A "source close to Disney" has leaked details of Warren Spector's "Epic Mickey" project - villains, gameplay mechanics, why it's on the Wii, and Mickey Mouse's first makeover in years.
As previously reported, "Epic Mickey" is a darker look at Disney's history - the characters that have been forgotten over the decades - with gameplay that primarily revolves around painting, similar to Okami or the classic Warner Bros. animated short "Duck Amuck." The choice of the Wii has less to do with its traditionally family-friendly image, and more to do with its natural fit for Mickey's arsenal of equipment, which includes "paintbrushes, erasers, thinner, pencils and other artist tools."
Perhaps cartoon characters can never die (despite what Roger Rabbit would have you believe) but they can be forgotten. Who but the most hardcore Disney aficionado would remember Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the company's first mascot? Oswald, like so many other forgotten cartoons over the years, has been cast into a dark, lonely void of broken hopes and aspirations since being replaced by Mickey Mouse, where his anger and bitterness towards the character have spiraled out of control.
Oswald unleashes the slightly-less-forgotten Phantom Blot upon Disney's world, who pollutes the colorful cartoon universe with a sticky black ink (as seen on the cover) that makes colors run and fade. There's only one person (or rodent) who can stand up and set things right again.
Though this corrosive ink is Mickey's enemy, his powers are likewise based in art. Mickey can "draw and scribble his way through levels, mending broken bridges by applying the right color paint or peering through walls after applying thinner. He can even clear rubble from his path by erasing parts of the world." The game is about thinking and artwork, says Eurogamer's source, with careful consideration of the environment needed to solve the puzzles.
Plus, there's a reason that the only official finalized artwork we've seen shows Mickey from behind - "Epic Mickey" will see the iconic Mouse getting his first makeover in quite a few years. "That's why no one's seen his face yet," explained Eurogamer's source, "But he's far more retro than you've seen him for years."
I know it's never a good idea to count your videogame eggs before they hatch, but I can't be the only one who thinks all of this sounds absolutely amazing, can I?