Curve Studios, developer of the provocatively named Stealth Bastard (subsequently rebranded Stealth Inc. for its console releases), is giving Nintendo something it desperately needs: an exclusive title.
The studio's new game is a follow-up to Stealth Inc. and promises to be a much broader experience than its tightly focused predecessor. Rather than challenging the player with a series of one-off levels, Stealth Inc. 2 will be a more Metroidvania-esque experience, combining gear-gated progression with the quick-fire challenges the original was known for.
"We're taking the opportunity to address some of the things we wanted to address with the first game," explains Curve Studios' Jonathan Biddle. "One of the things we found is that the game is very intense -- people burn out on it because it's these short loops, and you can only do that for so long."
Instead of quick-fire levels, then, Stealth Inc. 2 will progress in a more gradual fashion. As you explore the facility you're infiltrating, you'll come across areas designed as testing grounds for new pieces of equipment; complete the relevant challenges and you'll be able to take that equipment elsewhere to unlock new areas to explore.
It'll be "Nintendo hard," too; Biddle notes that Nintendo is traditionally "painted as family-friendly and kid-friendly, but they like their games to be hard. They know that you get more satisfaction in defeating a challenge if there's a challenge." But in a nod to the company's family-friendly and kid-friendly nature, the new game will also incorporate the GamePad in a special cooperative mode -- though exactly what form that will take is yet to be revealed.
Why a Wii U exclusive, though? Well, Biddle and the team have previously worked with Nintendo on a number of occasions and were keen to work with them again; unfortunately, at the time discussions about getting the original Stealth Inc. on Wii U happened, the company was already preoccupied with bringing it to PlayStation. Instead, the companies reached a compromise: the sequel would be exclusive to Nintendo's platform.
"There's the point that while the Wii U hasn't sold in huge numbers, there are still a number of Wii U gamers out there and a very empty digital store," explained managing director Jason Perkins. "If we can capture a large percentage, albeit of a smaller market, it does make sense."
It's a brave move for Curve, then, but it's Wii U owners who will ultimately benefit; Stealth Inc. 2 is already sounding like a very promising new title -- the original was excellent -- and to have it exclusive to Wii U is a great scoop for Nintendo. Keep an eye out for it later in the year.