CoD will be sticking with the Wii U for now, at least.
Lately, whenever news regarding third-party publishers and the Wii U have come up it has generally been of the bad variety, with one high-profile title after another being announced as not coming to the console. So it is actually a nice change of pace for once to have news of multiple new games being announced for release from Activision on the embattled system. Admittedly, outside of one noticeable exception, we are talking essentially just casual-friendly fare here (this is Activision, after all) so it may be not be that exciting personally for many of you reading this. Still, the causal audience is an important part of a system’s health and at least all the games come from high selling franchises in their own right. The six games and their planned release dates follows:
Angry Birds Trilogy (August 13)
The game offers more than 100 hours of awesome Angry Birds action gameplay that spans the breadth of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio titles, as well as 40 hours of bonus levels previously not on disc. The game features animated cut scenes and interactive backgrounds — all tailor-made in 1080p HD graphics with surround sound support. The new Wii U GamePad swap capability lets players use the GamePad touch screen controls to fling their birds with accuracy as they climb the online leaderboards for the world’s high scores.
Skylanders SWAP Force (October 13 North America, October 18 Europe/UK)
Activision’s Skylanders SWAP Force continues to build upon the success of the award-winning franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience with the introduction of an innovative feature — dynamic swapability. Kids and gamers will have unprecedented levels of choice in how they explore Skylands and battle KAOS by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys to transform 16 SWAP ForceTM characters into more than 250 unique combinations. The game also features new abilities — such as flying, climbing, and teleporting — which can be used in special areas of Skylands. Additionally, fans can play with their entire collection of 100+, forward-compatible toys from both Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants™. With Wii U, the GamePad allows fans to keep track of stats and view leaderboards, as well as fans’ character collections and upgrades — right in their hands. Additionally, the game is fully playable on the GamePad so kids can enjoy the game when other family members commandeer the TV.
Angry Birds Star Wars (October 29)
Join the Angry Birds in a galaxy far, far away… where a group of desperate rebel birds face off against a galactic menace: the Empire’s evil Pigtroopers! The game evolves the core game design and hilarious tone of previous entries in the series with new characters, challenges, and environments that pay homage to the iconic hallmarks of the Star Wars™ universe. This title adds twenty never-before-seen exclusive levels — on top of the already two-hundred from the original Angry Birds™ Star Wars® — and, for the first time ever, two new multiplayer modes. Play alongside your friend in cooperative mode to achieve a combined high score, or compete against family and friends (up to four players) in competitive mode. In addition, the game delivers online leaderboards, beautiful, high-definition graphics, and unlockable bonus levels, items and content.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (November 5)
Featuring an all-new world, story, characters and experiences, all powered by a new engine, Call of Duty: Ghosts is a stunning leap forward for the blockbuster franchise. For the first time in Call of Duty, gamers play as the underdog, fighting as part of a single squad against an enemy that has superior numbers and firepower. Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ genre-defining multiplayer delivers gameplay innovations throughout, including dynamic map events, character customization and other features yet-to-be-announced. The title includes Wii Remote and second-screen Wii U™ GamePad support and more.
Spongebob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge (Fall 2013)
In this original story, Bikini Bottom’s very own Sheldon J. Plankton and his new legion of evil robots have destroyed the Krusty Krab and stolen the safe that houses the famous Krabby Patty formula. Join SpongeBob and his friends to locate the hidden keys for the safe before the secret is lost forever! Blending platforming, action, and puzzle-solving, SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge features references and humor from the hit Nickelodeon TV animated series, as well as the voices from the show’s cast. Fans and gamers of all ages and skill levels can get together with co-op gameplay action, creating an experience that’s fun for everyone. Players can choose between their favorite Bikini Bottom characters including SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, or Mr. Krabs as they scour the town hunting for hidden keys and collectibles.
Wipeout Create & Crash (Fall 2013)
Based on ABC’s popular TV game show, the game gives players greater control as they test their agility, endurance and abilities. For the first time ever, players can design, play, and share their very own chaotic courses with the all new Course Creator. Choose from easy, medium or hard obstacles and try to beat your course, and then share the unique code with your friends and family! In addition, compete as either fan-favorite or all-new characters in over-the-top new courses like Prehistoric Panic and Wipeouts Ahoy with all new themed obstacles. You can also challenge your friends to reign supreme in side-by-side or team local multiplayer!
Also, coming from Activision in October for Wii (and thus playable on Wii U) will be a new side-scrolling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game based off of the current Nickelodeon TV series and not to be confused with that other TMNT game.
Whatever one’s feeling towards either Activision or the properties above (and certainly I have mixed ones at the very least when it comes to the publisher), the Wii U desperately needs more releases of this type. They help drive console sales especially among casuals and hopefully along with Nintendo’s strong first party support slated for the rest of the year we are on the verge of a turn-around for the Wii U. It would also be nice if the above games sold well enough that they convince other third-party developers to start (or restart, as the case may be) showing the Wii U greater support. Time will tell as it always does. Stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of gaming news the world over and be sure to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.