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Metroid Prime 4: everything we know so far about the return of Samus

Metroid Prime 4
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Metroid Prime 4 is still an elusive beast. It's been over 10 years since we last joined Samus for a ball-rolling, arm cannon-blasting adventure. Metroid fans are really feeling out of the loop now, as we've had no update since January 2019 on the title. 

Metroid Prime 4 was officially announced during Nintendo’s livestream at E3 back in 2017 with a 42-second teaser trailer. It didn't really reveal anything, but definitely got the hype train up and running with a full passenger load. 

The next update for the game came in January 2019, when Nintendo posted an update in the form of a video from senior managing executive officer, Shinya Takahashi, who revealed that the current project was being scrapped and restarted with Texas-based Retro Studios at the helm. That might mean the release of Metroid Prime 4 might still feel like it’s lightyears away, but knowing Nintendo wants to do the series justice and deliver something worthy of all the passionate Metroid fans out there means it’ll undoubtedly be worth the wait. So, while you sit it out for the famous space-faring bounty hunter to return, take a look below to see everything we know so far about Metroid Prime 4. 

The Metroid Prime 4 release date is anyone's guess

Since 2017, everyone’s been waiting on a confirmed Metroid Prime 4 release date. But all hopes were dashed with the recent update in January, which informed fans everywhere that the current development of Metroid Prime 4  wasn’t meeting the standards Nintendo was hoping for. As a result, Takahashi told us all what everyone feared. It was being scrapped and restarted. In the video, Takahashi said, “it will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress, and the development time will be extensive.” The keyword here is “extensive”, which spells that we’re in for a long wait to finally see Samus land onto the Switch. It's probably going to be at the very least a year before we hear anything more, if at all, about the new direction of the game - and even then, that's being pretty optimistic. All we can say for certain is, it'll be quite a long time before we get any semblance of an official release date. 

The first Metroid Prime Trailer was short and sweet

Yes, we did actually get a trailer, but as we mentioned above, it didn't reveal anything. It didn't even give tell us who the developers were way back when. Really, it was just a hype machine, but we can still remember the chills we got when the title emerged and it officially set us on the path towards reuniting with Samus Aran. All good things come to those who wait, as the saying goes. 

Metroid Prime 4 is now being developed by Retro Studios, which is a good thing

Even though the recent update left many feeling disappointed, bringing Retro Studios on board is a very good thing, and this do-over will likely deliver us the next Metroid game we've all been waiting for in true form. Retro studio's were behind the stellar Metroid Prime trilogy on the Gamecube and Wii, so this is really Retro’s home turf. Having this studio steer the ship for the next game in the series just makes sense. If anyone will do Samus justice, it’s Retro. 

Metroid Prime Story - what could happen? 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's hard to say when development is starting over and nothing has been revealed, or even hinted at so far. What we can do is speculate off of the back of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, although that still doesn't really give us much to go on. The third instalment in the trilogy had multiple endings that were determined by the percentage of items you found by the end of the game. Each ending varied slightly, but they were all quite open-ended, and whatever the end outcome, Dark Samus and the Phazon were defeated. So really, the Metroid Prime 4 story could go in any direction now. The galaxy is Samus' oyster. Well, until new baddies or corruptible entities show up to cause another ruckus. 

Metroid Prime 4 gameplay

Again nothing is certain just yet, but the last Metroid Prime games we saw from Retro Studios saw us blasting cannons in first-person. Metroid Prime 4 could very well follow suit in this style and pick up on similar game-play elements in the previous trilogy. We could still have some puzzles to solve, platforms to jump across and potentially see things like Samus helmet display and radar make a comeback, too.  

For now, why not check out our pick for the best upcoming Switch games arriving this year or in the very near future...

After trying to get into the industry for a number of years, I eventually landed my dream job as a full-time staff writer at GamesRadar+. You'll see all sorts of articles from me here including news, reviews, previews, and features.