Nintendo drops the official Metroid Prime 4 trailer fans have been waiting for the last 7 years


Highly anticipated: After a false start that cost two years of progress, Nintendo has finally dropped the first trailer for Metroid Prime 4, now subtitled “Beyond.” Aside from a newly designed ship, which only ever plays a small role in the games, not much has changed since Metroid Prime’s 2002 debut, but that’s not a bad thing. Plus, Nintendo might reveal some surprises before the game launches in 2025.

Metroid Prime fans said, “About time,” when today’s Nintendo Direct revealed the first gameplay trailer for Metroid Prime 4: Beyond. Nintendo teased the direct sequel during E3 2017 – 10 years after Metroid Prime 3: Corruption debuted and eight years after the trilogy compilation released.

The trailer has the traditional opening of the previous games. Samus lands her newly designed ship – that looks more like her helmet than ever – and emerges from the top. She somersaults to the ground as the camera transitions to first-person view. Most of the rest of the trailer is gameplay goodness.

However, those looking for groundbreaking gameplay won’t see it in the trailer. The teaser only shows standard Metroid Prime action – arm cannon, scanning, and morph ball. If Metroid Prime 4 holds any new surprises, Nintendo is saving them for later. That said, it does look graphically gorgeous, with nice shading effects giving it a more real-world look compared to the older titles.

It has been 17 years since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, so fans of the 3D first-person shooter were excited to hear MP4 was in the works in 2017, but that was seven years ago. What is taking so long? Aside from the obvious “better slow and steady than rushing out garbage” aspect, Nintendo had a development crisis about two years into production.

In 2018, Eurogamer confirmed rumors that Bandai Namco and Lucas Arts were helming Prime 4’s development. The news was surprising since Retro Studios had done a superb job converting the 2D platformer into a spectacular first-person shooter. As it turned out, Retro had been busy working on a Switch port for Metroid Prime.

About one year later, Nintendo’s Planning and Development Director Shinya Takahashi announced that the Bandai and Lucas Singapore studios had drastically departed from Retro’s winning formula. As such, Nintendo scrapped all work on the project.

“[We have decided to] reexamine the development structure itself and change it,” Takahashi-san explained.

Takahashi noted that this change included bringing back Retro Studios to head up development from scratch. However, the studio’s work on the Switch port took priority, adding to MP4’s delay. Fortunately, the wait is nearly over, with Nintendo signaling a vague release window of 2025.

While all of the Prime games are excellent standalone titles, those wanting to experience the trilogy for the first time before diving into Metroid Prime 4 might find it somewhat expensive. The cheapest way is to buy the Metroid Prime all-in-one trilogy, released in 2009. Check with game shops or pick it up on eBay for $70-$100. You’l also need a Wii console if you don’t have one. Fortunately, those are relatively affordable if you pick up a preowned console. They run about $20-$60 in auctions. It your want refurbished, be prepared to pay $75-$150 or more, depending on the bundle.

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