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Metroid: Brink

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Metroid Brink
Publisher Retro Studios/Monolith Soft
Genres First Person Shooter/Exploration
Platform Nintendo Wii U
Media Nintendo Optical Disc
Ratings
80px-CERO B.svg

Metroid: Brink is the confirmed title for the next franchise in the Metroid series in development with two of Nintendo's first party developers: Retro Studios and Monolith Soft. This will be the thirteenth addition to the Metroid series after the release of Metroid: Other M in 2010. According to the producer of Project Reborn, Kensuke Tanabe the game will focus more on exploration and open-world while keeping true to the traditional Metroid formula. On August 28, Nintendo revealed a large amount of information regarding Metroid: Brink and the world surrounding it during a Metroid: Brink Direct. It was revealed that indeed the player will be Samus though the studio did not elaborate further. A large amount of the story and game play was also shown as well as online capabilities.

Story

While the story has been largely tight-lipped previously, Retro Studios did reveal the back story during the "Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A w/ Retro Studios and Monolith Soft":

"Metroid: Brink's story takes place within the Metroid universe though hundreds of years in the future. At some point between then and now, a massive intergalactic explosion resulted in the destruction of entire planets and civilizations, the complete collapse of social hierarchy and government and the resulting shift in power, and the adoption of an isolationist policy by the surviving civilizations. The story picks up several hundred years after this tragic explosion and the galaxy is just starting to venture back out into the cosmos and some semblance of an intergalactic government is beginning to form. Players will find remnants of the past and they will play key factors in deciding the fate of the galaxy."

On August 28, Nintendo revealed a large amount of information regarding Metroid: Brink.

Setting

The setting for Metroid: Brink is set 500 years in the future from the original Metroid series. However, due to cataclysmic event, the galaxy has largely been fragmented with entire worlds and civilizations wiped away from existence. Powers have shifted with the galaxy hanging in a delicate yet chaotic balance. Samus can visit many worlds during her travels and it is, more or less, an open-world environment which some freedom is traveling to these worlds and exploring them.

Plot

Opening

Players were shown the first ten minutes of game play of Metroid: Brink during the Direct.

Metroid: Brink begins with a person waking up to sirens and flashing lights. Coming to, they find themselves hurdling through space within some sort of life support pod. A voice comes over a radio within the pod:

"So, you've woken up, have you? I had feared the worse but I am glad to see you made it through. By now you mist be wondering what's happening, who I am, or...more importantly...who you are. Those sort of questions are understandable given your situation but you must listen to me. There will be time to answers those once you escape. Do you see that control panel over there? Please input these following numbers.

8...4...6...2...9...7"

After inputting those numbers into the panel, the door blows open and the players fall into the vastness of space.

"Don't worry. You have enough life support in that suit of yours to last 15 minutes or so. If you look at your left, you will find a large space station. Use your boosters to make your way there but....moving through space is much different from walking."

The player then uses the boosters within the suit to carefully steer themselves to the space station while dodging and maneuvering around debris. Upon closer inspection of the space station, the player notices it has been damaged.

Gameplay

While information on Project Reborn is currently unknown, Nintendo stated the game will have open-world elements that focuses on exploration and investigation of the world within.

During the "Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A w/ Retro Studios and Monolith Soft", several key game play elements were revealed.

  • The game can be played in both 1st and 3rd view. However, actions involving the visor transition to the 1st person view.
  • Players will receive experience points by defeating enemies, completing quests, collecting items, and scanning objects. These experience points are not attributed to the main character but, rather, the gear and weapon that is equipped. It can also be applied to various upgrades and new technologies.
  • Players can customize armor and effectively create new suits. Retro Studios confirmed that power suits will make a return and highlighted on the Gravity Suit returning. However, they said that by adding various components and experience points to it - they can change its stats or alters its function slightly. An upgrade menu will be available that allows players to spend experience points on upgrade nodes.
    • Retro Studios affirmed though that players can find various weapons and upgrades that is traditional to the Metroid franchise. Players can also find items, weapons, armor, and upgrades within merchant kiosks and completing quests.
  • While traveling wasn't fully discussed, Monolith Soft indicated that players can fly from one planet to the next using faster than light speed though there is some restriction to traveling. They did confirm that players can enter into a planets atmosphere and will be able to pick various areas to land in with each area being different from the other one. Certain planets may contain more landing spots than other areas. All of these areas are connected on the planet but traveling will take some time.
    • In order to travel quickly, it is confirmed that a new vehicle as been announced: the Gunspeeder. These large speeders can be equipped with further components and weapons.
  • Retro Studios did confirm that for the first time in the series that the player can engage in vehicular combat as well as space dogfights. While they could not elaborate further, Retro stated that it will become an important party of game play.
  • Players will be able to accept quests aside from the main story line quest. These quests differ widely from each other. Monolith Soft included examples such as:
    • Investigate a derelict ship.
    • Hunt down dangerous bounties.
    • Retrieve sensitive material.
    • Rescue hostages.
    • Take down fundamentalist terrorist cells.
    • Explore an uncharted planet.
    • Located raw materials unique to a certain planet.
  • There will be some form of online multiplayer.

