Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope has been announced as the second of Ubisoft's delightfully bizarre real-time strategy Rabbids x Super Mario crossovers.
Arriving sometime in 2022 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, the developer didn't want Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope just to be a straight sequel, so it is mixing things up a lot, whilst still maintaining that tactical RTS combat focus.
We're moving on up from the Mushroom Kingdom, and exploring the entire galaxy in an attempt to vanquish a brand new enemy known as Cursa, who's attempting to consume all the energy in the universe. Our heroes have a brand new spaceship - complete with Rabbid ears of course - that they can use to traverse the galaxy too.
And yes, the heroes are back - Mario, Rabbid Peach, and co - but are going to be aided by some new faces, taking us up to nine playable heroes in the game. That will include Rabbid Rosalina (who's got serious teen attitude and a plushie blaster) and the titular Sparks, which are hybrid crossovers between Super Mario Galaxy's Luma and the Rabbids. They're being chased by Cursa because they're full of energy, meaning the Rabbids need to save them. Plus, they'll give our heroes additional powers that they can use in battle. They seem to be elemental, but Ubisoft isn't quite ready to talk about just what help they'll be just yet - beyond the hint of what you see in the reveal trailer.
The combat itself is having a shake-up too, keeping the tactical antics of the original game but completely removing the grid. You'll still pick three heroes to use for each battle, and those heroes will have a playable area to move around in, but you'll be able to freely move them within that space. You'll also be able to use Rabbid versions of Super Mario's Bob-ombs in battle too, just make sure they don't explode while you're carrying them.
That increase in player freedom is also mirrored in the narrative side, with Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope offering non-linear exploration on each of the planet's surfaces, with new characters to meet, along with puzzles to solve, and mysteries to discover.
No doubt we'll see more of this new Mario + Rabbids title before it launches in 2022.
For more top Switch titles to look forward to, check out our upcoming Switch games round-up.