Nintendo could be on the cusp of successfully mixing some older game play elements, with the new graphics and updated controls that modern users expect, based on a new video trailer of Mario Kart 8 released today.
The trailer surfaced on Nintendo’s YouTube page for the Wii U today. It showcases some of the new features players can expect when Mario Kart 8 makes its debut on the Wii U on May 30th.
The biggest change users will notice is the graphics themselves. This isn’t the first Mario Kart game to use 3D textures but it certainly does look better than any past Mario Kart game sold. In part, that’s because it’s only going to be sold on the Wii U and that console finally has the power to let game developers offer high-definition game play and advanced lighting. Mario Kart actually runs in full high-definition.
There are also a few new game play elements for users to get excited about in addition to the game’s new looks. Drivers in Mario Kart 8 will have to make their way through new dangerous track areas that weren’t there before.
Players will be able to drive upside down and there will also be parts of the tracks that eliminate gravity altogether, leaving gamers to try and steer their character without the normal laws of physics and what they’re used to. Presumably, Nintendo used the real laws governing motion in outer-space for these sections of track with no gravity. As such, bumping into another person when there’s no gravity sends both players hurdling in different directions. Users will also get two new weapons to take down their opponents: a piranha plant and a boomerang that looks like it will cause anyone to lose their first place spot.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if Mario Kart 8 will take full advantage of the touchscreen built into the Wii U controller. IGN reports that users can expect to use the touchscreen as a map of the level they’re playing or a horn. It won’t let users fire up specific weapons when they see fit. The game will have multiplayer so that users can play online against friends and family like most modern-day racing games.
All told, it’s a pretty robust game, one that should drive enthusiasm for the Wii U and possibly help the console pick up sales against Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Gamers can pre-order Mario Kart 8 now for $59.99.