I think it’s safe to say that Metroid Prime 4 is a pretty highly anticipated game for many Nintendo fans. With just the briefest of teaser trailers shown at E3 2017, consisting of a fade-in logo and a few bars of the soundtrack, the hype was palatable. But we know absolutely nothing else on the game beyond speculation, even with regards to who is at the design helm. The only thing we do know is that a new team is working on it, which likely means the former Metroid Prime creators, Retro Studios, must be working on a different project. (I’m hoping for a Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze sequel).
So then who should tackle the monumental task of writing the next chapter of a series fans have been begging for? I remember Nintendo’s third-party splash image when they revealed the Switch. After scanning the names, I have plucked a few I believe would be great fits to take up the mantle of bringing Samus Aran back to our open arms.
One of the acclaims the Metroid Prime series has garnered is rave reviews for its atmospheric mood. Well, few other developers know how to deliver a dark tone like FromSoftware. The makers of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Armored Core are masters of mood-setting and know a thing or two about creating a fiendishly challenging environment. And let’s not forget all those epic and intimidating boss fights they’ve concocted. Can you imagine what kind of Ridley they could design? The only thing FromSoftware has been working on is additional content for Dark Souls III, so it’s possible Nintendo has acquired their services. We can only hope.
Now here’s a developer that has an interesting history with Nintendo. Remember Killer7 and No More Heroes? They were M-rated games that really pushed the limits of socially acceptable content, a rarity on a Nintendo platform. But the controversial studio also knows how to harness tight combat controls and fabricate interesting and memorable characters. Personally, I think the Metroid Prime games were a little too lonely for Samus. If Suda51 and the rest of the crew at Grasshopper can bring life to wacky characters such as those found in Lollipop Chainsaw and Shadows of the Damned, they can certainly spice up Metroid Prime with original oddities. They would be an interesting choice. Though it does appear that the team is currently working on a new No More Heroes game for the Switch, which is fine by me.
Getting back to tight controls, there’s arguably none tighter than those from the makers of Bayonetta. Nintendo is a stickler for precision in this area, and Metroid Prime would certainly be in good hands with PlatinumGames. Imagine Samus swinging with her grapple beam, taking down a Metroid as she does, then dropping into a Morph Ball as she lands to head down a narrow hatch. Clunky controls would make this scenario frustrating. Give the reins to PlatinumGames, and they’ll make sure it’s as smooth as Samus’ Zero Suit. They worked with Nintendo on Star Fox Zero; the highly acclaimed Nier: Automata is done and delivered; and Microsoft axed Scalebound, so PlatinumGames should be free and clear to tackle a big project.
None of the previous possible choices are very familiar with first-person shooters. Epic Games, on the other hand, gave us Unreal Tournament and all its glorious sequels, so they know a thing or two about the FPS genre. Plus, Nintendo has been touting the Switch’s compatibility with Epic’s Unreal 4 game engine, so what better way to highlight that partnership then by having Epic working Samus’ Arm Cannon? Plus, if Epic is at the helm, we may be able to dream about a multiplayer feature in Metroid Prime 4.
Image Credit: TorahimeMax