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The 11 things you NEED to know about Epic Mickey

6, It's Deus Ex meets Mickey

For all the Disney trappings, you should not forget that this is a Warren Spector game we’re talking about here. As such, we’re very much talking about a player-driven narrative and player-driven problem solving. Much like Spector’s seminal Deus Ex, there is no right or wrong way to solve a puzzle, and you’ll be free to fudge together any method that works.

 

Showing us the old platforming chestnut of stopping a spinning fan so that Mickey can walk through, Spector told us that he’s already found five or six ways of completing the task, so expect a very, very freeform experience from this one. 


7, You don't have even have to fight the bosses

Seriously. The gameplay freedom even goes that far. If you want to make the effort, you can avoid combat altogether. Apparently the idea came from a conversation between Spector and Pixar boss John Lasseter, who mentioned that writing Toy Story’s characters was a matter of working out what it was that a toy wanted. Spector applied this thinking to cartoons, and so, if you can work out what a boss character needs and can deliver it, you can pass peacefully without a bit of aggro.


8, There are 2D platforming levels based on specific cartoons

While the overall game is based upon Disney lore as a whole, certain levels are based upon specific cartoons from Mickey’s history. These levels stand out even further by playing out as traditional 2D platformers, for which we can only whoop and cheer thankfully. The only example we’ve seen so far is a stage based upon much-lauded 1937 Mickey/Donald/Goofy toon Clock Cleaners (watch it below), but expect lots more.


9, The animation is fantastic

A game based on the most famous cartoon company of all time has no excuses for ropey animation, and none are being allowed. Spector's instruction to his team throughout production is that things can't just be great, they have to be "Disney great". As such, the game uses a brilliant character animation engine which allows all the kinetic character movement and stretchy athleticism of classic Disney cartoons. It's so good that the team has actually been able to use it to flawlessly recreate Mickey's movements from his animated appearances, as you can see below:


 

10, It's the relaunch of Mickey Mouse

The relaunch of Mickey? One of the biggest cultural icons of the century? What fresh madness is this? But think about it. Who is Mickey Mouse? We know about the rest of them. Donald is the cantankerous git with the anger-management issues. Goofy is, well, goofy. But Mickey? He’s just a face on a t-shirt. A corporate logo devoid of a personality.

 

But it wasn’t always like this. Back in the days of his early animated shorts, Mickey actually had a personality, and as a massive animation geek it's this Mickey that Spector wants to give back to the world. Mickey's going to be purposeful. He’s going to be funny. Most importantly of all, he’s going to be youthful and mischievous, but definitely not babyish. And he’s going to be less human than he has become in recent years, and more like the “cartoony rat” (Spector’s words) that he used to be. This can only be a good thing.


11, It's a student game

Well, sort of. Kingdom Hearts aside, Disney has deliberately kept Mickey out of games for a long time, largely because it hasn't been confident that it had come up with a suitable treatment for its biggest star.

In the interim it had passed the idea of a Mickey game on to its internal think-tank, made up entirely of film, game and art students on work placements. Being young and fresh of idea, said tank came up with the concept of the game, before Warren Spector was brought in to make it. Classic characters, new ideas. That's what Epic Mickey is all about.

40 comments

  • Never_Mine - March 2, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    I'm actually really excited about this game. They don't make Mickey Mouse cartoons like that anymore.
  • bloodyshadow - November 3, 2009 11 a.m.

    Holy crap! I may have to dust off my Wii... if I can find it... now where did I put that damn thing.
  • Metroidhunter32 - November 2, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    @ TrigunGunner I'm talking like movies from the 80s and 90s not the 30s and 40s. Like Aladin and Toy Story times.
  • drprofessor - November 2, 2009 8:49 p.m.

    *nerdgasm*
  • Fuhjem - November 1, 2009 11:40 p.m.

    For this, I can almost forgive Disney for that shite JONAS show which is currently raping my little sisters' personalities.
  • Nodoudt - November 1, 2009 5:06 p.m.

