Wii U Preview - Pick of the Third Party Titles

Between the platforming thrills of New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land's brilliant and quirky mini-games, we all know that Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console's going to be great for brand new games, but what about the titles that have already come out for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the games that Nintendo fans are only just getting the chance to try? What about space operas like Mass Effect 3, or hack-and-slash fantasies like Darksiders II?

Luckily, Nintendo's been letting us check out some of these games in the build-up to their new console's release, and things are looking pretty special. Here's what we think of some of the best third-party stuff you'll be playing with your brand new Wii U games console.


Mapping New Territory!

The Wii U's not like other consoles, of course: its brilliant new GamePad comes with all the regular thumbsticks, triggers and face buttons, but it also has a glorious 6.2 inch touch screen set in the very centre of it. When it comes to a complex action role-playing game like Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, that means you'll be able to get a top-down view of the battlefield whenever you look down at your controller, which should make fighting your way through the action-packed campaign a cinch.

As well as a map, the Wii U GamePad will also allow you to move your team-mates around the Mass Effect landscape with a tap of your finger - and you'll even be able to target specific enemies for them. Then, when someone comes in and wants to use the big telly in the living room, you can move the main action onto your GamePad, and save the universe while they catch up on Eastenders.


Dungeons And Dressing Rooms

Darksiders II takes much the same approach: THQ's huge action game has already wowed us on the PS3, 360 and PC, but on Nintendo's dream machine it's at its best yet. Not only do you get the option to keep an eye on the game's sprawling dungeons with a handy touchscreen map, you can also use the GamePad as a kind of portable wardrobe, paging through your character's inventory, changing weapons on the fly, and even altering which special power-ups you take into battle. And yes, it also doubles as a main screen when the family telly is being used, too.

Elsewhere, Assassin's Creed III isn't even out yet on any console, but when it hits the Wii U you can expect a similar attention to detail. Ubisoft's planning an epic adventure which will take you to the wilds of revolutionary America, and the Wii U GamePad will chart the course, offering a familiar blend of maps, menus and weapon-swapping. Not to be left out, Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge provides fans of frantic beat-'em-up action with a GamePad screen that doubles as a scrolling move list as they unleash furious attacks on their enemies, while also allowing players to trigger magic attacks and re-centre the camera with a tap of their fingers.


Old School Challenges

Ninja Gaiden III also showcases another benefit that's specific to the Wii U. When the game initially hit the PS3 and the Xbox 360, it was widely considered to be a little bit too easy to complete. Beat-'em-ups like this are meant to be fast and furious, and the best players like a real challenge as they learn all the Ninjitsu moves and master each weapon.

Razor's Edge is a chance for the development team to rebalance things, then, ratcheting up the difficulty, throwing in more character customisation options as you unlock new moves for your deadly Ninja, and even chucking in a new playable character in the form of the beautiful and deadly Ayane. If that isn't enough, you'll be able to play through the entire campaign in online co-op, too, which means you can take on the worst that the world of magic and martial arts can lob at you with a friend watching your back.

That's the Wii U, then: great for original games, and great for more traditional fare, too. Whether you want action, adventure, sci-fi or fantasy, Nintendo's new console has you covered. Wii can't wait for release date! Can U? (Sorry.)

Published: 05/10/2012

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