Ubisoft dropped the trailer for Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, the sequel to its previous tactical crossover title Kingdom Battle, during its Ubisoft Forward event at E3 2021. We don’t yet know when the game will be released — the trailer’s best guess is some time in 2022 — but we do know it’ll launch on the Nintendo Switch.
Actually, Ubisoft dropped two trailers, as seems to be their habit for this event. One was the cinematic trailer, which showed Mario and company reacting to some kind of space anomaly, and then going on an adventure to take on a new enemy in space. It seems they’ll be joined by new allies, including Rabbid Rosalina and what appear to be Rabbid Lumas — or Sparks, as they’re called in-universe — to battle a new villain called Cursa.
The second trailer was the gameplay sneak peek, which revealed that the gameplay in this title will be drastically different from its predecessor. The new game will have a fully open world, in which the squad can roam freely around between battles. Similarly, the combat will ditch the grid-based system that made the last game look so similar to XCOM, while still giving players limits on where they can go and what they do. Players will have to battle the new villain across multiple planets and they’ll apparently be flying between those planets.
The trailer originally leaked shortly before the event, and it’s honestly something I would have expected to release at the Nintendo show, not at the Ubisoft event, especially considering the company has five games that it’s trying to get released before the end of the fiscal year. But it’s not a huge surprise to see that Mario + Rabbids is getting another entry, given that the last one seemed to do well for the company.