The unreleased Wii U game Star Fox Armada would have featured puppet visuals, online multiplayer and invasions

New details have surfaced on Retro Studios’ pitch star Fox Armada for Wii U, which unfortunately never got developed.

Youtube channel Do you know gaming spoke to former Retro Studios artist Eric Kozlowsky, who came up with the concept for the game.

Not only would the game have had a puppet visual style reminiscent of the series’ early promotional imagery, it would also have had a heavy focus on online multiplayer.

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“It made sense — you know, retro was rebooted back then [Metroid Prime] and Donkey Kong Country. And I was like, ‘Yeah, we can reboot another Nintendo franchise,'” Kozlowsky said.

Unlike games like Star Fox Adventure or Star Fox Assault, where the player character traveled on foot, Star Fox Armada would have retained the space combat gameplay of the early, successful games in the series.

For the game’s story, players would have been tasked with rebuilding Corneria and the Lylat system after the defeat of Andross in Star Fox 64 by gathering resources and allies from nearby systems.

As a result, the game would have focused on building your own squadron – both within the story and with friends.

Contrary to the brief linear experiences of the early game, Armada would have featured an explorable Great Fox from which missions are accepted, similar to Mass Effect’s Normandy ship, with resources earned through missions used either to upgrade vehicles or were sent back to Corneria. Optional side quests would have enhanced the mercenary aspects of Fox and his team.

As for the Wii U GamePad integration, the action would take place on the TV, with the GamePad displaying ship and mission data like a ship’s control panel.

The story would be playable in co-op mode, with one player controlling the on-screen action using a Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and the other taking on the role of gunner using the Wii U GamePad and tending to ship repairs. This could even be done online with multiple friends piloting multiple ships.

A combat mode would also have been included and features more traditional dogfights. And players could design their own animal characters.

Additionally, the game would have had an intriguing mechanic seemingly similar to the invasions of the Souls games, allowing other players to disrupt online missions, just like Star Wolf did in previous games. This also had a Miiverse integration.

“You and your friends have your own team like Star Lion, you know, and you’re a lion character. And you could take part in multiplayer missions and things like that,” Kozlowsky said. “I thought about the Miiverse, and you could say, ‘Oh man, Star Llama came in and got me out, take her out.’

“And I thought that would be a fun Miiverse integration because Miiverse was really cool back then and there were a lot of opportunities there.”

The online features were the game’s main selling points, with Kozlowsky describing it as an “evergreen” title with DLC. Star Fox Armada was intended to be “Nintendo’s very own Star Wars”.

So why wasn’t Star Fox Armada a developer? Kozlowsky pitched the game to Retro Studios management in 2013, but it was never seen by Nintendo.

“Retro leadership and [Nintendo producer] Kensuke Tanabe would ultimately decide which direction is best for the studio,” Kozlowsky said.

“I’m sure they spoke to each other [Nintendo Japan] about what makes sense for the studio to work on based on Personal, Nintendo’s portfolio [of games in development] at the time and what the studio [staff] want to work on the factors at the time a little bit…but ultimately many of those decisions came about [Japan].”

The game was instead followed in 2016 by Star Fox Zero, which became the worst-selling game in the series. Since then, no new Star Fox game has been heard of.

You can watch the full video below.

Star Fox Armada: Retro Wii U Game That Never Ft. @BoundaryBreak The unreleased Wii U game Star Fox Armada would have featured puppet visuals, online multiplayer and invasions

Fry Electronics Team

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