Luigi can’t seem to stay away from haunted houses. That seems to be his thing now, which is unfortunate for a guy who seems to be so afraid of ghosts. Granted, Luigi has gradually come to terms with his fear of the paranormal. Heck, he even has a ghost dog now! But what happens when Luigi tries to get away from the trials and tribulations of ghost hunting, only to wind up in a haunted resort?
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has somewhat of a misnomer for a title. It’s less a mansion and more of a hotel. That means there’s much more for Luigi to explore and he’ll need some new tools to help him out. Shacknews grabbed our flashlights and got to work, going hands-on with Luigi’s next spooky slapstick adventure.
The premise for Luigi’s Mansion 3 should feel familiar. The idea is to find any ghosts that are haunting individual rooms and suck them into Luigi’s trusty Poltergust vacuum. Some of those ghosts are out in the open, while others are hidden and need to be stunned with Luigi’s Strobulb flashlight first. Much of the atmosphere similarly feels familiar, with Luigi trepidaciously wandering the halls and shivering in fear of a frightening phantasm popping out of the blue.
While elements of previous Luigi’s Mansion games have been retained, the green sidekick also brings along a few new moves. The key move that players will use with the most frequency is “Slam.” While Luigi can vacuum up ghosts, many of them will put up resistance. Luigi can now slam them to the ground repeatedly, an image that’s best compared to Hulk repeatedly slamming Loki in 2012’s Marvel’s Avengers movie. Not only can players slam individual ghosts, but they can knock them into other ghosts to weaken them or interrupt their movement.
The other major new function is Luigi’s Suction Shot. This is used in a multitude of ways. If ghosts are holding up shields or other objects, the Suction Shot will fire out a plunger at it. That’s only half the battle, though, because simply firing the plunger is as effective as… well… as hitting something with a plunger. Luigi must then walk up to his plunger and pick up the rope attachment with his Poltergust in order to successfully pull an object with it. These multiple steps take some getting used to, but Suction Shot is such an essential skill that players will need to grow accustomed to it in order to successfully navigate the mansion. Suction Shot isn’t just for taking out ghosts, it’s also a key function to tearing down weak walls and finding secrets.
Luigi won’t be exploring the haunted hotel solo, at least not in the traditional sense. Players will encounter traps frequently and Luigi won’t be able to get through them. For that, he needs his slimy doppelganger, Gooigi. Gooigi can walk through spikes and other obstacles and emerge unharmed. He can also help out with certain two-person puzzles. One room was a vertical chamber where an elevator was operated by flowing air. That meant that Luigi needed to stand inside the elevator while Gooigi hit the reverse function on the Poltergust. After getting all the way down, Luigi could recall Gooigi with a double tap of the right stick. Gooigi is useful in many instances, though he can’t stand up to water and he has significantly less health than Luigi. That’s something for a second player to keep in mind, because two players can operate Luigi and Gooigi in a co-op environment.
As scary as the supernatural premise can be, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is no horror game. In fact, the game’s overall tone is mainly lighthearted humor. This came across with the demo’s boss battle, where Luigi faced off with an armored knight ghost. The setting was a faux gladiator arena where an audience of paper critters cheered the baddie on, creating at atmosphere that felt like it was right out of Paper Mario.
Of course, defeating the boss was serious business. There were multiple steps to this battle, requiring players to utilize many of Luigi’s tools. A charged Strobulb would stun the boss, the Suction Shot would remove his shield, and then the Poltergust would set up a series of slams. Even after he’s knocked off his horse, there’s still the matter of finishing the boss off, which isn’t easy because he’ll be armed with a sword.
There’s much more to Luigi’s next story, including content that goes beyond the single-player story. We didn’t get a chance to go hands-on with the game’s ScareScraper multiplayer this time around. But even if the game was just Luigi’s campaign, it looks to be an entertaining adventure bursting with personality and laughs.
Luigi’s Mansion is coming to Nintendo Switch later in 2019. Shacknews has been in the Los Angeles Convention Center all week, so for all the news and interviews from this year’s big show, be sure to check out our full E3 2019 coverage.