When it was revealed last year, Epic Mickey was an intriguing title. Meant to revitalize the character with an all-new adventure (and headed by Warren Spector, formerly of Ion Storm), Epic Mickey was a fairly mysterious title, and the developers were pretty set on keeping some of its gameplay elements and themes a secret. However, at this year’s E3, the veil was lifted and GameZone was able to check out Mickey’s latest adventure to see what it had to offer Wii owners.
The core mechanic in Epic Mickey is a paintbrush that Mickey wields, capable of shooting out paint or thinner at enemies or the environment. Thinner has the ability to erase “toons” in the environment, which appear as slightly more cartoonish objects. You can use thinner on a toon section of a wall in order to remove it and collect whatever is on the other side, or use it to remove a platform that may be in your way. Conversely, paint is used to add toons like missing platforms to the environment, allowing you to get to unreachable areas should you have an astute enough eye to catch their thin silhouette in the foreground.
Using the paintbrush on your enemies has a slightly different effect. You’re able to use thinner to get rid of them outright, or should you want to befriend them and have them along with you to combat enemies, you can use paint. Depending on which one you favor, you’ll earn the assistance of guardians, which circle Mickey and protect him from attacks by hitting enemies when they come into contact with them, performing paint or thinner function without using up any of yours. You’ll also be able to use items called sketches, which are capable of making objects like TVs appear out of thin air to distract enemies or outright destroy them.
The game divides sections between quest areas, transition areas, and action areas. Quest areas are where you gather your missions, speaking to other characters and figuring out ways to help them out. Transition areas are done in 2.5D and have you running from one point to another (collecting currency in between) to get to action areas, where you’ll explore environments and take on enemies.
Epic Mickey looks to present the character in a whole new way, thanks to some very stellar art design that represents several stages of the character’s development. The game’s cutscenes unfold in a very stylish fashion, with a storyboard-like quality to them and look very cool. Interior environments also offer pre-rendered backgrounds that look fantastic, and a variety of solid looking Disney characters from the years. All in all, Epic Mickey looks to be one of the best looking titles on the Wii.