Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is the upcoming sequel to the most bizarre collaboration in gaming since Kingdom Hearts meshed Disney and Final Fantasy. Ubisoft’s purposefully annoying Rabbids franchise and Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario series clashed in 2017’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and it was met with open arms and considerable acclaim.
It successfully combined strategic combat, crass humor and Mario’s charming visual style. Now, its sequel will be taking players to space and have them face off against a new foe across diverse worlds. Here’s everything we know about Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, including information on its release date, gameplay, story, setting and more.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope release date
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is set to launch in 2022. Exact dates have not been specified, but a 2022 launch makes sense considering the original game came out five years prior. Ubisoft’s first quarter of 2022 is occupied by Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Extraction and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake, so Sparks of Hope likely won’t launch early next year.
Ubisoft holds its Forward events throughout the year, so it’s possible we’ll see more footage of Mario + Rabbids soon. This could also be when it’ll be given a specific release date.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope gameplay
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will have players control a party of three characters, traversing vibrant worlds with turn-based combat scenarios plotted throughout the journey. To emerge victorious, players will have to utilize their ability to dash attack, team jump and activate special moves. With the dash attack, characters can use their limited movement to run through enemies and deal a set amount of damage. And with team jump, characters can use each other as trampolines to reach higher ground or cross gaps.
Characters like Mario can even deal damage with a team jump by landing on an enemy’s head. Each character gets special moves, with Luigi able to autoshoot an enemy that takes a move action in his line of sight. Mario can also provide a buff to his party members that boosts their damage, assuming they’re close enough to him.
Each character can be customized with their own primary and secondary weapons. For example, Mario used both a blaster and a hammer to whack enemies, whereas Luigi boasts a long-range sniper and an explosive robot that follows enemies to their doom. Players purchase new versions of these weapons with gold coins, and each comes with modifiers that can glue enemies down with honey or make them bounce away from you.
In Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, combat movement is changing drastically. Players will no longer select where they move with a cursor, instead having the ability to freely move them on the battlefield. Kingdom Battle had the players moving through linear paths with forced encounters plotted along them. Sparks of Hope seems to feature open areas with enemies placed around the world that will throw you into an instanced fight if they come into contact with you. This is rather exciting, as it will encourage exploration and allow the player to avoid fights if they want to.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope story
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle begins with a genius inventor having a powerful technology she created inadvertently stolen by Rabbids. Her loyal robot companion, Beep-0, is sucked into a wormhole that launches him into an alternate dimension where Mario and his friends reside. With this technology, a confused Rabbid accidentally meshes a number of different characters from the Mario universe with his own kind, which is what causes the Mario + Rabbid hybrid monstrosity to run rampant.
In Sparks of Hope, players soar into space when the Luma from Super Mario Galaxy and Rabbids begin to mesh together to create Sparks. Now, a dangerous villain by the name of Cursa is on a mission to consume as many Sparks as they can with the hope of taking over the universe.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope trailer
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope has received two trailers. The first is a pre-rendered cinematic showing how the DNA between Luma and Rabbids has somehow crossed, creating the titular Sparks. Suddenly, the boney hands of a mysterious figure crushes some Sparks in a projection. Our heroes then head to the armory, pick up their weapons, and get ready to save the universe.
Rabbid Rosalina is revealed shortly afterward, and as our heroes step out of their ship onto a mysterious planet, we see each has an elemental Spark floating above them. Rabbid Rosalina’s Spark is icy blue, Rabbid Peach’s Spark is fiery red, and Mario’s Spark is glittering with yellow dust. A slew of baddies surround our heroes, which is when they all gather together for a big fight, and the title screen is shown.
Sparks of Hope’s second trailer gives fans a taste of what they can expect from the game. Unlike its predecessor, it will feature open areas that let players explore it non-linearly. Instead of battles happening at key moments on a forced path, it seems getting too close to a roaming enemy will cause it to follow you. If that enemy makes contact with your party, it’ll throw you into an instance and force you to battle them. Another key difference is that you will no longer select where you want to move on the battlefield. Instead, you’ll use the joystick to freely move your character across the arena.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope characters
Mario + Rabbids puts the player in control of characters from the Super Mario series, including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Yoshi as playable characters. There are also an equal number of Rabbids, each dressed up as the iconic characters but with “Rabbid” in front of their name. Players could have a team of up to three of these characters, and the game starts with Mario, Rabbid Luigi, and Rabbid Peach in the party.
Sparks of Hope will feature new playable characters, with Rabbid Rosalina appearing in the game’s reveal trailer, likely implying that Rosalina will also be playable. There’s also the titular Sparks, which are the result of Luma and Rabbids merging together; these are used to assist players in battle.
According to the Sparks of Hope website, there will be “9 heroes to build your dream team.” This number is strange considering each Mario character usually has a playable Rabbid counterpart. It’s possible that the mysterious Rabbid standing alongside our heroes in promotional material will be the ninth character that breaks this trend.