Coming off of a significant delay just two months ago, Star Fox Zero has a newly announced release date as of today’s Nintendo Direct. Pick it up starting April 22, 2016.
The exact reasons for Star Fox Zero‘s delay back in September may never be officially detailed, but it’s now obvious that Nintendo is certainly making the best of the extra development time. A new trailer for the vehicle-focused sci-fi action title was shown during today’s Nintendo Direct event and it’s looking much more visually impressive than during its E3 showing. An updated release date has also been shared, bumping Star Fox Zero back to April 22 in 2016.
That’s about six extra months of development work compared to the game’s previously scheduled launch in November. And just a couple of months into that extra iteration of development, Star Fox Zero is looking stronger. The environmental detail, especially with regard to reflections, backgrounds and even the sky box, looks like it was kicked up a notch.
There’s only so much that can be done in such a short amount of time, however, as much of what the E3 demo was criticized over remains unchanged. The animations continue to look quite a bit chunky, the visual fidelity remains a tier below even the Wii U’s most popular titles. There’s just only so much that can be done with the Wii U hardware, which is challenged to make the most out of just 720p.
Nintendo was also able to showcase the Wii U GamePad support in a bit more detail. With the Gamepad, players will be able to fly in one direction while shooting in another, using the accessory as a sort of aiming mechanism separate from what’s being shown on the television screen. Nintendo says this “frees up” the television for a more cinematic experience, but if players are looking at the GamePad to aim then how can they appreciate the cinematic quality that’s on the TV? We already know that pushing gameplay onto the GamePad is hardware intensive – an issue that’s already prevalent in many Wii U games which use the GamePad for major features – so any further GamePad support is likely to take away from the core Star Fox Zero experience.
April 22 is a long time to wait for Star Fox Zero, especially with the likelihood that the Nintendo NX platform will release in 2016. But with only Xenoblade this holiday season and then Zelda releasing sometime in 2016, Nintendo fans will just have to make the best of what they’ve got.
Star Fox Zero will launch on April 22, 2016, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.