E3 2015: Star Fox Zero is an Ace Up Nintendo’s Sleeve

If you’ve been missing out on your share of anthropomorphic fighter pilot animals in space, then Nintendo has got you covered. The developer/publisher revealed its brand new installment to the Star Fox series with the Wii U title Star Fox Zero during its E3 Digital Event. It’s been nearly a decade since the last new Star Fox game came out, and, if the footage we’ve seen is any indication, it’s going to be well worth the wait.

Fox and his crew are back once again to face their nemesis, Andross. The storyline has yet to be revealed, but there will be a number of familiar situations for players to dive into and enjoy. For starters, you’ll be back on Corneria flying through arches and rings. Slippy still pops up to annoy you, and it wouldn’t be Star Fox without barrel rolls, which we’re happy to see make a triumphant return. However, there’s more to Star Fox Zero than all of the familiar aspects everyone has been hoping for. Nintendo has reworked the designs of enemies to allow for multiple ways of defeating them. You could pull off full-fledged assault or take a stealthier approach to bring the enemy down from the inside out.

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Playing Star Fox Zero may feel a bit confusing at first, but you should be able to quickly adapt to the controls of the Wii U GamePad. You’ll steer Arwings and other vehicles with the control sticks, but you’ll aim at targets using motion controls similar to Splatoon. Unlike that game, however, Star Fox Zero gives us a dual screen experience by using the GamePad as a strictly cockpit-only view while the TV allows you to see all the action around you. Nintendo is currently implementing the Pro Controller to be used with the game, but details are currently scarce.

As mentioned earlier, the controls might need some getting used to, but you’ll hopefully be able to pick it up rather quickly. It’s intuitive to aim in one direction to shoot while flying the opposite way, so a great deal of Star Fox Zero‘s gameplay will involve this technique. Controlling the Arwing in Star Fox Zero completely alters the series, making it unlike any of its predecessors. Not only that, but you’ll finally get the chance to try the Walker, which was supposed to be playable in the scrapped Star Fox 2 for the Super Nintendo It’ll give you a more stable experience since it’ll act like an on-ground shooter, but it won’t be like the awful ground segments that players have grown to hate over the years. The Walker is better for focusing your attacks on specific targets as well as exploring or traveling through more narrow areas.

Star Fox Zero won’t star any muppets, but does bring back all of the old voice actors from the first couple of games. This game is shaping up to become more of a re-imagining of what could have been, but of course it’ll have entirely new areas and secrets to explore. There’s currently mention of amiibo support, but at this point we can only speculate as to what its extent is. However, the Falco amiibo figure as well as Star Fox Zero are both scheduled to launch this holiday season. Nintendo knows fans are clamoring for more Star Fox; luckily it’s coming rather quickly.