While there was plenty to get excited about in Nintendo’s busy E3 showcase, one notable absence came in the form of No More Heroes 3 – the latest entry in developer Grasshopper Manufacture’s cult-classic action-adventure series – which is coming to Switch in just a few short months. However, Nintendo has now made up for that no-show, sharing 20 minutes of new gameplay in a special Nintendo Treehouse livestream.
Announced back in 2019, No More Heroes 3 – which is set nine years after the events of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and two years after Travis Strikes Again – once again casts players as otaku and sometime-assassin Travis Touchdown. However, while previous games saw Travis murdering his way to the top of the United Assassins Association league, this third series entry ushers in a new threat, with players now charged with eliminating extraterrestrial enemies in order to reach number one in the Galactic Superhero Rankings.
As seen in Nintendo’s new “early look” at No More Heroes 3, the series’ wonderfully satisfying hack-and-slash action – built around Travis’ lightsaber-like Beam Katana – makes a return, with no obvious surprises where core mechanics are concerned. Players will again need to combine the likes of basic moves, heavy moves, kicks, blocks, and rolls to defeat enemies (motion controls are optional) with the likes of finishers and jackpot bonuses also returning.
In a brief video message, director Goichi “Suda51” Suda also confirmed that mini-game-style part-time jobs are back from earlier games (now known as Volunteer Missions) – enabling Travis to earn cash by mowing lawns, picking up rubbish, and more – and that it’ll be possible to visit different locations around the world by riding Travis’ motorcycle, the Demzamtiger.
In-between the action, players can return to the No More Heroes Hotel, which serves as their base of operations. Here, it’s possible to admire Travis’ slowly burgeoning capsule toy collection, play with his cat Jeane, change his outfits (owners of No More Heroes 1, 2, and Travis Strikes Back on Switch can unlock exclusive t-shirts), and more.
Notably, the lowest level of Travis’ abode contains facilities that can be used to replay bosses, to upgrade abilities by spending any earned currency, to order sushi that can be eaten mid-battle for the likes of health replenishment and attack boosts, and to add chips to Travis’ Death Glove, returning after its debut in Travis Strikes Back. Chips can be crafted using items acquired from downed enemies and grant passive bonuses, such as increased attack power.
After that tour of Travis’ pad, Nintendo wrapped up its No More Heroes 3 session with an outer space boss battle against magnetic robot Gold Joe – number 9 in the Galactic Superhero Rankings. Continuing the series’ penchant for inventive boss fights, defeating Gold Joe requires Travis to switch his magnetic polarity by stepping on special floor tiles. The aim is to acquire the opposite polarity to Joe’s in order to his repel him into the electrified fence around the ring.
It all looks to be business as usual for No More Heroes, then – which is great news for fans of the series’ stylish action, daffy humour, and, yes, occasional jank – and we’ll know how it ranks alongside its predecessors when it comes to Switch on 27th August.