Luigi's Mansion 3 is a charming game that improves upon its predecessors in almost every way.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is an action-adventure game that manages to improve upon its predecessors in almost every way, from having expansive levels that play with different genres, inventive boss battles, brain-wracking puzzles, and a living world that always keeps the player on their toes. Despite its name, Luigi's Mansion 3 is set in a massive hotel that resembles a skyscraper more than it does a mansion. Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach, and a group of toads are invited to stay at the Last Resort Hotel as part of their vacation. The invitation is a trap set by King Boo, who imprisons everyone except Luigi in magical portraits. It's up to Luigi to strap-on his ghost-hunting tools and free his family and friends from the clutches of the living dead.
Luigi's old friend Professor E. Gadd just happens to be in the hotel when all of these shenanigans go down and he is quick to equip Luigi with a new set of gear. Luigi can stun ghosts with a burst of light from his StroBulb, leaving them vulnerable to being sucked up by the Poltegust G-00 vacuum cleaner. The enemies quickly learn that they can block the StroBulb with different objects, so the player will need to find ways to disarm them using Luigi's other gadgets and special moves. The Last Resort Hotel could have been created by the Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil, as every floor is filled with puzzles that need to be solved by the player and these receive as much focus as the combat encounters in terms of gameplay. It's up to Luigi to explore the hotel in order to free his friends, which requires beating the bosses who possess the elevator buttons that are needed to ascend to higher floors.
One issue that the previous Luigi's Mansion games had was a lack of variety in their stages, as they rarely left the haunted houses that were integral to the setting. Luigi's Mansion 3 shakes things up by using a hotel as a setting and breaking each of the levels into different floors. The hotel is practically an amusement park, due to having themed-floors based on things like pirate ships, ancient Egyptian tombs, a '70s disco, and a medieval castle. These new stages are one of the main attractions in Luigi's Mansion 3 and they help differentiate the game from its predecessors in new and exciting ways. The rooms in the Last Resort Hotel are full of items to search for and puzzles to solve. The thrill of exploration never diminishes, due to the sheer number of collectibles and secrets that are hidden throughout the game. The Poltegust can be used to hoover up items in the environment and trashing an immaculately furnished room for treasure never stops being satisfying.
Luigi isn't alone this time around, as Gooigi the slime clone from the Nintendo 3DS port of Luigi's Mansion is back and has a major role in the game. Gooigi is a creature made from green sludge that Professor E. Gadd gives to Luigi at an early point in the game. The player can summon Gooigi at any time and can switch between both characters with the press of a button. Gooigi has different attributes than Luigi, as it can pass through metal grates and can squeeze through pipes in an unsettling manner. The trade-off is that Gooigi instantly melts upon contact with water and has significantly less health than Luigi. A lot of the puzzles in Luigi's Mansion 3 involve switching between the characters and it's possible for two players to take on most of the game in co-op mode playing as both Gooigi and Luigi. Gooigi's addition to Luigi's Mansion 3 is an inspired choice and it adds a new dimension to both the battles and the puzzles, as switching while under threat from attack offers many tense moments and the need to think on the fly, especially as several boss fights require both characters to work together.
The regular enemies in Luigi's Mansion 3 don't have much variety in their design and the player can expect to face the same handful of ghost types throughout the game. The difference between the enemies in this game and similar titles is how they factor into the environment. The ghosts in the Last Resort Hotel can always be found interacting with the items in the hotel and it makes the place feel lived in. It's not uncommon to be walking down a corridor and stumble across ghosts sweeping the floors, checking themselves out in the mirror, or playing games with each other. These little moments happen all the time in Luigi's Mansion 3 and it really makes it feel as if the world is a living cartoon that still exists after the console is switched off.
It's clear that a lot of care went into the designs of the bosses, as these offer the best battles in the game. The developers have made the most of the new location types to give Luigi all manner of different foes, ranging from a fight against a ghost wearing a kaiju monster outfit on a huge model of a city, a shark with the power to possess the pirate ship that Luigi is standing on, and a buff swimmer who can melt Gooigi with a single spray of water from his lips. These battles are a lot of fun and working out the different tricks to beating the bosses will keep the player using their entire arsenal of gadgets until the end of the game.
One issue that Luigi's Mansion 3 has is with its difficulty, as most of the regular enemies in the game don't pose much of a challenge and the boss fights can end quickly once the player works out their weak points. The puzzles are generally well-thought-out, but it's possible to brute force some of them with the limited options available to the player at any time. Luigi's Mansion 3 isn't as forgiving as Yoshi's Crafted World, but a few extra difficulty options would have helped to liven up the combat encounters.
Luigi's Mansion 3 has local and online multiplayer modes and these are enjoyable, but there isn't much variety to them at the moment. The ScreamPark mode has three competitive minigames and the ScareScraper mode is about capturing as many ghosts as possible in a short period of time. The multiplayer might offer a fun diversion for a while, but the lack of modes prevents it from being a major selling point of the game. It has been revealed that Luigi's Mansion 3 will have DLC for multiplayer modes in the future, so it's possible that this aspect of the game will be improved later on, but there isn't much there at launch.
Luigi's Mansion 3 has better bosses and puzzles than its predecessors and there is never a dull moment to be had when exploring the Last Resort Hotel. It was easy to write off the earlier Luigi's Mansion games as filler titles that were released between the real Super Mario Bros. games, but Luigi's Mansion 3 proves that the franchise can stand on its own two feet and provide one of the best games available on the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Luigi's Mansion 3 will be released for Nintendo Switch on October 31, 2019. A code for the game was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.