Development

Project Reborn was rumored to be announced via Nintendo Direct though Metroid wasn't attached to it. The Direct came but there wasn't any sign of Project Reborn. Several months went without any hint of information until Project Reborn producer Kensuke Tanabe tweeted "Keep your eyes open for some exciting news!" A month later, a special Nintendo Direct was aired showcasing several new titles. It then ended with the first trailer for Project Reborn.

Following the Direct, Nintendo confirmed that Project Reborn is the tentative name for the next installment of the Metroid series. Producer Kensuke Tanabe further confirmed via interview that this new Metroid franchise is being developed by Retro Studios and Monolith Soft as a combined development endeavor. He then further confirmed the game will have open-world elements that focus on exploration and research while rewarding players who explore every part of the universe. He stated that there will be a main story line but players can deviate from it at any point of the game.

In a recent Nintendo Direct, it was confirmed that Nintendo and Monolith Soft are still working on Project Reborn and that they are nearing the mid-point of development. The Direct showcased several conceptual art, models, and sketches within the studio. The art consisted of several worlds seen within Project Reborn as well as Samus who, from this Direct, is confirmed to appear is some form but wasn't confirmed as the main character. Also show was new sketches for Space Pirates and several newer enemies such as a gigantic electrical tiger-like beast and a crocodile that appears to be made of ice.

According to the Direct, the game will emphasis on exploration and will be open-world and will allow the player to navigate through the cosmos - landing on planets and investigating new life forms and artifacts. The studio didn't specify if Samus will be returning and just labeled the character as the "Player". There will be numerous planets that players can visit to either continue on the main quest, take part in side quests, or to just explore and blow off some steam. Some locations from previous Metroid games included Tallon IV, Brinstar, and Elyessia. In addition to these planets, five new planets where shown:

  • Oxyrrus II: A city-planet with sprawling urban centers. It is also home to numerous criminal gangs and activity.
  • Yamryn: An inhospitable cold planet with frigid temperatures, frozen seas, and ancient ruins.
  • Novatius: A gravity dense desert world within a two sun system. The suns pull on the planet causing the gravity anomalies.
  • Jovarius: A smaller planet pockmarked with craters. It has a very thin atmosphere and incapable of supporting any sort of life but hosts a gigantic space sport.
  • Brink: A mysterious planet that is said to orbit a black hole.

The studio failed to mention the main character though a seemingly redesign of Samus was shown. The team did reveal that players can customize the armor the player where and can mix and match certain components to create interesting results. While weapons such as the Super Missiles and Gravity Suits will return, players can combine and customize not only the look but properties of the weapons, armor, and items.

In a recent press release from Nintendo, they announced this new installment is named Metroid: Brink. According to the press release, both Retro Studios and Monolith Soft announced this will be a great collaboration between Western and Japanese gaming philosophies and will contain aspects that many gamers can enjoy. They also reinforced the fact this game will entirely be a free roaming game with a main quest set within the Metroid franchise. They did not elaborate if the main character will be in fact Samus.

"Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A w/ Monolith Soft and Retro Studio

On May 21, Tokyo, Japan played host to "Metroid: Brink Press Release", an event where Nintendo revealed some information regarding "Metroid: Brink". The event first started with a new trailer showcasing the team working on "Metroid: Brink". The second portion included various discussion from the programmers on the nature of the game and what players can expect. They also released three previous planets from the Metroid library: Elysia, Oromine II, and L-K2 which is notable as Samus' birthplace. The developers also explained the weapon and armor system in some detail as well as aspects of the story. They did not highlight on whether Samus will be the main character but they told the press that "...Samus isn't completely written out so expect some new things form this character." The press release ending with a thirty minute Q & A session.

Q & A w/ Retro Studios and Monolith Soft

MC: First, we would like to thank you attending this Q & A concerning the new game within the Metroid franchise, Metroid: Brink. Please understand that not all questions can be answered due to confidentiality.

Q: Will Samus be making a return debut or will there be a new main character?

A: While the main character has yet to be revealed, we are not initially writing off Samus in this new franchise. However, we can say with certainty that this will be different from the previous Metroid games so expect surprises in regards to the characters.

