When Nintendo first unveiled Star Fox Zero at 2014’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, the company also revealed two early game demos in progress, code-named Project Giant Robot and Project Guard. EW’s Darren Franich spoke to Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto about Project Guard at E3, where Miyamoto teased that it might be part of the Star Fox universe. Nearly two years later, Nintendo confirmed during today’s Nintendo Direct that it is indeed set in the same universe. Now called Star Fox Guard, the game will launch alongside Star Fox Zero April 22 on Wii U.
Star Fox Guard was co-developed with Platinum Games and tells the story of Star Fox sidekick Slippy Toad and his uncle Grippy, who runs mining facilities where he collects rare metals. These facilities are constantly under attack from a variety of charismatic robots, so Slippy develops a security system that players control. Using the Wii U Gamepad, players can shift between 12 different camera turrets and attempt to defend the base by shooting waves of aggressive and sneaky robots.
“This is a game that’s great to play as a whole family,” Miyamoto said during a hands-on demo with EW in mid-February. “It’s very simple gameplay, sort of a very simple shooting game, but the whole family can join in and play.”
Before the enemies begin to attack, the player has a chance to position the cameras and set up an area of defense, but they’ll quickly find themselves having to adjust to the robots’ increasingly difficult and unpredictable waves of attack.
“It’s really fun to play with a lot of people in the living room, with everybody sort of pointing out and shouting at you, and telling you where to go,” Miyamoto said, which he then demonstrated by playfully shouting “Eight! Eight!” at me when my poor defense skills let a robot get past camera eight.
In addition to the approximately 100 missions included in the game, Guard also includes an edit feature that lets players design their own enemy attack patterns. They can share their creations online, download other players’ patterns and compare times and scores with others.
“It’s a very simple editor that’s as easy to create as back on the NES Excitebike,” Miyamoto said, referencing the 1985 classic racer. “It’s a very simple shooting game, so it could be somebody’s first shooter, and it also is a very simple editing tool, so it could be somebody’s first chance to try their hand at creating gameplay patterns.”
Star Fox Guard, out April 22, will be bundled with Star Fox Zero as a two-disc set for $59.99. The titles will also be available as separate downloads on Nintendo’s eShop for $14.99 and $59.99 respectively, with a $4.99 discount for purchasing both.