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Topic: Metroid Prime 4: Beyond

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MarcelRguez

@StuTwo Just for the sake of clarity: when you write "a Metroid 'BotW'", are you talking about making an open-world Metroid game or about 'rethinking the conventions of Metroid' in a broader sense?

What your last paragraph communicates to me is that this is probably more of a perception problem than it might seem. I don't see Link to the Past in Breath of the Wild at all. I see Zelda 1 with bits of Zelda II here and there. Same thing with Metroid: while the idea is that you could solve the games through any sequence, I don't think that degree of freedom is achievable without reducing the significance of finding a new ability. In that sense, BotW stops being anything like Metroid the moment you leave the Plateau: by that point, you have every significant tool at your disposal, and everything else is just a game of numbers. To me that's more similar to a compartmentalized Symphony of the Night, with (very light) metroidvania elements at the beginning and RPG progression once that stops, while the focus on exploration is maintained through the whole experience.

@SKTTR

SKTTR wrote:

what can an open world do to immerse the player, to make him feel even more claustrophobic in some places

Any concrete examples? Because, to me, these are contradictory statements. Especially so when using Breath of the Wild —Agoraphobia: The Game— as an example.

Edited on by MarcelRguez

MarcelRguez

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SKTTR

Examples.. hmm...

You remember when Ridley attacked that pipe section you had to morph ball into and get through? You had just a way back and forth, but Ridley was freely roaming the air outside not only causing you trouble but also devastating the base. That's where I felt claustrophoc but at the same time had a feeling of stuff going around in the world outside. But it was only simulated, a half movie scene. In an open world Ridley would have the enhanced AI to attack the player, the base, the generators, or the Metroids or the Pirates or anything else that was involved in the battle.

A good feel of claustrophia is also when you dive into water without the Gravity Suit. All your actions and moves become slow and swarms of alien piranhas come to bite chunks out of your armor. Here, put Samus into a huge openworld underwater area, a sunken ship or something like that and you get a very different and more dense feeling than what you get from being in a bunch of connected rooms.

Really, it's about the feel of a breathing, living world where stuff is happening around you at all times and not just in the seperated room you are (I really liked how in Metroid Prime Hunters the Hunters themselves had a bit of their own life. Even though the game wasn't open world, the Hunters were also moving between planets doing their business and could appear on your route.)

Anyway, having more object interaction not just with the player but with other AI's as well cannot be done if everything is closed up in rooms. Openworld adds an element of chaos, of randomness. It also adds that enemies can be observed in their habitat from afar and can be lured to other places. It opens up more battle strategies, just like in Zelda, and battle is a huge part of Metroid. Just like exploration. In Prime all enemies are tied to their room, and they cannot leave it. Don't you think that's pretty restricted?
I think battles, exploration, and atmosphere will be better in an open world Metroid, if done right.

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StuTwo

@MarcelRguez The thing is that I do still see quite a bit of ALTTP in BoTW. I see even more of Super Metroid in BoTW.

Take the Varia suit - as an upgrade is it any different at all conceptually to the fireproof suit in BoTW? That's something you don't have when you're fresh off the Great Plateau and a significant area of the game is soft gated behind having the (entirely passive) abilities it offers. Just like the Varia suit.

Non-linearity has always seemed to me to be the next logical step for a Metroidvania title (as it is for Zelda). There are potentially other ways to achieve that and different levels of non-linearity.

I also tend to agree with @SKTTR. An open world game can be claustrophobic. I find the mazes in BoTW to be a little claustrophobic for instance. The main feeling that Metroid always evoked to me though (and that I like it to evoke) is a feeling that I'm in a disorientating and dangerous place, always a little bit out of my depth and not quite sure how I get back to safety. An open world game can definitely do that.

My fingers are crossed that Metroid Prime 4 provides the open world non-linear pot-holing sister to Breath of the Wild's open world non-linear rock-climbing brother. But if it's a more linear narrative driven game following a more traditional Metroid pattern then that's great too. Nintendo is in a win-win situation with me here.

StuTwo

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MarcelRguez

@SKTTR I understand better what you want now. The thing is, nothing of what you mentioned screams 'open-world' to me. Everything in that list, from the Ridley attack in Corruption (scripted action setpieces in general) to the underwater sections you describe has been done very effectively in non-open world games. Monster Hunter does the whole 'big giant lizard interacts dynamically with its environment' pretty well, for example. From what I understand, SOMA does that whole thing of disempowering the player by submerging it pretty well too (haven't played it). Neither of those games feature an open-world to explore in the contemporary sense, yet they feature those elements you mention.

From what I can gather, most people claiming for an "open-world ______" just want a game in that series that relies more heavily on interactions between systems, like your Hunters example. That's not something inherent or exclusive to open-world games, it can be implemented without overhauling the structure of the whole game.

If you ask me if I want Metroid to open up a little its environments, do without the artificiality of having blast doors everywhere, expand the behavior of its fauna and, as you say, make its worlds more 'alive', then my answer is a sound yes. That's a thought that has been in my mind for a while, I even made a thread some time ago about how immersive sims scratched some of the itches the series gave me. I have no doubt that all you're asking for will be implemented to some degree, I don't think they can get away with putting out HD Corruption in 2017. Not with things like Prey coming out.

@StuTwo Well, I'd be hard pressed to even describe it as a lock at all, since it's entirely passive and the real 'hard lock' abilities are the mobility upgrades. Out of all of Samus' abilities, I'd say it's the Varia suit is the softest example, especially when you compare it to the Gravity suit. No suit in Zelda grants you a mean of traversal you don't already have, they just offer incremental bonuses (run/swim/climb faster). In Metroid, only the Varia and arguably the high-jump boots can be compared to that. Things like the speed booster or the space jump change the way you traverse the environment entirely while also granting you access to different areas that usually cannot be reached through different means.

