Super Mario Galaxy was a groundbreaking video game for a number of reasons, but one of the key innovations was the fact that a second player could join the fun even if they lacked the skill to control Mario's planet-hopping abilities. By connecting a second Wii Remote, the second, less-experienced player could help their partner by collecting stars and firing them at foes. It was a genius move that was perfectly in keeping with the Wii's family-friendly, inclusive stance.
Surprisingly, it would seem that Nintendo's design ideas have influenced a game that – thematically, at least – is about as far away from the world of Super Mario as you can get. Speaking during the Montreal International Game Summit, The Coalition's Rod Fergusson revealed that Super Mario Galaxy's co-op system inspired a similar mechanic within Gears 5, the latest instalment in the long-running Gears of War action series.
In Gears 5, a flying robot character called Jack can be controlled by a player in the game's co-op mode. Jack doesn't 'act' like the other characters in the game, and is mainly used in support roles – such as offering pathfinding advice or laying down mines to damage enemies. It's a gentle way to introduce newcomers to the game's mechanics without throwing them in at the deep end so they end up frustrating their more experienced allies.
Fergusson noted that Super Mario Galaxy was one of the key inspirations for this system, and added:
As we thought about how we would deal with this from a beginner's perspective, we realized that the best way to deal with things as a beginner is to do everything sort of counter to what is the core of Gears, So we purposely created this character whose abilities and movement were the exact opposite of what the main game is like, so that it would have a different way of playing.
Have you played Gears 5, and did you notice any parallels between it and Nintendo's Wii masterpiece?