Q: You've mentioned before about the customization feature found in the game. Could you possibly elaborate?

A: Players will be able to upgrade and customize power suits found within the game through an upgrade menu. By applying experience points, players add certain attributes or increase various stats by selecting nodes on the menu. In addition, by collecting and adding customizable components, players can augment the suit even further. To illustrate, the Gravity Suit will make a return appearance. By adding experience points to the suit, players can customize it to make it more effect either in liquids or in space, increase defenses taking by certain damage types, increase its gravitational hold, and many others. By adding components found while on adventures that responds to the suit, you can further increase the health and defense. This also applies to weaponry such as beams, bombs, and missiles.

Q: How long will the game be?

A: The main story line will be quite long. Including all the other content as well...well...it will be keeping you busy.

Q: Can we expect to see the Space Pirates to return?

A: Yes, the Space Pirates will be returning though with a much different role than before. The galaxy has changed and so has the Space Pirates. You can also expect to see the Galactic Federation take an entirely new role as well.

Q: Could you please elaborate more on the traveling mechanic?

A: While it is still being perfected, the traveling mechanic will offer near free control to where the player wants to go. They can manually pick a system to go to and explore. Due to the sheer size of a star system, it possible to move at faster than light speeds when traversing within that system. Smaller systems obviously take less time to travel to. For a more quicker and direct way to navigate to a planet, players can select the planet on the system map and be instantly take to where they would like to land.

Q: Going off from that, how can players navigate after entering a planet.

A: Players will be able to land onto one of the numerous launch pads or sites on a planet. They can explore the surface of the planet within a certain area. These areas are quite massive though to allow freedom of exploration and movement.

Q: Can player control the Gunship in the planets atmosphere.

A: Unfortunately, most planets do not allow players to traverse it in the Gunship. Players can instantly teleport themselves outside of a quest to a landing site. Alternatively, for more rapid transportation, players have access to the Gunspeeder. However, gas giants such as Elysia will allow to use the Gunship to traverse within the explorable area.

Q: Could you elaborate on the Gunspeeder?

A: The Gunspeeder is a bike available to use on most terrain worlds. Players can upgrade the Gunspeeder for more armor, speed, jump, and power. As the name suggest, you an fire missiles and energy blasts.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about the worlds?

A: Each world will have their own unique traits and characteristics to differentiate themselves from one another. Exploration is the core of the game and those who explore are rewarded. There will also be indigenous species and civilizations - some we saw before like the Jovians and some we have yet to see before.

Q: Will we see characters return from previous Metroid games?

A: Seeing as how it set very far into the future, we won't be seeing much of the previous characters though that doesn't mean that they are 100% gone from the game.

Q: How many quests are there?

A: Too many to count. There are quests for technically every aspect of the game such as hunting bounties, rescuing hostages, exploring planets, finding raw materials, retrieving classified information, and many others.

Q: Will there be online capabilities?

A: We can certainly say there will be online multiplayer components that we are very excited in revealing when the time comes.

Q: Will there be voice acting?

A: Yes, for certain characters but I cannot comment on the main character.

Q: Metroid has always been about puzzles and problem solving. Will this continue in the next installment?

A: Yes, puzzles and problem solving will play a very huge part within the game much like in previous installments. In fact, certain areas can only be accessed in this fashion. As every world is unlocked upon starting, players won't be able to access these areas earlier in the game if they don't have the necessary equipment.

Q: How are the enemies structured? Are hard enemies available at the start of the game?

A: Enemies will have a level system that is indicated by scanning them. Areas will have weaker enemies at the start of the game but more stronger enemies in later portions. In addition, players will find more loot and experience points after defeating more difficult enemies.

MC: We will now be taking our last question.

Q: When is the estimated release date?

A: We cannot say for certain at this point.

MC: Thank you everyone for the great questions and to Retro Studios and Monolith Soft for answering them.

Trailers

Reveal Trailer

The trailer opened up with the Super Metroid theme with the Project Reborn logo appearing with a shining effect. The logo fades to black and then quickly cuts into a quick game play footage with HD of a fire-person shooter very reminiscent of Metroid Prime. The footage shows the player navigating through a ruined city at night time while engaged in battle. The player is firing plasma shots with what appeared to be altered Space Pirates.

Explosions burst overhead while the player watches a huge aircraft soar overhead and releases a massive mechanized construct which crashes down in front of the player; all still in first person view. The construct begins to whirl its engines, blows out steam, and straightens itself out. Looming over the player as the player watches. It then revs up, envelopes its fist in kinetic energy, and slams it forward into the player turning everything into black.

