The release of a new Super Mario game is always a momentous event, and the famous mascot's Nintendo Switch debut will surely be no exception.
In fact, Super Mario Odyssey looks set to be the most ambitious adventure the character has ever been involved with, offering more freedom and scope than ever before.
If you need to get up to speed on this Switch exclusive, you've come to the right place.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next mainline Super Mario game in a series which stretches back to 1985
- When it is out? At the end of 2017
- Will Super Mario Odyssey come to other formats? Almost certainly not
- Super Mario Odyssey developer: Nintendo EPD
- Super Mario Odyssey publisher: Nintendo
- Super Mario Odyssey price: TBA, but Switch games usually retail for around $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$79.95
Super Mario Odyssey trailers
Nintendo showed off the first footage of Super Mario Odyssey during the initial Switch reveal in October 2016, and followed this with a more detailed video before the console launched in March of this year. You can check out both below.
Super Mario Odyssey release date
Nintendo hasn't given Super Mario Odyssey a solid release date as yet, but it has confirmed that it will be coming before the end of the year. We may see a more precise release date revealed during E3 2017 event – or, if you're feeling particularly pessimistic, the title could be subject to a delay. Nintendo's track record in this area hasn't been stellar of late – it repeatedly delayed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and also pushed back Star Fox Zero, a key Wii U exclusive, in 2015.
Super Mario Odyssey confirmed features
Nintendo will have Super Mario Odyssey on the show floor at this year's E3, and we'll no doubt learn a lot more about the game then. In the meantime, here's what's been confirmed so far.
A more open world
Following the self-contained, level-by-level approach taken by Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Odyssey will opt for a more open-ended setup, similar to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. That means the scope for exploration has the potential to be massively increased; perhaps Super Mario Odyssey will offer even more replayability than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which has been praised for its sandbox setup and massive game world.
Mario's previous adventures have taken him to many familiar locations in the Mushroom Kingdom, but this new outing marks something of a departure for the series as it will include semi-realistic environments. One stage – New Donk City – is based on New York and boasts pedestrians, vehicles and tall skyscrapers.
Exploring this sandbox world will allow players to make use of Mario's incredible repertoire of moves, which has evolved considerably over the past few decades. As well as hopping onto the heads of enemies, grabbing onto ledges and jumping off walls, the portly plumber will also be able to make use of his sentient cap, which can be thrown to create temporary platforms. A sequence is shown in the trailer where Mario rolls himself into a ball, too.
Mario isn't a stranger to teaming up with the local wildlife to overcome issues – the dinosaur-like Yoshi was introduced in Super Mario World and has since become a major hero in his own right – and Super Mario Odyssey looks set to continue this trend. During the game's trailer Mario is seen leaping onto the back of a what appears to be a lion statue, which then magically springs to life and dashes across the desert level.
A more challenging experience
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has already confirmed that Super Mario Odyssey will return to the roots of the character, and that it would appeal to veteran players who have perhaps drifted away from the series due to its casual-friendly approach in recent years. We wouldn't go expecting a Dark Souls-like slog, but it would be wise to anticipate a game which will put your reflexes to the test.
Super Mario Odyssey Rumours
As you might expect with any AAA release, Super Mario Odyssey has been the topic of much discussion – especially since the trailer broke cover in January. Nintendo has given some minor details but has allowed the footage to do the talking – so it's little wonder that fans have been analysing every frame and picking out potential features. Here are some of the more interesting rumours currently circulating based on these discussions.
If you want to get ahead, get a hat
During Super Mario Odyssey's first trailer signage is clearly visible for something called "Crazy Caps", and Mario even enters a store which carries this same name towards the end of the footage. Given that Nintendo has already confirmed that Mario's headgear is going to play an important part in the gameplay, could we see interchangeable hats, each blessed with unique powers?
Spare some change
Coins have been part of the Super Mario series since day one, offering the player something to collect and (eventually) earn additional lives. As the series has progressed coins have become less about extending your playtime and more about collectability, but in Super Mario Odyssey it would seem that Nintendo has some fresh ideas. In the trailer, we see several different coin types to grab – could this be significant?
This wouldn't be the first time different types of coins have been present in a Super Mario game (the Mario Wiki has an exhaustive list if you want to see what's come before), but its good to see Nintendo experimenting with different collectables.
During the Super Mario Odyssey trailer, Mario is shown interacting with several other characters – in New Donk City, for example, he enjoys some skipping rope action with two ladies, and in another location dances with locals to music playing from a sound system. Could this hint at a deeper level of interaction within the game world, almost like an RPG, or are these sequences merely cut-scenes taken from the game?
Bowser has been the cause of Mario's problems since day one, and as you might expect he's shaping up to be the main antagonist in Super Mario Odyssey – during the trailer, he kidnaps Princess Peach (again) and looks intent on marrying her.
However, Bowser won't be the only foe Mario has to face in this new outing; as well as a wide selection of new grunts to tackle, we're shown a group of rather malevolent-looking bunny rabbits riding on an airship not entirely dissimilar to the ones first witnessed in Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES.
At the conclusion of the trailer, Mario is thrown from a tall building by a robotic caterpillar. Are these new creatures merely underlings of Bowser, or could they be even more sinister than that?
Super Mario Odyssey wish list
Given that we still know relatively little about Super Mario Odyssey it's unsurprising that we have a list as long as your arm of features we'd love to see, but here are a few of the best selections.
Regular updates via DLC
Nintendo has recently committed to expanding the world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with DLC content and we'd love to see the same approach taken with Super Mario Odyssey. While some people begrudge having to pay cash for extra levels, if Nintendo times it right then DLC could keep the game alive for much longer.
Some form of multiplayer
Super Mario 3D World was tremendous fun with four players involved, and while Nintendo hasn't shown any multiplayer footage for Odyssey so far, we sincerely hope there's at least the option to play through the game in co-op with another player.
Loads of new power-ups
Mario's arsenal has grown over the years and he can call upon the likes of mushrooms, fire-flowers, cat-suits and much more besides. What we're really like to see with Odyssey is all of these classic items appearing alongside a raft of inventive new power-ups. Nintendo has traditionally added just a handful of new examples in each game but this time around we hope the company gets really creative and runs riot. Oh, and please let Super Mario Sunshine's F.L.U.D.D. backpack make a return.
- Check out our pick of the best Nintendo Switch games available right now.