Few back in 2002, following the phenomenal success of Super Mario 64 and the newly-released Super Mario Sunshine, that it would be a decade and a half before Nintendo returned to the open-ended 3D worlds inhabited in those iconic games. In the intervening years, Mario has been blasted into space in the similar yet more linear Galaxy games, has returned to his platforming roots and has even given players the opportunity to design the most devilish levels for him to try and complete.
Now, with the Nintendo Switch the new must-have console, Mario is returning to the format that saw him star in two landmark games. Mario Odyssey utilises a familiar hub world system, allowing the heroic plumber to travel to a vast collection of diffuse worlds and explore freely within them. Mario Odyssey promises to play host to a wider range of lands than ever seen before in a Mario game, with the New York-inspired New Donk City and a frozen Latin American village just two of the levels trailed prior to the game’s release.
Along with the classic arsenal of moves, all available via the famously pinpoint control accuracy found in Mario games, Mario Odyssey introduces a new dynamic via Mario’s hat, which allows him not only to attack enemies from range and collect items that are just out of reach, but also to inhabit the bodies of certain creatures in order to take advantage of their unique attributes. It’s a dynamic that completely revolutionises the way you’ll think about approaching the game.
If you’ve always loved Mario games but have equally always longed for the ability to take control of a T-Rex – now you can.