s got his work cut out this time, and no mistake.

Super Mario Odyssey gameplay gives Mario loads of moves, both new and old

Seeing as Sonic ‘borrowed’ a load of ideas from Mario, it’s only fair he learns a trick from the hog too. Mario can curl up into a ball and roll down hills, gathering momentum. But our hero can also kick, swim, wall-jump, swing, shimmy along walls (impressively quickly, it must be said), climb curved poles, long-jump N64-style, dive to boost forward when in the air, carry large objects, climb, vault over the tops of walls, and put his arms out for balance when running at speed down a shallow stream. Oh, and he rides a lion, too. As you do.

Super Mario Odyssey collectibles look mysterious 

Alongside familiar Mario level furniture like pipes, cages and gold coins, there are new items to interact with. Mario is seen collecting purple triangles, placed in a pattern like standard collectibles. But hidden in the trailer you can also see rotating, purple bolts at the top of a waterfall. What could they do? Maybe you’ll be able to upgrade your airship (which is, of course, shaped like a hat) in order to reach new levels.

Hat’s it for now, folks. We’ll be updating this very page with new information every time we learn something new about Nintendo’s big Christmas game of 2017, so bookmark it and check back when you fancy learning more about Super Mario Odyssey. Wa-hoo!

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