If there were any lingering questions of what a 1930s Steamboat Willie-style video game would look like, it’s Cuphead. Studio MDHR has revealed the first platforming gameplay for its new game, and it looks like a Depression-era Mega Man.
Before this trailer, many were wondering if the gameplay would solely revolve around boss fights, as previous trailers had shown. Seeing actual Mega Man-style run-and-gun gameplay should put many worries to rest. Much like in Mega Man, enemies will follow patterns, and players must memorize those patterns and adapt accordingly. Your character also has some new never before seen moves, like a giant blast and a dash. Using this in conjunction with jumping on enemies should make Cuphead a speedrun-friendly game.
Cuphead has adopted an animation style most reminiscent of Fleischer Studios, which gave us Betty Boop and Popeye. Studio MDHR has painstakingly hand drawn and hand inked every frame of animation. It’s really the only way to get the desired effect the team is going for. That means that for every enemy you see bouncing around, each one of those frames was hand made. This, of course, has led to a prolonged development schedule. Cuphead was first announced at E3 2014, but development started as early as 2010.
The team is relatively small and is being headed by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. The team has steadily grown to 16 members, most of which are on the animation end.
When Studio MDHR first showed off Cuphead, the team stated that they would like to release it on the Sega Master System. It’s uncertain if that will still come to fruition, but Cuphead is set to launch sometime this year for Xbox One and PC via Steam.