We've known for a while that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is on the way, combining Ubisoft's Rabbids with Nintendo's mascot in an all-new game. At E3 we were shown a little more of what this mashup will entail, with the details coming during the former's press conference. After Ubisoft's show we also got some hands-on time with the game, and we were able to see how its various elements come together, this thanks to a guided tour through its world by some passionate developers.
The demo we were shown tasked us with saving Luigi from the evil Rabbids that have entered the Mushroom Kingdom via a mysterious portal, although we should clarify that not all Rabbids are evil, as our party of three consisted of Mario, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Luigi. We then ventured out into the wider world to find our friend, going through various levels and battles as we did so, culminating in a bigger boss fight towards the end.
Movement in the game is controlled by Beep-O, a little disc-like thing with rabbit ears that sticks close to the ground and leads the party like a snake. In terms of level design, the environments should be very familiar to fans of Mario's adventures. There are coins to collect, including red and blue coin challenges, pipes to explore, and there's a whole load of colour thrown into the mix as well. Exploration is rewarded, with extra coins to find everywhere, although you may want to swivel the camera around to find all the nooks and crannies.
Combat is what stood out for us, though, as we were expecting much more restricted gameplay. The fighting in Mario + Rabbids is turn-based on a grid-based battlefield, but the options given to you allow you to traverse the arena very quickly. The area in which you can move is very wide, but when you start combining this with the jumps you can perform with your allies, your range is extended even further. All you have to do is move to one of your teammates, and then they throw you even further, allowing you to really make the most of the space available to you. If you were to move your icon to an enemy, though, you'd do a dash attack into them, which you can then move away from and back into cover.