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PAX Prime 2012: Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Posted on September 9, 2012 AT 06:36pm

Disney’s next installment of the adventures of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit is scheduled to release later this year and during PAX Prime I got a chance to sit down with the Disney team to take a sneak peek. I got to sit down with Warren Spector, a titan of the games industry with such great games as Deus Ex, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and many others under his belt. Before the actual press event I asked Warren one simple question: “What’s your favorite Disney character?” Without missing a beat, Warren replied, “Uncle Scrooge. He was Indiana Jones before there was an Indiana Jones!”

During the demo, Warren showed an area in the game called Fort Wasteland which is based on Disney’s Fort Wilderness in Florida. Fort Wasteland was introduced as being occupied by some of the Splatters for the first Epic Mickey game. Mickey and Oswald quickly come across Ian the Ghost arguing with a Goat and Cow over what to do about the Splatters, Ian wants the kicked out while the Goat and Cow feel that Splatter have every right to live there as well. Warren used this as a perfect example to show that in Epic Mickey 2 give the player a goal where one friendly character asked the player to “do X” and another character to “not do X” and the player must decide who’s goal to work towards knowing that actions have consequences. It should be noted that every line of dialog during this scene and all others is voice-acted in 17 different languages.

While working to enter Fort Wasteland, Warren pointed out that Gus the Alien is a helpful tool to show player who may be stuck a way to continue, but not the only way. Each player can approach a problem and work to solve it there own way, but they must also recognize that some solutions prevent the player from going back and choose the alternate route. Players can approach any and all puzzles or combat just using the Paint or just using the Thinner (though it would be difficult and not suggested.)

The major differences to see in the sequel from the original Epic Mickey is that a 2nd player can jump in and play as Oswald at any point and set the controller down when needed and the AI will take back over. Warren added that this was his first multiplayer and he felt like it was a great expansion to the Epic Mickey world. Warren also mentioned that the choices of the game gives the player the ability to play the game a full 3 times to see all of it’s content: playing using mostly Paint, using mostly Thinner, and playing with a friend. The Disney Interactive team also worked really hard to improve the camera movement and controls from the first game. Third person camera systems are a challenging problem to solve, the player must be able to judge distances from their character to the next platform and/or the nearest enemy. To make the problem more complicated, Epic Mickey introduced the ability to paint in walls between the camera and Mickey, what to do with the camera at this point is a difficult decision, but in Epic Mickey 2, Warren and his team new of these problems and worked very hard to solve them.

The epic continuation of this amazing tale of Mickey and his paint brush will release in North America on November 18th, 2012 (the anniversary of the first airing of Steamboat Willie) on Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

I, for one, can’t wait to play it,


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