You know, it’s kind of tough being a Metroid fan. Unlike Nintendo’s other major franchises, Metroid hardly ever gets any attention anymore. I mean, there hasn’t been a proper Metroid game at all since Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. That was 4 years ago now. There hasn’t been a console Metroid game since Metroid: Other M on the Wii, and that was 11 years ago! So long! (Too long!)
It’s not like the story is over. Both Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid Fusion left space for a sequel, on that we’ll supposedly be getting in Metroid Prime 4. Still, it’s been 2 years since we last heard anything about it. I get the feeling that it needs to be a hit too, otherwise Nintendo’s blasé attitude towards the franchise might turn into outright hostile. So, what should this game look like? Well, I have some ideas.
Continue the Metroid Fusion Story
Yeah, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption showed Samus getting pursued by another bounty hunter, but we already know that she’ll win their confrontation. The Metroid Prime games take place before Super Metroid, so we know that Samuis is going to come out of it okay. What Retro Studios should do is fold that bounty hunter confrontation into the aftermath of Metroid Fusion.
By the end of that game, Samus is on the run from just about everyone. She’s the perfect target for another bounty hunter now that she no longer has the backing of the Galactic Federation, so it would be the perfect time for this story to play out. What’s more, Fusion is the most recent chapter in Samus’ story, so just about anything could happen. In short, there are some very exciting opportunities here!
First Person Exploration Please!
First-person combat and exploration is the defining hallmark of the Prime series, and it’s the direction the series should have kept going in. I’m pretty sure that Metroid: Other M’s utter awkwardness proved that (among a few other things). Give us multiple planets to explore like in Metroid Prime 3, but make them bigger! Give us more tools to play around with! Leverage the Joy-Con’s special features! Most importantly though, bring back that sublime sense of isolation that made the original series so immersive.
Humanize Samus (properly)
Samus’ current situation is the perfect foundation for a more desperate, forlorn kind of story. With the Adam AI serving in a role similar to Halo’s Cortana, this is the perfect chance to get Samus’ real-time thoughts and impressions as she works her way through her adventure. What Metroid: Other M tried do (badly) with loads of exposition, flashbacks, and out of character moments, Metroid Prime 4 could do naturally through (brief) exchanges between Samus and Adam. We don’t need to delve into her past too much. Rather, let us see how she really reacts in the moment!
Honestly, I’m not too worried about how Metroid Prime 4 will turn out. It’s back in Retro Studios’ hands, and they’re likely to do everything they can to make it the best game possible. After all, the Metroid Prime series is what put them on the map, it really wouldn’t look good if they turned out Metroid: Other M-style mess. All the stuff I’ve listed here is just what I’m hoping to see. Here’s hoping that we don’t have to wait too much longer to play it.
What do you want to see in Metroid Prime 4? What are you hoping Retro Studios will avoid?
image from Metroid Prime 4 announcement trailer