One of the more bizarre Wii U titles that I tried out at E3 was Project P-100, a hack-and-slash action game developed by Bayonetta and Madworld creator Platinum Games. The game centers around a mob of unlikely heroes who need to defend the world from an alien invasion. Think an action Pikmin game with a splash of intergalactic insanity.
The game involves traveling through different stages fighting off monsters and saving people who will then join your team. Staying together is important as the strength of your group depends on how many people you have with you. Your group attacks and defends together and feels like one entire entity instead of individual people punching and kicking the on-screen enemies.
For a Wii U game, the demo I played didn’t focus just on the GamePad controller – and this was quite refreshing. The controller’s analog sticks are used to control your mob and the face buttons let you jump, attack, and unleash special Morph Powers that turn your team into a giant gun, sword, or fist. You can always draw each Power’s symbol on the GamePad’s screen instead of pressing the button too. There are also moments when you’ll need to rescue survivors and rally them up by drawing a circle on the GamePad that then appears on your TV screen. These controls felt very fluid and it was great to see a Wii U game not simply rely on the GamePad.
Actually, it’s not until your character enters buildings that the controller’s true potential is shown. The action shifts to your GamePad and you need to move it around to control the new camera angles. Mid-way through my demo, I had to enter a warehouse to solve a small puzzle that affected what was happening outside. Once finished, I entered a boss battle that was quite chaotic to say the least. Not only did I have to destroy its weak points on one of its arms while defending against its beams and punches, but I then had to use my heroes to create a bridge to the other arm and continue fighting!
Project P-100 makes great use of the Wii U’s new technology. While it uses the GamePad controller as part of its core gameplay, it offers enough familiar controls to balance it out into a game that was quick to figure out and enjoy. Its charming humor and colorful graphics also made it a joy to play. Let’s hope this game becomes the Wii U launch title no one saw coming.