Metroid Prime 4 is arguably one of the most hotly-anticipated titles we actually know very little about. But don’t worry, you’re in luck: we’ve sifted through Metroid Prime 4 rumors and interviews to try and find the hidden truth behind what, right now, amounts to nothing more than a logo and ravenous Nintendo fanboys. Is a potential Metroid Prime 4 release date in the offing, and what can we expect from the story? We don’t even know who the developers are yet, either. All of those head-scratching quandaries, and more are covered in our Metroid Prime 4 guide for Nintendo Switch.
Metroid Prime 4 Release Date
Here’s the good news: the Nintendo Switch still hasn’t even reached its second birthday. That means a potential Metroid Prime 4 release date will not be shackled by the specter of a new console generation. However, we can safely say it’s not coming until the latter half of 2019 at the very earliest. During an interview with Game Informer, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has stated that the company will focus on games that are launching in “the first half of ”, hence the lack of official Metroid Prime 4 details. But there is no need to panic: “Rest assured, Metroid Prime 4 is still in development and proceeding well,” confirms Fils-Aime.
Metroid Prime 4 Developer
While Retro Studios developed Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, and Metroid Prime 3, Nintendo confirmed that Retro won’t be behind the wheels for Metroid Prime 4. The teaser trailer from E3 2017 sadly doesn’t give any indication as to who is developing the newest entry of Nintendo’s prime first-person-shooter series. Just who is developing Metroid Prime 4? Despite a lack of official word from Nintendo, there have been a few rumors circling regarding this very question. Longtime series producer Kensuke Tanabe is the game’s director. There are a few possibilities of who is developing the game under his tutelage, but one studio seems more likely than the rest.
A Eurogamer report from back in February earlier this year suggested that it is Bandai Namco Studios Singapore developing Metroid Prime 4. This studio houses many staff who were laid off by LucasArts Singapore, who was helping create the now-canceled Star Wars 1313. Nintendo has worked with Bandai Namco plenty of times, more recently with Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, and Pokken Tournament. The game is in good hands should Bandai Namco prove to be the development studio behind it.
The report states that Eurogamer had various sources tell them that Bandai is developing the much-anticipated sequel. Around the time of the game’s announcement, too, various Bandai Namco staff were stating that they were working on an “ambitious AAA title” and a “very interesting unannounced project.” A lead designer took to LinkedIn (found by PressStart) to expand their profile with having worked on a “First Person Shooter/Adventure Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.” As of writing, a first-person-shooter/adventure Switch exclusive has not released. It reads an awful lot like Metroid Prime 4, too, if you ask us. It’s highly possible that Bandai Namco is working on the title alongside an in-house development studio at Nintendo.
Metroid Prime 4 Gameplay
Metroid Prime 4 will very much be headed down the path first carved out by Retro Studios. That means it’ll eschew a 2D-style of gameplay, as well as rejecting a return to third-person. This is going to be a “first-person adventure.” Don’t take my word for it: here’s Reggie Fils-Aime on the matter:
We interviewed Reggie:
*Metroid Prime 4 will be “a first-person adventure”
*Pokemon RPG “a traditional find, battle, train type experience”
— Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) 14 June 2017
That’s… pretty conclusive. Metroid Prime 4 is going to be a first-person game in the mold of the original Metroid Prime trilogy. Here’s hoping the visor HUD makes a comeback, too.
Metroid Prime 4 Multiplayer
The Metroid Prime series is known for its atmospheric exploration, platforming, and shooting singleplayer gameplay. Despite this, Retro Studios has thrown multiplayer into the mix on a couple of occasions. Metroid Prime 2 featured a split-screen arena multiplayer mode for up to four players back on the Gamecube, and Metroid Prime Hunters is perhaps more known for its strong multiplayer offering than its singleplayer campaign. More recently, too, Metroid Prime Federation Force gave gamers a taste of co-op Metroid gameplay on the 3DS.
While the game will be developed with its singleplayer firmly in mind, there is a chance that it could feature a multiplayer mode of some variety. The Switch is perfect for local multiplayer and comes with two controllers out of the box, perhaps this could allow for a multiplayer mode to materialize in Metroid Prime 4. Nintendo could use the game as a way to sell more subscriptions to its Nintendo Switch Online Service, too. With online shooters and battle royale modes on the rise, Nintendo could potentially look to stake a claim of that juicy pie with Metroid Prime 4. Thanks to Federation Force, there is even potential for Metroid Prime 4 co-op. It works well in the 3DS game, so why couldn’t it work on the Switch, too?
We’ll learn all there is to know about Metroid Prime 4 multiplayer when Nintendo announce it one way or the other and update this post accordingly.
Metroid Prime 4 Story
Unfortunately, Nintendo hasn’t announced, or teased any story details of Metroid Prime 4 as of writing. Spoilers follow: Metroid Prime 3 ended with Samus Aran flying off into hyperspace, with Sylux following her in his ship. Sylux, for the unaware, was one of the six bounty hunters you had to take out in Metroid Prime Hunters. He strongly dislikes Samus and the Federation of which she often works for. Metroid Prime 4 could potentially see Samus facing off against Sylux once again, perhaps in a completely new environment.
Speaking to Eurogamer back in 2015, Tanabe explained that he had plenty of ideas of where to take Metroid Prime next. He confirmed that “the stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done now”, adding that he’d like to focus on the Federation and Sylux in the future. Nintendo will no doubt confirm Metroid Prime story details in future updates, and with a potential 2019 release date, we might not be too far from learning more.