If there was ever a videogame character that deserved to be in the spotlight, few would be more suited than Luigi. I mean, the guy started out as pretty much a palette swap for Mario, for Pete’s sake, and since then, Nintendo has continuously painted him as a big joke, a scaredy cat who’s only beat in that regard by Shaggy. And after the first Luigi’s Mansion, which was released in 2001 as a GameCube launch title, his fame as a courage deficient hero has only grown, but never enough to outshine his brother Mario.
Ever since the unlikely 2013 3DS sequel Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (or like it’s known in some territories, Luigi’s Mansion 2), it seemed like Luigi’s solo adventures would once again be put on hold. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and after waiting for what seemed like forever since its announcement late last year, I was finally able to get some play time with Luigi’s Mansion 3 during my appointment with Nintendo at E3.
The 20-minute long demo put me in control of the green guy right away as he made his way to a high rise hotel in the mold of the many mansions he’s explored in the franchise. Room to room, ghosts popped up as they usually do, and gameplay proceeded as expected in Luigi’s Mansion: I was able to use Luigi’s flashlight to reveal and stun then after they made their presence known somehow, like moving pieces of furniture around, just so I could suck them into his backpack like usual. But before any of that, I got a quick tutorial which was presented by Luigi’s mentor Dr. E. Gadd and his pal Polterpup, who served as a poor test subject to Luigi’s training session with the vacuum cleaner and the flashlight.
The neat new trick this time is the inclusion of a suction cup Luigi can fire off and then pull with his vacuum that I used to drag boxes and barrels around, but most importantly, rip away the shields some of the enemies were hiding behind so I could beat them. That mechanic carried over all the way to the final boss encounter of the demo, a ghostly knight who rode around in a phantasmic steed. I was not able to disarm him right away though, and the fight proved to be tricky at first, since it required some tricky dodging which my tired self took some time getting used to. Still, after some tries, I was able to rid him of his armor and came out victorious, at which point the demo sadly ended.
But that certainly was not the last bit of news. The biggest addition to Luigi’s Mansion 3 comes in the form of Gooigi, a slimy copy of the taller of the Mario twins who can walk over spikes without getting hurt, and can access areas which are otherwise inaccessible to him. In single player, I was able to split off and use Gooigi in order to flip some switches that happened to be next to floor traps and through grates by switching from one character to the other, but you’ll be able to bring in a friend to help you in the final game, allowing you to play cooperatively, which definitely sounds like a lot of fun.
As a huge fan of Nintendo and the Luigi’s Mansion franchise, I got a big kick out of the little of what I played of Luigi’s Mansion 3. It looks great thanks to the iconic, charming cartoony art direction which is one of Nintendo’s staples, and gameplay didn’t fall behind. It was easy to pick up and play right away, and the new mechanics felt like they fit right in right the established ones. I can’t wait to play the full version!
There’s no firm release date for Luigi’s Mansion 3, but all signs point to a date sometime this year. It’ll be out exclusively on Nintendo Switch.