In 2019, Nintendo announced it had restarted the development of Metroid Prime 4, working alongside series veteran team, Retro Studios. This was nearly two years after the game was revealed at E3 2017, where only a logo was shown. Since then, Nintendo hasn’t said much about the game’s progress, likely so as to not disappoint fans like it did in 2019. In the meantime, Nintendo published Metroid Dread, a fantastic 2D entry in the mainline series. But what about Prime 4? When will it be finished? Is there a trailer for it? Here, we’ll break down everything we know about the upcoming first-person shooter.
When is the Metroid Prime 4 release date?
We still don’t know, but development for the game has been as rocky as it’s been opaque. After the 2017 announcement that Metroid Prime 4 was happening, Nintendo didn’t reveal anything for almost two years. Then, in a January 2019 production update, the company stated it was scrapping production and starting over with a new studio. Retro Studios, which developed the previous Metroid Prime games, is leading the charge on this one as well. While the news of Nintendo restarting development was disappointing, it was a relief Retro would be involved, since that team wasn’t initially slated to work on the project.
Here’s a key part of the official statement from Nintendo executive, Shinya Takahashi:
“We have decided to have the producer, Kensuke Tanabe, work in trust and collaboration with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios in the United States, and restart development from the beginning. We did not make this decision lightly. This change will essentially mean restarting development from the beginning, so the completion of the game will be delayed from our initial internal plan. We strongly recognize that this delay will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have been looking forward to the launch of Metroid Prime 4.”
That means you definitely shouldn’t expect Metroid Prime 4 to release any time soon. 2022 is possible, though the fact that Retro started staffing up in April 2019 suggests it could be even longer before the game arrives.
Is there a Metroid Prime 4 trailer?
Sort of. You can rewatch the initial announcement above. That’s all we have for now, but it’s possible Nintendo could reveal something new in 2022.
There’s also the aforementioned development update that was published in 2019, which can be seen above. Ultimately, Nintendo is concerned with the overall quality of this game, so it’s a good thing it was restarted.
What are the Metroid Prime platforms?
The game is expected to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive, but given the time frame, it’s possible it will launch for Nintendo’s next system — possibly as a cross-generational release like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
What will the Metroid Prime 4 gameplay be like?
It’s expected to be a first-person shooter, just like other Metroid Prime titles. The series began with 2002’s Metroid Prime for Gamecube and takes place in the same world as previous 2D platformer-style Metroid games. It’s unclear how 4 will change the formula for the Switch, but it’s possible Metroid Prime 4 could make use of the motion control Joy-Con controllers.
What is the Metroid Prime 4 story?
We don’t know much, but we do have a few ideas. In a 2015 interview, Nintendo game designer Kensuke Tanabe stated that “the stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done,” hinting that Metroid Prime 4 could explore a new story entirely. However, considering that development was subsequently scrapped and rebooted, we no longer know if that’s accurate. It’s possible the team wants to go in a completely new direction.
Nintendo also previously hinted that Metroid Prime 3 introduced Sylux, a rival bounty hunter who hates Samus. So the character is expected to play a major role in Metroid Prime 4. (This character previously appeared in the 2006 Nintendo DS title Metroid Prime Hunters.) Again, this info is years old, so whether it still holds up is unclear.
Is Metroid Prime 4 connected to Metroid Dread?
As we covered previously, it’s possible Metroid Dread will tie to Metroid Prime 4. The ending of Dread left the story open-ended enough, to the point where anything could happen. Technically, the Prime series takes place between the first two mainline Metroid installments, but who’s to say Nintendo has to stick to that time frame? It would be fascinating if Prime 4 picked up after the events of Dread, as Nintendo would have a lot of story material to work with.
Metroid Prime 4 is still in development for Nintendo Switch.
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