Metroid Prime 4 was first announced in June 2017, but very little is known about the title yet. Originally intended to be produced with Bandai Namco, Nintendo restarted production of the game under Retro Studios in 2019. The move delayed the game’s release indefinitely, but means Nintendo is taking its development seriously. The fourth entry in any series can be touch, so Metroid Prime 4 could learn a lot from another series that is preparing a post-trilogy sequel: CD Projekt Red‘s Witcher 4.
confirmation of The Witcher 4 took the gaming world by surprise when CDPR released a teaser for the game on Twitter last month. The ensuing hype is testament to the love gamers have for this franchise, especially given how little detail is provided. From what we know, it looks like the series is moving in the right direction. Witcher 4 will be made in Unreal Engine 5, it will not be an Epic Games Store exclusive, and it will mark the start of a new saga. Metroid Prime 4 would do well to take notes.
Leave numbered entries behind
The first and perhaps the simplest change in meaning made to the Witcher is his team’s decision to remove the “4” from the title. Despite references to him being “The Witcher 4“until a suitable title is revealed, CDPR has only called it “the next episode of the witcher series.” Studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski said the team designed the Witcher games as a trilogy, so this new title will likely favor a subtitle instead. The following Metroid Prime the game should also do this, given the Metroid Prime trilogy provided a decisive conclusion. A great way to escape the limitations of previous games is to remove the numbered entries and treat each game as a standalone title.
Additionally, a fourth Metroid Prime The game should use new characters to tell its story and establish a new identity. Dark Samus, the Ing, and the Luminoth were all compelling in-universe characters, but a new title creates opportunities for new characters, much like the next one. Witcher will start to drift away from Geralt. Considering the rich lore of these two game series, it shouldn’t be difficult to introduce new characters into the picture.
Integrate new alliances
One of the biggest developments regarding the next Witcher game is the inclusion of a new school. The teaser image posted on CD Projekt Red’s Twitter showed a medallion in the shape of a lynx’s head. It means a departure from Geralt’s familiar wolf school, and metroid could do something similar. Retro Studios has done a great job expanding Samus’ bounty hunter background to include other hunters: Rundas, Trace, Weavel, and Gandrayda, to name a few. The fourth game would be a great opportunity to continue developing this aspect of the universe. This makes even more sense given the 100% ending of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption which shows Sylux, another bounty hunter, chasing after Samus.
When a trilogy does well, its developers are faced with the question of where to take their characters next. the Prime the trilogy was a landmark series that redefined what gamers knew about metroid and brings intellectual property into a new genre. Likewise, the Witcher turned the rich written works of Andrzej Sapkowski into a series of plays, moving through mediums. There are always opportunities to remaster the Prime games, but as these series both approach their fourth entry, developers at their respective studios will need to work diligently to ensure success. There’s a lot to lose for Retro Studios and CD Projekt Red, but there’s also a lot to gain through reinvention and innovation.
Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch.
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