Touchy-feely kitbags needn't just smooth over the cracks. As Stefanelli describes it, the touchpad could alter the rhythm of Darksiders II's combat: "It allows for quick weapon and equipment swaps. For example, you could have two different equipment sets for Death - one that's geared towards heavy weapons and big armour, and another that's designed for mobility and quick strikes.
On the Wii U, all it would take to switch from one to the other would be a hot button on the touch screen, and multiple swaps could be made during an intense combat without ever pausing." Iron boots are so yesterday.
As much as the touch screen complements the TV, don't forget it can replace it too. It is this feature, the ability to switch from tTV to tablet, that most impressed the Vigil boys. "Our one and only goal once we got the Wii U hardware was to get Darksiders II running on it. We didn't even have running the game on the touch screen on our 'to do' list. but once we got it running, we just fooled around with getting it on the touch screen as a lark. It took all of five minutes and two lines of code, and boom! - there was the entire game running on the controller. Amazing."
Vigil paint a picture of touch-screen versatility - so much so that we almost worry if the scope could lead to conflict. Do you build the game around dual screens - feeding into televised combat with touch-screen proddings - or ensure the whole game can be appreciated on that single controller screen, should the need arise? We have faith Vigil will come up with the answers. Whatever the outcome, the Zelda-ish inspirations should at least gel with you lot. Though with any luck, stefanelli hopes to outgrow those particular connotations.
"Hopefully a couple years from now, a new game will come out and everyone will say that it's 'like Darksiders'. When that happens, we'll know we've really achieved a benchmark." With Wii U's help, this is very much a possibility. Already a force to be reckoned with on ps3 and 360, on Wii U, this is Death warmed up.
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