Following a more than five-year drought since the last Metroid game, Nintendo is bringing back their space adventure franchise with what looks to be a multiplayer-centric first-person game that, at least from its debut trailer, doesn’t feature much (or any?) of Samus Aran.
The game is called Metroid Prime Federation Force. The trailer showed three masked soldiers running around on an alien planet. A tagline indicated that the game features four-player co-op missions set in the “Metroid Prime Universe,” a somewhat puzzling reference given that, until now, it’s been assumed that all Metroid games take place in the same franchise universe.
The trailer also showed a mode called Metroid Prime Blastball, which looks like a sport. Nintendo sneakily debuted that part of MPFF on Sunday during the company’s World Championships tournament. As best we can tell, Blastball supports 3 on 3 matches.
The game is set for release on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.
If you at all think this is weird, you’re not alone. The most recent Metroid Prime was 2007’s Metroid Prime 3, the third of an acclaimed trilogy of first-person adventure games from Retro Studios. In recent years, Metroid has risen to the top of the list of Weirdly Neglected Nintendo Franchises, but Nintendo’s top two men in charge of game development told me last year that they were hoping to speak soon about the future of the 2D and 3D branches of the Metroid series. We are hoping to deduce what in the world this new game is as E3 progresses.
Hopefully it’s as cool as it is baffling.