Pipeworks and Atari are bringing Godzilla and his compatriots to the Wii later this year with new motion controls, gameplay mechanics, and, of course, more monsters!
Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, is heading to the Wii. But wait—he’s bringing all his Monster Island cohorts with him, all decked out in Godzilla: Final Wars character models, and sporting tons of new destructive power. If you liked Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee on the ‘Cube and Save the Earth on the PS2, get ready for some more rubber-suit mayhem, because Pipeworks and Atari are gonna drop another kaiju-spawning bomb.
For those of you unfamiliar with the modern Godzilla video games, the basic gameplay mechanic is that of a brawler, but it’s got an old-time arcade feel to it. Up to four players choose one of Toho’s infamous towering behemoths and duke it out in a sprawling metropolis of their choice. Attacks are basically limited to punching, kicking, tail-swatting, and grapples, but each monster has a trademark special attack. Godzilla, for instance, possesses his trademark heat ray. Gigan has a laser eye, King Ghidorah fires lighting from his three heads, etc. Of course, the controls have undergone a slight revision for the Wii—most of your fighting-related actions will now be handled by your hand gestures. Apparently monsters will be able to power up their special attacks by collecting items on the battlefield, too.
Crystals have a significant place in the game, too. They’re all over the battlefields, and interacting with them voluntarily will cause your monster’s "Critical Mass" bar to rise. This new state is sort of like the previous games’ "Rage" meter, although Critical Mass is more visually appealing, more powerful, and confers upon your kaiju new powers. However, once Critical Mass goes away, your beastie is slower and its defense lowers, kind of like Hyper Beam in the Pokemon games. Another significant gameplay addition is "Power Surge," in which, by interacting with different crystals, Godzilla and his pals get temporary, ultra-powerful, one-time abilities like total immunity from weapons, finishing attacks, etc. These superpowers must be earned in the single-player game, and your opponent can end your Power Surge by destroying the influencing crystals.
From the screenshots and videos released so far, the Unleashed graphics engine looks to have been improved. The monsters have a textured look reminiscent of Doom 3 (seriously, that’s what comes to mind), plenty of particle effects are present, and the new monster designs are straight out of Godzilla: Final Wars, the "last" Toho Godzilla film. While we’ll no doubt see returning champions from the previous games (Kiryu FTW!), King Caesar and the "mecha" version of Gigan have been sighted in screenshots. According to the Unleashed website, twenty-three monsters have been confirmed. If we’re really lucky, Baragon (from Giant Monsters All-Out Attack) will be playable. Biollante, one of Godzilla’s largest (and most immobile) foes is featured on the E3 press poster for Unleashed, but it's not clear how a hybrid of a rose and Godzilla would move on the battlefield.
In perhaps the most interesting twist, Toho has approved two Pipeworks-created kaiju to be included among the twenty-three other monsters. Pipeworks has said that Godzilla fans helped to shape the creation of the original monsters. Now if only Pipeworks would get in good with Kadokawa Productions, then we could finally have the Godzilla vs. Gamera crossover fans have been dreaming of for fifteen years!
According to Pipeworks itself, the game is set to release near the end of the year.