PAX Prime 2012: Epic Mickey 2 hands off preview with Warren Spector
During day two of PAX Prime 2012, I had the honor and opportunity to sit at an Epic Mickey 2 round table with Warren Spector himself. His work on titles such as Deus Ex, Thief, and others are often known for their adaptations of morality choices, effects, and consequences. A philosophy of his is that he wants you (the player) to play games “how you want to play them.” This means when you make decisions don’t think what you should do, what Mickey would do, or what the developers want you to do, but do what you want to do.
The choices players will make in Epic Mickey 2 will affect the world of Wasteland. If the player is given the choice between two ethical paths, the results will differ greatly. You’ll receive different hints, different items, different factions will like you better, different NPCs will like you differently, and how you get to the next area will be different.
On top of that, the environment will change depending on your decisions as well. You can fight your way through most situations if that’s your style but you can also sneak or find alternative routes. This is part of the ‘playing how you want to play’ philosophy. Mickey has the power to destroy and create depending on you as you navigate through the level.
The game features drop in and drop out co-operative play. One player will play as Mickey and the other as Oswald; so instead of Oswald being with you with every step like he is in single player, another player can control him. Together, the two have combo moves to aid in destroying enemies, gliding from jump to jump, and even tossing someone to a high up ledge. The world of Wasteland is dangerous, never travel alone.
The regions of the game represent well known Disney locations. In the demo, we got to see a region based off of Fort Wilderness – Fort Wasteland. In this region, there are themes from both Disney movies and from the real location. Everything in the game is like this from an NPC such as Ian the Ghost to the way even the barrels look.
Another aspect of the game that blew my mind was that all the voice acting in the game is from the real voice actors from Disney. EVEN more impressive is that Epic Mickey 2 is the very first time Oswald has been given a voice. What this means, is that this game has forever changed the history of the classic character Oswald since the voice in this game will be his voice for future projects. Instead of this game imitating the voice of a character, it gave birth to the voice of this famous character. That is really, really astonishing.
A theme of this game is based around questions. While most authors and movies answer questions, Epic Mickey looks to ask them. After reading a book or watching a movie you are only presented with one case that you either agree or disagree with. In Epic Mickey 2, you are part of the question making process and will answer the questions you want to. Is there such a thing as “too evil?” Is there truly something that is beyond redemption?
There is a whole lot going in Epic Mickey 2. If you haven’t started getting excited for this title yet, it might be time to start doing so. For the Disney fan, this game is chock full of nostalgia.