Star Fox Zero is an upcoming aircraft shooter video game developed by Nintendo and PlatinumGames. The 3D scrolling shooter is scheduled for a 2015 Q4 release date on the Wii U, making it the sixth Star Fox game in the series, and the first original Star Fox game released in nine years.
Like many of Nintendo’s latest releases, Star Fox Zero will take advantage of the Wii U GamePad, showing a third-person perspective on your TV screen and a first-person cockpit view on your GamePad. This means you won’t have to switch or choose between one view, you can simply glance at the GamePad or TV screen, depending on your preferred method of playing. Also, like some car racing games, you will speed up or brake or with the right analog stick, and turn with the left analog stick.
Besides the new GamePad controllers, Star Fox Zero features much of the classic gameplay from the previous titles, and players will still take control of Fox McCloud in his Arwing craft throughout the game.
The single player player levels are designed to be replayed with different vehicles, so while you might play the level in the Arwing the first time, the next time you might get access to turn the Arwing into a walker. Different vehicle, different gameplay, more replayability. By pressing a button you can literally transform your ship and drop to the ground to take down enemy robots. Transforming like that will help you take out certain enemies quicker, so there’s definitely more strategy involved in Zero’s gameplay.
Characters and Vehicles
When the release date gets closer we expect Nintendo to reveal more information, but right now we know Star Fox, Peppy, Falco, Slippy and Star Wolf will be featured in the game. It’s good to know these characters are coming back as they’ve been an integral part of the series from the beginning and it wouldn’t be much of a Star Fox game without Peppy and Falco. It has also been confirmed that Slippy, Falco and Peppy will be smart this time around, meaning they can actually shoot down some enemies for you.
As for the vehicles in Zero, you can expect to see the classic Arwing, the Landmaster Tank and the new Helicopter vehicle.
Nintendo doesn’t usually focus on graphics when making a game, at least, they don’t make graphics the main selling point. They focus on things like gameplay, plots, and making a game that’s fun to play, not just look at. Many games these days are good to look at, but don’t offer anything new when it comes to gameplay. Nintendo has done a lot of experimenting over the years and while they haven’t had the most successful console as of late, we must give them credit for trying new things.
With that said, Star Fox Zero is expected to run at 60 frames per second, on both your TV screen and the GamePad. Hashimoto confirmed this, which is great, since this is the person involved in the Resident Evil series graphics. We all know how great Resident Evil’s graphics have been, so let’s hope Zero can impress the modern day gamer who is spoiled with PS4 and high-end PC graphics.
The Wii U is not the most powerful console, so running at 60 frames per second means they must sacrifice the complexity of the graphics, and that’s not something we want to see happen. The designer said “The visuals kind of can’t be that rich, but we also want them to appear rich. That’s been an interesting technical challenge for me, and I’ve used my experience as a designer in the past to help with that.”
Miyamoto said “Yes, I absolutely don’t talk about specs very much, but when it comes to framerate, that’s just tied very closely, be it a Mario game, an F-Zero or a Star Fox game… to the controls feeling very immediate, to having the image react to what you are doing, so that is something I will focus on from time to time. Of course in a Zelda game, the visual expression becomes more important, so a lower framerate is kind of okay in that type of game.”
Sounds reasonable, right? Well, let’s hope the fans think so, because it looks like a lot of work went into Star Fox Zero, and even from the previews we’ve seen, it still needed a lot of work before the product was ready for launch.
Fans of Star Fox have been waiting nearly nine years for a new title to arrive, and now we finally get one on the Wii U and it looks amazing! Nintendo fans might be disappointed they pushed back The Legend of Zelda for Star Fox Zero, but we can definitely see why Nintendo chose to release Zero in Q4 in time for Christmas. It has a fighting chance to compete with other games, and this means The Legend of Zelda will have less competition when it launched in 2016, so it’s a strategic move for Nintendo.
Star Fox Zero is an offline game, but it will feature a co-op mode, with one player driving, and the other play shooting. They haven’t demonstrated the co-op mode to us yet, but developers have confirmed that it’s still planned so its something else we will have to wait to see.
As for disappointments, it appears that most fans are upset about the graphics, claiming Star Fox Zero has PlayStation 2 graphics. This is definitely not true and Zero looks much better than a PS2 title, but the graphics are expected to look better upon launch, so keep in mind what we’ve seen so far is not complete. Would you rather have a lower frame rate and a better appearance? Star Fox has never been about the graphics nearly as much as its been about the gameplay, so hardcore fans shouldn’t mind.
Let us know what you think about Star Fox Zero in the comment section below. Is there something you hope they bring to the game that we haven’t mentioned?