Ancel details Rayman Wii
Rayman creator Michel Ancel has spoken out about how much he's enjoying working on Nintendo Wii - and given a detailed insight into how Raving Rabbids, the fourth game in the series, will take advantage of the console's unusual controls.
In an extended publisher-lead Q&A, Ancel dismissed the other current and next-gen console versions for now - he'll talk about those "soon" - and instead focused on the Wii version, which is due for release alongside the console at launch.
Raving Rabbids is deliberately "very cliché and ludicrous" he says, with a "completely open" world that you can navigate any way you like taking on the invasion of demented rabbits using the Wii controller and nunchuck to direct Rayman's attacks.
"If you give a real punch move [with the nunchuck], Rayman makes the same punch on screen," says Ancel. "If you shake the controller, Rayman will do some special kung-fu style moves."
"If you make a quick move with the nunchuck, Rayman will grapple the nearest enemies or objects. You can then make them spin around Rayman and throw them - as projectiles - just by swinging the nunchuck around your head."
Also, "while Rayman is in the air, he can perform an earthquake ground-shaking move. Just take both pads downwards to do it".
"Rayman will also be able to use creatures in the game. To ride them, you have to twist the Wii main controller in order to direct the creatures in certain ways. You can imagine that it feels very natural to control an eagle in the air or a shark under water, just by moving your hands in the direction you want to go."
You'll be able to dance with the bunnies too, apparently. And if it all sounds a bit ridiculous, apparently that's the point. "It's a comedy," says Ancel, "like Mars Attacks or some Monty Python movies, I'd like it to sound absurd and funny." Score one then.
"Fans of the series will find most of the characters they loved, but in new situations," he says of the story, which sees Rayman on a quest to save the world, his girlfriend, and some old enemies from the invading rabbits.
It won't all be bonking them on the head though - you'll be fighting the rabbits but also making use of them, taking control of them to open new areas. "It's interesting to manipulate your enemies. Depending on their powers and abilities, you'll have different reactions and surprises."
"The game is going to be completely open, so you'll be able to navigate freely and move from situation to situation with different companions, items, or dark creatures."
At the moment Ancel can't confirm if Raving Rabbids will run in prog-scan and widescreen modes, but does say that his Montpelier development team is aiming to get as close to 60 frames per second as possible, with a minimum of 30 in mind.
He also noted that there are currently no plans for multiplayer or downloadable updates, as the game is primarily a story-driven action-adventure and he doesn't want to dilute it.
As for the system itself, Ancel - veteran of many formats, in fact virtually all of them thanks to Ubisoft's determination to get his last game, King Kong, in front of everybody and their dog - says that the Wii hardware is "perfect to develop games". "Easy to program, you can concentrate on developing new ideas and pushing your gameplay," he says.
And with that, he's back to the grind. Expect to hear more on Rayman: Raving Rabbids, including other console versions, in the coming months.