Just Another Videogame Blog: Metroid Prime 4

On June 13, 2017, I was sitting in my car watching Nintendo’s E3 Direct. It was hot, and I’m not sure why I didn’t just find a corner at the courthouse I was working in at the time to watch it, but oh well. Anyway, I can still remember the excitement when I realized the tease I was seeing was Metroid related. And then even more excitement when I realized it was a new entry in the Metroid Prime series.

So long ago…

I’ve been a Metroid fan for most of my gaming life, and in 2017, the most recent entry in the series was Metroid: Other M. I have thoughts on that title here and here. Long story short, it left a sour taste in my mouth.

News regarding Prime 4 simply didn’t exist following the announcement trailer. Nothing was mentioned in Nintendo’s 2018 E3 Direct, nor were any specific updates given. On January 25, 2019, a video was uploaded to Nintendo’s YouTube account stating that due to disappointment in how Prime 4 was coming along, development was being completely restarted with Retro Studios, who had developed the original trilogy (I’m not certain that it’s been proven, but by all accounts, Namco Bandai was originally tasked with developing Prime 4, why Nintendo didn’t go back to Retro from the beginning is a mystery to me).

Once again, this announcement was the last bit of specific news Nintendo would provide on Prime 4 for quite some time. It was mentioned in a 2021 Direct right before the reveal of the stellar Metroid Dread, but this mention was merely a note that it was still in development.

Since then, many of us have anticipated each new Direct presentation, hoping we’d finally see the game that we’d been excited for since 2017. Very truthfully, my assumption was that it was being shifted to the successor to the Switch and we’d not see it until that system was announced in either late 2024 or early 2025. Enter June 18, 2024.

I again found myself in a courthouse, but this time I just streamed Nintendo’s summer Direct (again, I’m not sure why I didn’t do this the first time). It was a fine Direct, and I couldn’t help but get a bit more excited with every new announcement. Once the final preview started, I steeled myself for once again not seeing this game. But then the text, “Galactic Federation Research Facility” came up, and I knew we were finally seeing Metroid Prime 4.

I’ll admit to being a bit surprised that it’s not been shifted to the Switch 2, but regardless, it looks amazing and I can’t wait to play this game. My best guess (which is wildly uninformed) is that it’ll get the Breath of the Wild and Twilight Princess treatment and get a dual release (unless the Switch 2 is backwards compatible, which is what I’m hoping for). Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. There are very few games I get at launch as an adult. My time is more limited than it used to be, and my backlog is kind of ridiculous. Metroid Prime 4, though, will be one of those games. And call me foolishly optimistic, but I’ll very surprised if I don’t fall in love with it immediately.