Having already gotten to go hands-on with one of the variously themed floors of Luigi’s Mansion 3’ssee dealLuigi's Mansion 3 Standard Edition – Nintendo Switch [Digital Code]$59.99on Amazon gargantuan hotel setting at E3 2019, I was excited to try out another at PAX West 2019. This time around, I got to do it with a co-op buddy (IGN’s Brian Malkiewicz dutifully took on the role of Nintendo icon Gooigi), and while there’s definitely plenty of fun and charm to be had when exploring with a friend, it also quite clearly makes puzzle solving speedier — when we weren’t getting in each other’s way.We played through a new level of the hotel; after seeing the more medieval-themed Luigi's Mansion 3 area at E3, this time around I played through an overgrown forest area, with a mischievous ghost causing the plant life to become hostile to poor Luigi. Thick branches overran staircases and columns, bunches of leaves hid buried treasure, and several plants tried to kill me with fruit. Showing off the variety that Luigi's Mansion 3 has in store, I love knowing not to expect from one area of the game to the next what I'll be encountering. And thankfully, things were a bit easier to survive with a co-op partner.
How Luigi’s Mansion 3 Co-Op Works
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has a competitive/cooperative multiplayer mode as well, the ScareScraper mode Nintendo unveiled at E3. But its full campaign is also available to play in co-op. While a single player has to summon the essence of Gooigi, temporarily take over his consciousness, and then revert back to Luigi to solve puzzles, co-op lets both characters run around concurrently all the time.
At least in the level I played, the camera never split to focus on both player characters, instead always keeping both in frame. We had a fairly forgiving but limited range of movement away from each other, meaning we could never travel too far. Thankfully, most areas of a level are a single room, or at best that room and a passageway underneath, so the camera limitation never felt that obtrusive to making progress.7 Disturbing Gooigi FactsOtherwise, players have the full range of skills they would as Luigi and Gooigi. The former has a higher heart count (99 vs. Gooigi’s 25), but the latter’s health regenerates over time. Both, meanwhile, can perform all the Luigi's Mansion 3 skills we learned about at E3, so no player has to feel like they're at a particularly noticeable gameplay deficit while hunting ghosts and secret treasure.
Is Luigi’s Mansion 3’s Campaign Co-op Fun?
Yes! The base of Nintendo’s fun, unique adventure series holds firm in co-op, with even more potential for wacky chaos. With hidden items to collect, secret extra compartments of rooms, and plenty of extra money to suck up with the Poltergust, having a co-op partner makes that process much quicker. We were able to divide and conquer a room, Gooigi scouring for coins while I scouted out any potential ghosts in the room, for example.
I rarely felt like we got in each other’s way with all of our vacuum-based ghost hunting. And while co-op seemed to make the experience, overall, a bit easier to blast through, it did offer a little more challenge during timed hazard moments in the level. A plant was spitting out spiked fruit at us as we tried to ascend a staircase — we either had to be in time to both avoid being hit…or let one of us lose most of his health on the way up.I also did definitely feel like, room to room, one player could end up having a little more fun than the other. Take for example a room with a buzzsaw you can suck into the Poltergust and then proceed to use to demolish everything. It’s a fun, havoc-inducing time. But it’s also only available for one player at a time, meaning you either have to share or be selfish.
Of course, there are some places where Gooigi can go that Luigi just can’t — down a drainpipe, for example. So there is a give and take if you or whoever is playing as Luigi takes more of the driver’s seat through a level. As I may have now and then…Luigi's Mansion 3 E3 2019It will likely depend on the type of player you and your co-op partner are for how fun Luigi’s Mansion 3’s cooperative mode will be. If you’re both meticulous searchers, looking for every hidden item and last coin, then it’ll probably be a great time saver to have someone helping you in that search. But if only one of you is, while the other is more focused on searching, you may find some extra tension there.
Overall, though, the charm of playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems to remain intact while playing co-op based on my brief experience with it, delivering on a unique kind of joy in causing mayhem, while also trying to survive, that playing alone didn’t capture for me in my last hands-on opportunity.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond! and a huge fan of the original Luigi's Mansion. Talk to him about it on Twitter @jmdornbush.If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, learn more.
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Luigi's Mansion 3
DeveloperN/APublisherNintendoRelease DateOctober 31, 2019PlatformsNintendo Switch