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E3 2011: Ubisoft unveils awesome-looking sci-fi FPS, and the Wii U suddenly makes a whole lot of sense

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As I said in our TalkRadar UK podcast E3 special yesterday, Nintendo's biggest problem with the Wii U right now is that it has a great machine but has explained it badly. This thing is potentially brilliant, but at the moment a lot of people seem confused as to why.

Fortunately, Killer Freaks from Outer Space, Ubisoft's first announced Wii U exclusive (hands up who didn't expect those guys would be at the front of the third-party queue by now) does a bloody good job of selling the console's virtues. Combining what looks like a pretty slick traditional FPS and some clever Wii U augmentation that genuinely should add to the hardcore experience rather than garnish it with gimmicks, its concept is a great taster of why the Wii U could be fantastic.

Bear in mind we only have a couple of screenshots so far, which may or may not be slightly touched up. but so far KFfOS looks like a rather pretty and nicely stylised post-alien-invasion shooter, with a sci-fi horror-meets-camp-schlock tone that reminds me slightly of Tremors. And anything that reminds me of Tremors to any degree automatically gets points.

But the really interesting bit is the set-up of one of the game's multiplayer modes. Here, one player fights as normal, using the TV and a Classic Controller, while a second player, using the touchscreen-enabled Wii U controller, has a map of the level and controls enemy placement, much like a tabletop RPG Game Master. It sounds a hell of a lot like a two-player version of Left 4 Dead's vs. mode, only with the aggressor player given an RTS interface and only the protagonist player going first-person. Which to me, sounds bloody fantastic. Presumably single-player mode will work out just like a normal FPS, taking out the Wii U player and using normal AI.

This is exactly the sort of thing that's getting me excited about the Wii U. A serious core-game focus, with the tablet functionality of the Wii U controller used as a (very cool) optional augmentation rather than something which steamrollers the whole design. I think it's time we started seeing that Wii U tablet as a second part of the console hardware itself rather than the console's main game interface. The tablet pad has traditional game controls if you want to use it as your primary controller, but it seems there's no reason you should have to.

What do you reckon? Warming to that big screeny buttoned beastie? Or does talk of exclusive console launch Ubisoft shooters just remind you that Red Steel looked great at first too?

June 09, 2011

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27 comments

  • Terrorrizor - June 11, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Holy feces that's fornicating brilliant! lol substitutions.
  • kachigop - June 10, 2011 1 a.m.

    Although Nintendo has been known to act gimmicky towards its more family-oriented audience, but their unveiling of the Wii U has not been aimed at that demographic which leads me to believe that they've put a lot of polish into this hardware. They won't get off easy if this turns into a "Virtual Boy" and Nintendo know that. I'll trust my man Miyamoto on this one.
  • WarWasp - June 9, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    I think David is right.Let's focus on the Wii U as an HD console,with standard controls (the Classic Controller) and add in the use of the tablet.
  • shadowreaper72 - June 9, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    The Wii U is most definetly interesting. I want to hear more about it or see more exclusives for it before I make any decisons.
  • tr1ggerf1nger - June 9, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    Still bitter from the Wii, gonna wait on getting the Wii U til (when?) it's potential is realized.
  • MancisFrorkYorgan - June 9, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    This gives me goosebumps.
  • Spybreak8 - June 9, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    Neat idea, speaking of Aliens did anyone else race an idea to their head of a pulse monitor on that thing when you're going to be playing Alieans Marine Colonies(or whatever the title is). Oh that's awesome.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - June 9, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    I saw this demo in person, and while the idea is nice, the demo really didn't sell it. He had a hard time hitting the enemies, lots of spinning in circles, looked frustrating and certainly not "better" or a "redefinition" of FPS gameplay, as they were calling it. BUT! I'll wait til I play it to say yay/nay. Just wasn't impressed by the demo, which is admittedly from a very early version of the game.
  • HankVenture - June 9, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    There is always potential in Nintendos hardware.. but they don't take full advantage of it and it ends up being shit usually. give this hardware time once it's out and see where nintendo takes it.
  • Troid - June 9, 2011 5 p.m.

    Really cool idea, hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how devs can implement new designs. I do hope they allow for using the Wiimote/Nunchuck set ups for shooters though, and not just the Classic Controller Pro. Wiimote/nunchuck controls can work really well for shooters if given enough customization options.
  • InFeRnOg - June 9, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    So what sounds suspiciously like a dumbed down version of Natural Selection is brilliant? Hasn't NS been around for many, many years? And couldn't the same thing be done just as easily with a controller and an intuitive interface or with Move? I really hate all the "Kinect is awesome" talk that happened when it was revealed, before people actually stopped to think about it and why it doesn't work. I think the same thing is happening with Wii U; just control yourself and think about the logistics for a minute (if it even takes that long), and tell me it's going to work. Good luck.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - June 9, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    DAMN. This is what happens when people are able to see the potential in the hardware. Freaking brilliant.
  • jackthemenace - June 9, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    "Sci-fi horror-meets-camp-schlock tone that reminds me slightly of Tremors" *Pre-orders Wii U and KFfOS*
  • GamingBear - June 9, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    @KolbitosFruitJuice rabbits would be awesome to hunt down but why has no one made a game of the film black sheep? i'm cautiously optimistic about the wii you with a heavy emphasis on the cautiously bit, it seems they have some cool ideas how to use this controller with multiplayer but how about single player games? Maybe you could use the screen for tanks in battlefield that be cool :)
  • AgentKidSociety - June 9, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    All this 'hardcore' talk, I mean honestly... The mere fact that Nintendo mention it every few sentences shows how far removed they are from what they used to be about.
  • KolbitosFruitJuice - June 9, 2011 3:12 p.m.

    All I know is you get to kill mutant Raving Rabbids.................so sign me the fuck up.
  • JasonStatham - June 9, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    Most of the implementations of this controller that they've shown so far look to be relying on having someone to play against in the same room. Although it is clever, and looks to be a step up from mindless wii waggle, I cant help but think about the pile of shitty minigame and sports compilations that are inevitably going to clutter this thing's library.
  • ChrisCultista - June 9, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    So... the PC can do this, and has done this... The concept is great, but it isnt anything that hasnt been done before. Maybe the Wii U will have something that is specific to it. Who knows?
  • Fiirestorm21 - June 9, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    Definitely something to look out for. Hopefully this will be a game to justify a Wii U purchase outside of the inevitable first party Nintendo iterations.
  • Rhybo - June 9, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    Up until now I really thought the Wii-U would only appeal to the casual crowd but thanks to this article (as you've already pointed out) the Wii-U's potential is becoming limitless. I love this idea! Invite some friends over and actually enjoy a hardcore game experience that doesn't rely on online matchmaking or split-screen. Hell, you could easily create a Dungeon's and Dragon's type game that could easily last for months without (as much) social isolation!

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