While Nintendo might not have expected such a strong negative reaction from series fundamentalists, the company is carrying on with its efforts to explain what Metroid Prime: Federation Force really is and why we should be excited for it. Contributing to this cause is Kensuke Tanabe, a veteran producer for the company who describes himself as something of an “outsider” thanks to his many years of working on Nintendo’s collaboration with third party developers, including Retro’s acclaimed contributions to the Metroid franchise. Based on a recent interview, it would seem that Tanabe’s goal isn’t to just do try something different within the Metroid universe, but also to do something new with the FPS genre.
Tanabe himself admits to not being particularly good with first-person shooters and wanted to make a game that was about more than just shooting enemies. Blast Ball, the game’s competitive 3-on-3 soccer-like game where players move a large ball with their arm cannons, was developed not just as a fun distraction, but also as a tutorial of sorts.
“I really don’t like tutorials,” Tanabe explained, ““If you have this huge target, this huge ball in the middle of the field, it would make it easier to learn aiming and control skills.”
This mindset is also going to carry over into the campaign, which can be played either solo, or alongside up to three other players. Instead of just building levels based around fire fights, Federation Force is very much going to be an objective focused game featuring puzzles and challenges meant to test other core mechanics. Tanabe describes, “one mission where you have a railway with carts on top of it, and your mission will be to push that from beginning to end. The point of this mission will be to avoid the magnetic force against you to get the carts onward to the goal, and there you have the Space Pirates spawn to add to that, to be in your way.”
“I also wanted, instead of having an abundance of enemies to shoot around, to have more time to be able to get used to the controls,” Tanabe explained when talking about what he wanted to create alongside developer Next Level Games. “We’re not just creating a first-person shooter game, we’re creating a Nintendo game.”
But the decision to create Federation Force wasn’t just about adding Nintendo’s flair to the FPS genre, it was also about expanding the universe surrounding the adventures of series protagonist Samus Aran. The franchise has established numerous planets alongside an ongoing conflict between the Galactic Federation and Space Pirates and Tanabe wants to delve into.
“I’d never seen anything that focused on the Galactic Federation against the Space Pirates. I thought that would be an interesting idea to explore,” Tanabe explained. “There will be research that the Federation has to conduct, and they get to the planet thinking it’s an abandoned place that the Federation used to use before, but they find out that the Space Pirates have been using that place to plot something against the Galactic Federation.”
And for all the fans who can’t envision a Metroid game without Smaus Aran, fear not. As Tanabe puts it, “This is your first chance to actually see Samus in-game, through your own eyes. There will definitely be a chance for you to meet with her in the game.”
As for where the core franchise will go, Tanabe stated that the next console entry will almost certainly skip Wii U and come out for Nintendo’s next console, currently going by the codename NX. As for what that game might entail, Tanabe doesn’t know yet, but he does have some theories about what might be going on with a character who pops up at the end of Metroid Prime 3: “That was actually Sylux, who appeared in Metroid Prime Hunters. In my mind, I still have that idea where Sylux is going after Samus. So to continue that story is something I’d love to work on.”
Metroid Prime: Federation Force isn’t expected to hit shelves until sometime next year, so it might be a while before we learn more about this interesting yet controversial title. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out the full article linked below, and be sure to keep an eye out for more developments in the meantime.