Rabbids Go Home Hands-On

The madness continues with Ubisoft's rabbid-infested action adventure game.

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The wacky and deranged rabbids are back on the Nintendo Wii, but instead of playing through a compilation of minigames, you're helping these crazy guys find a way to the moon by collecting a pile of junk. Described as a 3D driving action adventure, Rabbids Go Home has you steering your shopping cart around town, picking up everything that isn't nailed down. We had an opportunity to guide these hyperactive rabbids at a Ubisoft press event in Los Angeles, and we liked what we saw. It's a nice change of pace in terms of gameplay, and it retains the silly sense of humor the series is known for.

Dogs most certainly fall under the category of
Dogs most certainly fall under the category of "stuff."

The general story is that the rabbids want to reach the moon, and they think they can achieve that by simply compiling a large mound of miscellaneous items and climbing up there. Two levels were shown at the event: one was at a hospital in which you have to procure a bubblebed, and the other involved running through town trying to chase down a cow. The goal of the game is to collect everything and anything, whether it be garbage, hydrants, caution signs, clothes, pylons, or hospital bedding. Items that you can pick up are circled onscreen, but you can also scare the clothes off the humans you encounter by shaking the Wii Remote once and barking at them. Men (women?) dressed in over-inflated latex exterminator suits, also known as verminators, will try to foil your master plan, but you can dispose of them by yapping at them and popping their suits--yes, it's all very weird.

In the level titled Bubblebed Bonanza, we wandered through the sterile halls and rooms of a hospital, which had a lot of hazards that got in the way, like vicious dogs and tumbling carpet rolls. You'll have to maneuver your shopping cart around obstacles with the analog stick and hold A if you want to go faster. The cart can be unwieldy at times, especially if you have a bed or a cow sitting on top of it. There are some simple environmental puzzles to solve, but most of the level seems to be focused on exploring and grabbing as much stuff as you possibly can. A rabbid with a tuba acts as your checkpoint, so you can dump everything into the brass pipe before continuing. Once you've obtained the bubblebed, you can use it to float, so instead of being limited to pushing a cart around the entire time, you can explore and bounce across the rooftops. The end of the level is marked by a toilet in which everything you have collected gets flushed down and is stored safely with your main stash.

Cowtch Me If You Can is a time-based cow-chasing level in which you need to catch the elusive bovine but also grab as many items as you can from the level. There's a meter on the right side of the screen that indicates the distance between you and your ultimate target, so you can keep track of how far behind you are. The outdoor level is a nice contrast to the confined areas of the hospital, and you can go anywhere you want, even in the water, because your shopping cart has the added bonus of also functioning as a Jet Ski. Once we caught the cow, we had to wheel him to the toilet before the bomb he was carrying exploded, which got us one big piece of meat closer to the moon.

Beware of the verminators.
Beware of the verminators.

From the main menu we were able to access an area called "In ze wiimote," which was, literally, inside a Wii Remote--our remote, to be more precise. Our goofy rabbid stood there as we clicked on buttons, which moved onscreen above its head, and when we tilted our controller, the rabbid tumbled around in it. It was a lot of fun to just shake the remote wildly and torture the poor rabbid, and once we stopped, it stood up and wobbled around a little bit before returning to its starting position. This mode is where you're supposed to be able to customize your rabbid in a variety of getups. Ubisoft didn't show or share much beyond that, so we had to live with the fact that our rabbid was modeling a red-laced thong, which was what it was sporting while we played through the levels. Underwear is clearly a theme here, and you're going to see a lot of it when you scare the pants off the humans in the game.

Rabbids Go Home looks to be a great addition to the series, with good-looking 3D visuals and engaging gameplay. The game should have 40 missions by the time it's complete. It seems that these wacky, maniacal rabbids have found a home on Nintendo's console, so stay tuned for future updates, because we'll definitely meet up with these crazy characters again at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

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