One of my favorite games of 2017 was Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom.
It’s basically XCOM-lite, but with Ubisoft’s Rabbids and Nintendo’s Mario characters. The turn-based strategy game has a great campaign and some co-op missions that you can play with another player locally.
Now Ubisoft has announced local PvP, rounding out the game into one of my favorite strategy games of the year. I can’t wait to give PvP a spin, though my primary challenger will be my 7-year old. That’s fine, he’s actually quite good at a wide array of video games for some reason totally unrelated to my profession I’m sure.
The versus mode will have some pretty significant changes compared to normal play. Teams of three characters will “use every attack and technique available to them to claim victory across small, surprise-filled maps,” though each player will be limited to just three actions per turn. This adds a new layer of tactical thinking to the game.
“You may be accustomed to moving, attacking, and using techniques for each of your heroes during every turn in the campaign and co-op, but Versus is a different story,” Ubisoft writes in a blog post announcing the new mode. “Will you move all your characters into strategic positions, or will you spend all your actions to, say, move Luigi into a sniping spot, activate his motion-attacking Steely Gaze, and then open fire on a juicy target? Whatever you do, you can bet your opponent will be watching your every move, so be careful not to leave yourself vulnerable.”
Players won’t use their leveled-up campaign characters, either, instead choosing from fully upgraded versions of all eight characters that can then be specialized with various unlockable variants. How you loadout your team will make a difference, as will finding power-ups that are scattered across each map in question-mark blocks.
In other words, this is far from a small update to the game—it’s going to change how you play entirely.
The new versus mode lands this Friday, December 8th, on Nintendo Switch. I’m excited to have an excuse to fire Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom back up.
On a side-note, I have to stop and give Ubisoft credit for a really excellent 2017. Not only this game, but Assassin’s Creed Origins and even Ghost Recon: Wildlands were really pretty outstanding games. Bravo, Ubisoft!
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