Written by Jason Palazini
One of the best surprises to come out this year’s E3 conference was Nintendo’s reveal of Metroid Prime 4. After a decade long absence of the Metroid Prime series, Samus will finally be returning the re-imagining that brought new life to the classic series. While the new addition to the series is in very early stages of development, there’s plenty to be excited about.
The trailer gives us nothing more than a dramatic logo reveal, but Nintendo has offered the following tidbits, of information:
- Metroid Prime 4 will be a fully fledged sequel built for Switch
- Retro Studios, developers behind the original trilogy, will not be involved in the development. But original producer, Kensuke Tanabe will be working the new sequel, presumably ensuring that it stays true to what fans love while updating it for a new generation.
There are so many new directions that the series can go, but let’s dive into just a couple of plot and mechanic ideas.
Introduce Elemental Effects and Deeper Scanning Mechanics
Samus Aran’s trademark arm cannon and visual HUD were loaded with valuable information, but have a deeper untouched potential. The arm cannon has seen many different modes and ammunition types throughout the Prime Trilogy: charge beam, missiles, dark beam, ice beam, plasma beam, etc.
With few exceptions, beam types had little impact on how a standard enemy could be defeated. The beam type players used would depend primarily on puzzle solving, or specific to the region they were in, throwing in the occasional missiles in instances that involved breaking through enemy armor. But I would like to see the scan function of the HUD introduce scanning enemy weak spots and susceptibility to particular beam forms. While this is a seemingly small change, it would certainly put additional pressure on players by attacked by multiple enemy types; scanning, learning, and changing beam types on the fly will added to the intensity of the game.
Metroid Prime introduced us to the ruins of the Chozo civilization. While fans will recognize that these statues have appeared before in other games, Prime added a great deal of lore with the HUD scan. The added sense of mystery made exploring the three-dimensional Metroid universe far more engrossing.
With so many possible civilizations to explore, thriving, developing, ruined, or otherwise, the story possibilities are endless.
The Return of Classic Villains
It’s hard to forget the excitement of battling Meta Ridley in a 3D environment for the first time. Fights of that caliber are what actions games are made for. It would be incredible to see Ridley return, but after three games, we’re still missing a series favorite.
Kraid. The high ranking space pirate first appeared in the original Metroid but has been fairly scarce sense. We’ve seen Ridley in a few titles now, but as one of the largest enemies Samus has ever fought, it’s high-time the over-exaggerated alligator towered over players in an uneven fight to the death.
Sylux as a Villian
Sylux is a little known character as he first appeared as in the Nintendo DS game Metroid Prime: Hunters, but in the past, producer Kensuke Tanabe has expressed interest in diving more into the story of Sylux.
It’s apparent that Sylux and Samus have an unexplored history, as Sylux hates the titular protagonist. Equally as mysterious, the weapon that Sylux is in possession of has been described as an “experimental Federation-made weapon”. Could it have been that Sylux was once a part of the Federation and hold Samus responsible for being expelled? Pending a much needed visual update, I’m excited to learn more.
Optional Motion Controls
Personally, I enjoyed the motion controls and the immersive effect they had in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. I would happily see them return, but the Switch console’s portability would limit where and when you could play Metroid Prime 4. It would be great to see the developer setup control scheme options, swapping between motion and classic controls to fit the environments we choose to game in.
Write in the comments and let us know what features you’re dreaming of for the grand return of Samus Aran.