    I'm ready to give this a chance, I just hope it doesn't come out soley for Wii, I'd hate to see it fall prey to Wii's bad rep for "kiddie games". Especially with it being Disney and all... Besides, graphics like this are far worthier of being on XB360 or PS3... ReCaptcha: *garbled mess* peterson I have a picture of it too >_<
  • asshatjenkins - November 1, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    Yeah, I remember a while back reading a Kingdom Hearts article and GamesRadar believed a game informer advertisement for Epick Mickey was actually an advertisement for Kingdom Hearts III.
  • TreeBird1 - October 31, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    @CatrParrot While I don't know if I entirely love the "morality system" in games I do know that in Infamous I have played as both the good guy and the bad all the way through the game and being bad is by far the easier way to go. Try infamous if you have a PS3 and I think you may be surprised. I'd love to see that good of a system implemented in this game.
  • SUPERGOOD - October 31, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    i love kingdom hearts and i was hoping for KH3 but now all i want is this right here
  • crumbdunky - October 31, 2009 1:30 a.m.

    Well, usually anything Disney makes me worried and want to run away. Fast. Have to admit, though, that this looks pretty interesting. Good for the Wii to have something BIG that isn't going to be a Ninty product either-thing is with the normal desire for high fidelity for Disney and their animations I'd have felt they might have wanted to go the HD route either as well as the Wii or instead of. That said we've seen the Wii do well with heavily drawn characters and backgrounds as diverse as Muramasa and even SMG or Metroid-so an even mire cartoony game might not lack very much in the end though to beat out R&C's latest will be well beyond them. I'm not complaining, mnd, but do think Disney would have wanted to make it look as good as possible. Ney, must just be a market thing and they couldn't see PS360 gamers playing as much as Wi gamers with it being MM and all-I'm not sure the're right , mind, as if it's a bit hard it might not set the Wii alight while KH always does well on PS doesn't it? Interesting choice and I'm intrigued to see if they made the right one. Certainly, however, makes a change for a Disney project not to make me queasy!
  • Samael - October 30, 2009 11:25 p.m.

    Looks cool. Oh it's for the Wii? Uh...yeah not so much.
  • V13Dragongal - October 30, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    This game looks great and i can't wait to play it! Also the last mickey mouse game i played(besides KH)SUCKED! it was that stupid mickey magic mirror thing and im glad i barley remenber it. ReCaptcha: ship whatever to where i wonder
  • NotBraze - October 30, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    @Xtremer: Are you kidding? You really care so much about what other people think of you that you're going to ignore something that looks interesting because you're friends will think it's lame? Be who you want to be (so long as that person isn't damaging) and if you're friends are real friends they won't disown you for playing what has the potential to be the first great Disney game in ages. Embrace the nerdy side of life.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - October 30, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    No probs. We like to do a thorough job here when exciting things need to be told. Oh yes we do.
  • MagicalSarai - October 30, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    I've been watching this game for months now... even before it was mentioned in GameInformer... I'm glad to see your site put something up about it and some of this article was actually new information! thank you!
  • JayLin22 - October 30, 2009 1:57 p.m.

    This game sounds amazing! I think the only downside is that it won't sell - the majority of Wii owners don't care, as this game will appeal to the older amongst us - those who grew up with the Disney shorts. I know many will hate me for this, but it's possibly a great game on the wrong platform...
  • GR_DavidHoughton - October 30, 2009 12:12 p.m.

    CatrParrot: Far from it. Done right they just give you asymmetric gameplay experiences. Some things you can see/do as good/bad, you can't as the opposite. And sometimes the moral highground is nowhere near as instantly profitable as screwing someone over for a quick buck. Fable II does this, as does Fallout 3, and Epic Mickey looks to be going the same way.
  • lovinmyps3 - October 30, 2009 3:54 a.m.

    I hope this isn't just for Wii. :(
  • NotBraze - October 30, 2009 2:50 a.m.

    They got the ears right! A CG mickey where the ears always face you, HOORAY! But animation Nerdgasms aside this looks really cool. This is something that would have never happened under Eisner's leash and I'm glad that Lasseter and co. are making this possible.
  • GameManiac - October 30, 2009 2:28 a.m.

    Hmm... Interesting... Being able to skip bosses altogether? Why don't ALL games have that?!

Showing 1-20 of 40 comments

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