E3 2010: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hands-On PreviewBy Patrick Klepek - Posted Jun 21, 2010
What We Already Know
Gamers have been waiting for Retro Studios to emerge after Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Several high-level designers leaving the developer left its future in some doubt, but Retro Studios is returning to gaming later this year with a rather shocking surprise: a reboot of Donkey Kong Country. Rare's platformer is back, but with a whole load of new twists.
What We're Seeing Today
Donkey Kong Country hasn't aged well. While the gameplay remains rock solid (so long as we're only talking about the first game, not the sequels), the CGI graphics that were revolutionary at the time are pretty tough to look at these days. Retro Studios came to E3 2010 with a few levels from Donkey Kong Country Returns. Happily, I managed to play one.
Donkey Kong Country Returns looks and plays like the Donkey Kong Country you remember. In a good way. One of the great joys of playing Donkey Kong Country was searching high and low for secrets. This is before Rare went overboard on collectibles and started designing all of their extracurricular gameplay around the concept. Donkey Kong Country Returns seems to hit the same sweet spot, with the collectibles encouraging players to more thoroughly explore the environment, teasing jumps that don't quite look doable, but since there's a collectible there, you find yourself attempting leaps of faith over and over again. It feels good.
Thanks for giving me another platformer to look forward to this year, Nintendo.