When Nintendo finally launches the Wii U sometime this Fall, Darksiders II will be there. Yes, the game will have debuted months earlier on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, but as one of the first multiplatform titles bound for Nintendo's next console, Darksiders II should offer some idea of how Wii U compares to its current-gen competition.
Rumors about how much power the Wii U actually packs have been all over the map, but according to Darksiders II Game Director Marvin Donald, the system is "on par" with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Darksiders II tells the story of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who must redeem his brother War, the protagonist of the first Darksiders. Darksiders II breezed on to Game Rant's list of the most anticipated games of 2012, and new cinematic and gameplay trailers have only served to heighten our collective anticipation.
Given rumors that Nintendo's next console will be twice as powerful as Xbox 360, could the Wii U version of the game be worth holding out for? According to Vigil Games' Marvin Donald, it will be controls that set Darksiders II Wii U apart from the competition, not graphics.
Speaking with Game Reactor at a Darksiders II hands-on event in Amsterdam, Donald was asked whether developing the game for multiple systems posed any unique challenges.
"You know, honestly, it's not real transparent from my perspective. I think we learned a lot when we worked on Darksiders 1. We've got a smoother process for making sure that all the other consoles are up to speed."
"This time around, we're doing a [simultaneous] ship that includes the PC -- we had to delay it a couple of months with Darksiders 1. So not only are we going to get the PC version out faster this time around, we're going to have better keyboard and mouse integration, a better user interface for the PC version. So, overall, I think we've gone through a few growing pains and we should be a lot better at it now."
Interviewer Mika Sorvari followed-up by asking how working with the Wii U has been.
"So far, so good. We have limitations based on Nintendo's progress. The only problem that's been for us is not having an actual release date, but once we know when Nintendo is committed to a firm date, we'll be able to commit to a date for Darksiders 2. But, we're planning on it being a launch title, and so far everything's been smooth sailing."
"We got the game running on their hardware pretty quickly, and the controller's been great to work with. Now it's just down to deciding what we really want to do to make it a unique experience on the Wii U -- taking advantage of the extra screen and the touch capability and all that. So, we'll have a few new features for sure."
"I think visually, for the most part, it'll be pretty much the same. So far, the hardware's been on par with what we have with current generations. So, based on what I understand, the resolution, textures, poly counts and all that stuff -- we're not goint to be doing anything to up-rez the game. But, we'll take advantage of the controller for sure."
When it was confirmed that Darksiders II will be a Wii U launch title, Vigil Games suggested that the tablet controller might be used for inventory management, which doesn't sound all that different from what Ubisoft is doing with Assassin's Creed 3 on Wii U. Could the die already be cast for Wii U ports of current-gen games -- graphics on par with the competition, along with a few extra features bolted-on via the tablet controller? What do you think?
Darksiders II releases June 26, 2012, for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and at launch for Wii U.
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