When Nintendo gave its special E3 Nintendo Direct broadcast last month, many fans were hoping for a new Metroid game to be announced. And it was – kind of.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a 4-player co-op shooter, a far cry from the single-player adventure games that fans have come to know and love. Moreover, it doesn’t feature Metroid‘s famous protagonist – Samus Aran – at all.
The reaction was immediate, and vitrilolic. Thousands of fans accused Nintendo of simply slapping the Metroid name on the game simply in an attempt to cash in on the brand. A petition was even created, in an attempt to force Nintendo to cancel the game, and the trailer on Nintendo’s official Youtube channel amassed over 50,000 dislikes in just a few short days.
But Metroid lead, Kensuke Tanabe, doesn’t seem phased by the negative reaction, and has been defended the game in an interview with Eurogamer.
“[Metroid Prime: Federation Force] is an attempt to expand the Metroid universe,” Tanabe explained. “As you can play with up to four players it wouldn’t make sense to play as four Samus characters!
“The game will be focused on co-op, working together as a team with up to four players. And obviously it is available as a single-player experience as well.”
Tanabe explained that he had been wanting to expand the Metroid series beyond the confines of Samus’ adventures for a long time: “I’ve always been thinking about having a battle between the Galactic Federation and Space Pirates,” he explained.
And that appears to be exactly the theme that Federation Force explores, its story revolving around an effort by the Galactic Federation to retake a planet from the Space Pirates, who are building a superweapon to use against the Federation.
As to where the new game fits in the Metroid timeline, Tanabe confirmed that Federation Force is set during the same rough time period as the other Prime games, which were released for Nintendo’s Gamecube between 2002-2007 (including DS game Hunters), and then later re-released as a trilogy with motion controls for the Wii.
“The Metroid Prime series first between Metroid 2 and Super Metroid, as you may be aware,” Tanabe explained. “So it falls under that same timeline, but looking at it from a different perspective.”
The existence of Federation Force doesn’t mean that Metroid Prime 4 won’t happen however – fans will just have to wait a bit longer. We recently reported that the next mainline Metroid game will likely not materialize until the release of Nintendo’s NX system, which is due for a reveal sometime in 2016.
What do you think? Are you willing to give Federation Force the benefit of the doubt until you’ve been able to play it for yourself? Or would you rather that Tanabe and Nintendo had focused their efforts on a “proper” single-player outing for Samus, either on Wii U or 3DS?