Wii U has "plenty of horsepower" - dev

Early controller "like a giant Game Boy".

Wii U launch title Darksiders II will probably look exactly like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions irrespective of the Nintendo console's horsepower, developer Vigil has said.

Based on what Vigil, which spent five weeks in the run up to E3 creating a working version of the action adventure game on Wii U, knows about Nintendo's next home console, Darksiders II will be a direct port.

"There's plenty of horsepower there, so we're not going to have to make any visual concessions at all for Darksiders 2," game director Marvin Donald told Eurogamer.

The power behind the Wii U is shrouded in mystery - and in a state of flux - although Eurogamer can reveal that second generation developer kits are now with development studios.

"At a minimum on par, for sure," Donald said of Darksiders 2's visuals on Wii U versus Darksiders 2's visuals on PS3 and Xbox 360.

"Whether or not we can go one step further, that might be driven by what's available on the PC and whether or not that is easy to translate to the Wii U hardware, because there are most likely going to be resolution choices for the PC version of the game. We know some gamers are just going to have more horsepower at their disposal.

"It's probably going to be the same graphically, regardless of any minor or major horsepower improvements on the Wii U.

"But, in all honesty, if the Wii U turns out to be this ridiculously powerful machine, we will probably make changes to our budget and scope to take advantage of that. But that's currently not the plan. It's going to be a direct port. That's what we're planning on. But that's based off of what we believe the hardware's going to be like."

Vigil is currently playing with the Wii U's tablet-like controller in an effort to work out how it can best fit with Darksiders 2.

"We're definitely going to do the obvious stuff, like making the inventory available and showing maps," Donald said. "But as far as more game oriented elements, more reactionary things or things happening while you're in combat or while you're traversing and getting the controller involved in that, I don't really know.

"We just haven't taken that step yet. The first thing we needed to do was get what we had already working and make sure it was solid. There are still some issues we have to work out. The game doesn't run perfectly on the Wii U as it is now. There are some things we have to deal with. But it's to be expected because the hardware's been changing and, also, there's really no precedent for it."

Meanwhile, Donald revealed some interesting tidbits about the early version of the Wii U's controller, supplied to developers in advance of Nintendo's official unveiling last month.

Vigil, as THQ core games boss Danny Bilson told Eurogamer, was one of the first developers in the world to receive prototypes.

"The last version of the controller we had was literally a giant Game Boy," Donald said. "It was very clunky. The shoulder buttons were really high, so they were out of reach, so you had to shift your hand to use a shoulder button. In the middle of combat that's just not an option.

"The controller we saw at E3 was not what we had."

A THQ representative told Eurogamer last week that Darksiders II "was over a year out" from release. Given the action adventure sequel is intended as a Wii U launch title, that pegs the console for release between August and December 2012.

"It just worked out so when we thought we'd be done should roughly coincide with the Wii U launch," Donald explained. "I'm sure there are going to have to be some adjustments, but it's a great opportunity to have something like this available on day one for a new console.

"We like to think a lot of people will pick it up for the Wii U whenever they buy one. I'm sure the Wii U will be very popular. But I'm sure that will be driven by the pricing, too. But Nintendo's usually relatively inexpensive.

"We're excited about that. But because we don't know exactly when the Wii U is coming out, it's definitely affecting our release as well."

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