Today’s Ubisoft Forward sort of served as the kick off for E3 2021, and though the company spent most of the show covering games that have already been announced – or, in the case of Rainbow Six: Siege and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, games that are already out – the show did have a couple of new announcements. One such announcement came at tail end of the show, with Ubisoft officially confirming Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.
Unfortunately for Ubisoft, the surprise was spoiled just hours before the event, as a listing for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was leaked on the Switch eShop earlier this morning. Even with that early leak, this new Mario + Rabbids reveal is likely to be a highlight of the show for Switch owners due to the fact that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was surprisingly great.
Judging from the reveal trailer, it looks like Sparks of Hope will use the Super Mario Galaxy setting, as we’ll be shuttled off into space in this installment. The titular Sparks are crosses between Rabbids and Mario Galaxy‘s Lumas, and we’ll see a Rabbid version of Rosalina join the roster this time around as well. There’s also a new villain named Cursa, who is using the Sparks as energy to power their efforts to take over the galaxy.
Ubisoft has confirmed that we’ll be bouncing between planets in this entry, so the homage to the Super Mario Galaxy games is clear. Combat will be getting a shake up in Sparks of Hope that will combine the turn-based tactics from the first game with real-time action segments. Ubisoft says that there are dozens of Sparks to collect throughout the game, and that each one will offer “a distinct power and ability” that can be used in battle.
You can learn more about Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope in the three videos we’ve embedded above. The first is the cinematic reveal trailer, the second is a gameplay sneak peek, and the third is a discussion with three members of the Sparks of Hope team: Creative Director Davide Soliani, Lead Producer Xavier Manzanares, and Associate Producer Cristina Nava. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is launching for Nintendo Switch in 2022.