The title screen says "Project Reborn is at Hand" and the voice can be heard in the background "We thought we had lost everything but you...you have brought hope with this darkened universe. Now is your time to ascend to the horizon."

"Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A" Trailer

The trailer first starts off with a black screen. Slowly, white letters fade into sight with an unknown voice over reading them:

"You have slept for so long but now is the time to awaken. The universe has changed and everything you once thought has completely and utterly shifted."

The screen than transitions to the Metroid: Brink logo.

The next scene shows inside Retro Studios with the team hard at work producing the new Metroid game. It shows the various work stations around the office as well as various conceptual artwork. During this time, a voice over by a different person is heard:

"Metroid: Brink is a love story from ourselves to Metroid fans. It is everything the fans and the creators wanted - an open world Metroid which gives free reign for the player to explore his or her environment in any way they see fit."

Bryan Walker, new co-director of the game then appears within the screen:

"We wanted this game to represent all that is good, bad, fun, and agonizing for fans. This is over twenty years of gaming history and we wanted to do it justice by creating something entirely new but very familiar at the same time."

It then transitions to the Monolith Studio with Mr Walker saying:

"...and with our new partnership with Monolith Soft studios, we can fully explore this familiar yet new world. Monolith Soft is notable for their Xenoblade series which offers large and expansive locations, engaging story lines, and expertise in the role-play game field. We aim for this Metroid to incorporate various RPG elements such as leveling and experience points in some fashion."

It shows various work stations within Monolith Studios as well as developers working on various aspects of the game. The direct then transitions to Tetsuya Takahashi, director of Xenoblade Chronicles X and co-director for Metroid: Brink. Speaking in Japanese with subtitles provided:

"We here ate Monolith Soft are very excited in collaborating with Retro Studios in creating this new installment of the Metroid franchise. As a long-time fan of Metroid myself, I am beyond delighted in helping direct this game. We here are Monolith Soft are putting everything we have into making it a unique and fresh experience."

It then shows various conceptual sketches of the various worlds found within Metroid: Brink with conceptual sketches of Elysia and two new unnamed worlds.

"We are taking what we learned in both Xenoblade games and expanding upon it in Metroid: Brink. We are in charge of the creation of this galaxy that Metroid is set in. It is simply massive and offers freedom in its exploration by the player. There really isn't anything of this level found anywhere within the industry."

It then transitions to Mr. Walker who is walking through the office.

"I hope this gives you some idea on what this project is like. Metroid: Brink will offer an unprecedented amount of content that can be utilizes within the game. In fact, simply calling it a "game" would be an injustice. It is an experience - players will find themselves enthralled within the game like never before. I hope you will join us in this brand new adventure within the Metroid universe."

The screen fades to black with the logo showing again.

Planets

It is confirmed the main character can visit and explore many worlds within the Metroid franchise. These planets are seen in Directs and press releases from the studio. Here is the following planets that have been confirmed thus far.

Image Planet Name System Description Capital
OxyrrusII Oxyrrus Oxyruss System A city planet with massive skyscrapers that reach up into the havens! It is the hub for many criminal activity with many criminal gangs and crime syndicates centering on this planet. The government is known for its corruption. Oxyrrus City
Yamryn Yamryn Yamryn System A frigid planet known for its massive towering ice monuments. It is said even the clouds are frozen making entering this planet hazardous. None
Novatius Novatius Duos System A desert planet with a strong gravitational pull due to the twin suns, Duos. Despite it being sand, it is almost impossible to dig into it due to the density of the planet. Shifar
Jovarius Jovarrius Igmar System A small planetoid pockmarked with craters. There is only one city on this planet and serves as a major space port. Jovar
Brink Brink None A distant planet wrappe din danger and mystery. It lies within the uncharted regions of known space. None
Elysiaruins Elysia Norion System The floating cities within Elysia have begun to slowly plummet into the planets core. None
OromineII Oromine II F5-176 An in-hospital world by human standards that rains radioactive ash onto the world. It's moon has since collided with its surface creating a massive impact crater. according to Nintendo, a race named the Orominians come from this planet. None
K-2l Colony K-2L K-2L System A largely forgotten world that was once the site of an extermination. Various ruins poke out from its lifeless dunes. None
Velia unnamed planet N/A Seen during the "Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A w/ Retro Studios and Monolith Soft" trailer, it showed a vast oceanic world with two spaceships flying through the air with either another large planet or moon in the background as well as a smaller moon. N/A
Byra unnamed planet N/A Seen during the "Metroid: Brink Press Release and Q & A w/ Retro Studios and Monolith Soft" trailer, it showed volcanic world with dark clouds. None

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