Nintendo sure loves to tease us poor fans, don’t they? During their Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 presentation they announced Metroid Prime 4, but didn’t show anything aside from the game’s logo. No trailer, no screenshots, no information about the game’s story or how it plays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to know its finally coming, but I need more! More, more, more!
Well, it turns out Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe has been talking about Metroid Prime 4 for some time now, but nobody really noticed. People assumed he was just speaking hypothetically, but, as we now know, Metroid Prime 4 is real, and has probably been in development for at least a couple years. Suddenly, several interviews Tanabe did following the announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force in 2015 have taken on new meaning.
In a 2015 interview with Eurogamer, Tanabe says a new Metroid Prime game would likely be on the “Nintendo NX” (the early codename for the Switch) and discusses some potential gameplay mechanics.
“Instead of broadening it to more planets I would have one and would focus on the timeline, and being able to change that. That's one interesting idea I have in mind... but I understand many people thought that Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was too difficult."
He also gets into what he would want to do with the story…
“The stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done now. [We see] Sylux, another hunter from Metroid Prime Hunters at the end of Metroid Prime 3. Personally, I'd like to create a story cenetring around Sylux and Samus. We've done a story based on the Hunters, and [with Federation Force] we're doing a story on the Galactic Federation. I would like to cross the two over in the future. And of course, see more of Samus."
Hmmm! A time-travel mechanic? Characters from Metroid Prime Hunters? I’m not sure if that’s what fans are crying out for, but I’m sure Nintendo can make it work. Of course, a lot may have changed in the past couple years, but Nintendo often locks down their basic ideas early, so Tanabe’s words could still very well be accurate.
Metroid Prime 4 is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch. It doesn’t yet have a release date.