Luigi’s Mansion 3 hands-on preview: The best Nintendo game at E3 2019

Luigi's Mansion 3 Luigi

Luigi’s Mansion 3 feels quite similar to its two predecessors in the way that it’s designed, both technically and visually. However, the third adds new combat elements that will fundamentally change the experience. From slamming enemies to launching a suction cup to the addition of Gooigi, Luigi’s Mansion 3 has more than enough new elements to become the best in the series.

Detailed rooms

As I entered each room, the layouts confused me. They’re dense rooms that are heavily puzzle-based. Initially, though, they generally appear barren. After tinkering around with each new tool at my disposal, however, it became more clear how to traverse the puzzles.

The ability to switch between controlling Luigi and Gooigi affords you the ability to tackle two ends of a room at the same time. If lowering an elevator is necessary to get to a raised platform, utilizing the two different characters is the way to go. Similarly, using Gooigi’s spike invincibility is necessary to pass through various different platforms.

This new feature of manning Luigi and Gooigi adds another layer to the game entirely. It really feels like a co-op experience built into the single-player mode. The core gameplay is far deeper and more layered than the first two, and that’s an impression I held strongly after only one demo session.

Luigi's Mansion 3 basement

Fantastic combat

I particularly loved the new slamming ability. Slamming one enemy back and forth is an easy way to get rid of a ghost quickly. Slamming one enemy into another enemy, then into another enemy, is an option as well. The latter creates a dynamic flow to the combat, something not really seen in the franchise before. Sure, taking out ghosts has always been fun. But we’d not yet seen something as smooth and free-flowing as the new ability. And with the genuinely amazing controls, this added element is one of the more thrilling Luigi’s Mansion 3 features.

Besides slamming ghosts, the Suction Shot has been added to Luigi’s arsenal. It involves shooting a plunger at something and pulling it back, thus destroying the item. In addition to breaking various environmental elements, you can use the Suction Shot to snatch shields from enemies. It may sound easy, but a refined aim is necessary to disarm enemies of their protection. This plays into the boss I took on.

Promising difficulty

The Knight-inspired floor boss required putting each new skill to the test. After disarming the enemy by way of the Suction Shot, precise timing was key for doing damage. Given how tight of a space the fight took place in, actually hurting the other side did require a bit of struggle. Still, after barely dying my first time through, defeating the foe on my second attempt proved to be much easier. While sharp spikes in difficulty aren’t something either of the first two Luigi’s Mansion titles boast as selling points, this upcoming installment could very well change that.

What also stuck out to me, besides the puzzle solving and combat, were the visuals. The crisp, familiar art style is akin to the original installment on the GameCube but obviously benefits from running on more advanced hardware. The Switch doesn’t boast impressive graphical fidelity, but that doesn’t mean new games can’t look great. Luigi’s Mansion 3 proves that. Its colorful, distinct art style is simply gorgeous.

It truly feels like Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the complete package. Paired with an incredible art style are a wonderful, wacky combat system, co-op features, and a plethora of puzzle-solving. The game isn’t one I was that hot on before E3, but my time going hands-on with the title certainly changed my tune.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is set to launch sometime in 2019. Stay tuned for more coverage of the game from us here at Nintendo Enthusiast.

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Aric Sweeny
Former Editor-in-Chief, now staff writer here at NE. I'm an English student in California. Let's talk Pokémon.