So, while BotW is characterized by soft-locked areas, as you mention, that can be traversed in a number of ways, Metroid is structured around both soft and hard locks, and about the routes you can follow to circumvent those obstacles. This is the key point for me, exploration in Metroid is not completely open (nor should it try to be, if you ask me) and what it allows you to do is just as important as what it doesn't.

Edited on by MarcelRguez

MarcelRguez

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Aurumonado

Metroid 100% should not be open world. The games are all about claustrophobic​ isolation.

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Octane

@Aurumonado The game can take place in narrow corridors and be open world as well...

Octane

MarcelRguez

@Octane We really need to define what constitutes open world here. Free roaming ≠ open world in the mind of most people nowadays.

Edited on by MarcelRguez

MarcelRguez

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Aurumonado

@Octane Oh - so you want to do away with all the doors and have the whole thing loaded up at once? Is that right?

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Octane

@Aurumonado You don't need to get rid of doors. And no open world game is completely rendered at all times, it's always partially rendered. Doors and corridors also means that the game can have even more detailed environments than a game that takes place in the open plains. So I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

Octane

Dezzy

It definitely shouldn't be open world. It should just have bigger and more impressive environments than the past games.

@Aurumonado

Doors and corridors don't need to be literal.

Edited on by Dezzy

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Spoony_Tech

I agree with no open world. Maybe some aspects of it can be but if you're going open world name it something other then Prime 4. Just the name title tells me it should be in the same vain as the others.

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MarcelRguez

@gizmoto I think arena fps a la Hunters suits the series just fine. Say what you want about Hunters, but that game's array of multiplayer modes was something else. Add every bounty-hunter seen so far to the roster (including Dark Samus, no need for this to be tied to the canon in any way), balance their abilities a little bit and the title becomes an essential purchase for anyone interested in online FPSs.

That said, I doubt Nintendo will throw that much money into this project, adding multiplayer of that caliber again would increase the development costs of the game big time.

MarcelRguez

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Tyranexx

Spoony_Tech wrote:

I agree with no open world. Maybe some aspects of it can be but if you're going open world name it something other then Prime 4. Just the name title tells me it should be in the same vain as the others.

Agreed. Open world would dampen the feeling of isolation IMO.

I started playing Echoes last night. So far, I like what I'm seeing. I just got past the cutscene with the GF ship, saw what happened to the whole crew, and (finally) hit a save station. That's another minor gripe I had about Prime 1, to be honest; save stations need to be more frequent. I had to redo half an hour of gameplay at one point thanks to Magmoor Caverns early on. That doesn't exactly fly for someone whose gaming time is normally limited.

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Haru17

I think Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' multiplayer with pointer controls, tighter animations, and more visually interesting maps would be fine. That said, if ARMS and Smash don't need singleplayer, Metroid Prime sure as hell doesn't need multiplayer.

I really like save stations in Metroid Prime and the tension they provide, but maybe they could do something interesting with auto-save, who knows? I just want more of those little pocket areas, they were so well visually designed around a central point they felt almost like sacred little shrines. Hopefully Nintendo doesn't overlook that, because especially Metroid Prime 2 and 3 had some incredible-looking save rooms.

Here's one of the better ones from Metroid Prime 1. They only got better looking as the series' lighting and visual design improved:

Untitled

@Tyranexx That's awesome! Let us know where you are in the game sometimes, if you don't mind.

Edited on by Haru17

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meleebrawler

@Tyranexx Careful with the boss after that station, it can break your lock-on when it attacks... at first, anyway.

@Haru17 I'd imagine the controls for Prime would something like Splatoon, traditional twin-stick camera controls with gyroscope aiming, maybe have an option to only make the aiming active when firing like in Star Fox Zero. The Switch also has more buttons to work with compared to a Gamecube, DS or Wiimote

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Haru17

@meleebrawler Noooooo, pointer controls are 100% more accurate than gyro garbage. Can you imagine a wobbly first-person camera that matches every little tilt of your controller? Barf.

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MegaVel91

@Tyranexx Honestly I think you guys overestimate what having an open world would do to the feeling of isolation. It sounds more like a "change is bad" argument at it's core.

The feeling of isolation has more to do with atmosphere and the fact you're tackling the game's problems as the lone heroine bountry hunter more than anything else. Having an open world won't change that much if they do it right.

MegaVel91

Haru17

@MegaVel91 We're talking about the metroidvanian progression which is the core of every Metroid game. You have to have doors. Hard, though not necessarily literal doors that gate progression, and a succession of interesting items and upgrades to open them. If Nintendo wants to develop a Metroid Prime game, they should spend most of their energy thinking up new item designs and how they will work in puzzles, combat, and progression.

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meleebrawler

@Haru17 ...You know Federation Force did basically what I described. Only problem was, being on the 3DS it had to adjust for the lack of a second stick, making it impossible to aim and move the camera at the same time. Switch has no such issue, and it's really easy to make sure gyro only comes in when needed, as seen with Breath of the Wild's archery.

Fact is, the Switch has nothing to replicate pointer controls. Using joy-cons like that would leave you holding them in an incredibly uncomfortable position for pushing buttons.

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Haru17

@meleebrawler No, you could hold either Joy-Con flat in your hand as you aimed it at the screen in your lap. I'm serious, go try it.

Gyro controls are strikingly inferior to Metroid Prime 3's aiming and — you will notice — only work in third-person games (and then not even very well). There's no reason for the series to take a step backward from a proven, intuitive motion control aiming scheme.

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