Today was the day that Nintendo finally announced Kirby and the Forgotten Land's release date, and fans couldn't be happier since it's only a few months away. It's been quite some time since Kirby got a mainline game entry that isn't solely focused on the series' combat, so fans have been patiently waiting for news about the Forgotten Land ever since it was announced late last year. Today's trailer showcases a handful of things included in the game, like a city of waddle dee NPCs and a fight between Kirby and Meta Knight.
While there's plenty to be excited about for Kirby and the Forgotten Land, perhaps the best thing from today's trailer is the confirmation that the game will be co-op. It's not currently clear to what end the game's co-op features will be; however, the fact that it's there at all paints a bright picture of what fans hoping to share the game can expect from the experience.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land's Co-op Potential
2021's It Takes Two highlighted just how fun co-op titles can be when players don't have the same ability sets as one another. In today's trailer for Kirby and the Forgotten Land, co-op gameplay was shown off, with one player controlling Kirby and their power duplication abilities while the other player took control of a Waddle Dee whose powers all revolve around the spear that they carry. While Kirby and the Forgotten Land isn't being billed as a co-op only adventure game, the playstyles between the two characters seem like they'll do a lot to help shape the fun of the game in a way that doesn't simply give the second player the exact same moves as the first.
This can help with the game's design as well. Although gamers of any experience level can play Kirby games, they tend to market themselves towards those on the less experienced side of things. Adding co-op to a game like that can do a lot to help less experienced players enjoy gaming while also allowing a teacher to play along with them. The asymmetrical design of having two characters with different powers can also help give the less experienced player a chance to learn the systems of the game if they're playing as Kirby. Player two will not be able to take care of everything for them given their differences in abilities.
Co-op and the Kirby series go a long way back, so it makes sense that Kirby and the Forgotten Land has co-op elements of its own. Plenty of fans speculated that the game would include co-op, but it was never clear what that would look like. Plenty of Nintendo games have co-op modes, but they aren't always integrated in ways that feel meaningful. For example, second players can take control of Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey which doesn't add anything meaningful to the experience for either player. Given how many different abilities Kirby can pick up, Kirby and the Forgotten Land opens the door for a vast amount of meaningful gameplay variety that could be improved by adding a second player who might be able to interact in ways with Kirby's powers that aren't available when they're not around.
With how well-integrated Kirby and the Forgotten Land's co-op seems to be from the limited view that was shown in the trailer, it seems as if it might be the next biggest co-op-focused game to launch on the Switch. If that's the case, then it might also be a great new game for experienced players to share with those less experienced who are looking to get into gaming through a proper co-op experience that allows both players to be in the driver's seat.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land launches for Nintendo Switch on March 25, 2022.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is revealed at a Nintendo Direct, and it will be a 3D game with a post-apocalyptic setting similar to other titles.