Mega Man 11 is retro ac­tion for a mod­ern era

Cap­com is Cel­e­brat­ing this big an­niver­sary in style

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Cap­com is about to give Mega Man its most sig­nif­i­cant over­haul in 30 years. 2018 will see the iconic char­ac­ter given a new lease on life, with the stu­dio drop­ping the 8-bit aes­thetic that has served it so well over the years in favour of some­thing a lit­tle more, well, mod­ern.

Mod­ern, but not nec­es­sar­ily new; Mega Man 11 will be adopt­ing a 2.5D style. That is to say that it will be im­ple­ment­ing 3D sprites across 2D en­vi­ron­ments. It’s a move that has earned the new ti­tle quite a few com­par­isons to Mighty No. 9 – Com­cept’s ill-fated at­tempt to mod­ernise Mega Man back in 2016. Mega Man 11 is al­ready dis­play­ing far more prom­ise; the new hand drawn art style dis­play­ing richer tex­tures and more depth and de­tail in its en­vi­ron­ments than Mighty No. 9 could ever muster, while the game­play looks as tor­tur­ous as ever. This will be the first new Mega Man game to launch since 2010’s Mega Man 10. If you aren’t fa­mil­iar with that par­tic­u­lar mod­ern re­vival, 10 (and its pre­de­ces­sor) were praised for their abil­ity to cap­ture the essence of the retro re­leases. The games were chal­leng­ing, in­tri­cately de­signed and tra­di­tional in their ap­proach to 2D ac­tion and plat­form­ing. What we’re say­ing is, Cap­com knows what it’s do­ing when it comes to Mega Man. What we’ve seen of

11 in ac­tion thus far shows a lot of prom­ise, a game built on the foun­da­tion of tightly timed jumps, crazy tough (and crazy look­ing) boss bat­tles, and suits of ar­mour that im­bue the pop­u­lar hero with an ar­ray of new abil­i­ties and pow­ers.

Mega Man 11 isn’t the only way that Cap­com is cel­e­brat­ing the 30th an­niver­sary of the orig­i­nal NES re­lease. Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 will be mak­ing their way to Nin­tendo Switch in 2018 (fol­low­ing their suc­cess­ful launch on PS4 and Xbox One) while all eight games in the spin-off Mega Man X se­ries will also be mak­ing their way to all four of the ma­jor plat­forms in the 12 months ahead.

What we’re say­ing is that it’s a great time to be a fan of Mega Man. The new in­stal­ment looks fan­tas­tic; a small ad­just­ment to the new art style is nec­es­sary, but it’s how the game plays that re­ally mat­ters to us. As we said be­fore, Mega Man 11 is al­ready show­ing much more prom­ise through its early re­veal than Mighty No. 9 could ever muster and we’re re­ally ex­cited to see just how Cap­com plans on bring­ing this legacy se­ries into the mod­ern world.

Above: Mega Man 11 is the first game to re­lease in the main­line se­ries since 2010’s Mega Man 10, and Cap­com has promised that it’ll be faith­ful to the legacy.

be­low: the most ob­vi­ous change in Mega Man 11 is that of the art-style, with Cap­com drop­ping the 8-bit art in favour of a hand­drawn 2.5D style.

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