The newest Metroid in almost five years is Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the 3DS, a spin-off cooperative multiplayer game, Nintendo revealed in its Digital Event during E3 on Tuesday.
The next Metroid Prime bears little resemblance to the other games in the Prime series. Samus Aran is nowhere to be seen. Instead Federation Force is a four-player, multiplayer-focused game with co-op for online and local play, completing objectives in mission-based gameplay set in the Prime universe.
The game is scheduled for a 2016 release.
Federation Force features a different character design style from the other Prime games, one that’s more cartoonish. Gameplay is still from the first-person perspective. Players have the ability to aim with the handheld’s gyroscope feature.
Federation Force also includes Metroid Prime: Blastball, a three vs. three player sports game where the target is to shoot a giant ball into the opponent’s goal.
Federation Force is in development from Next Level Games, the studio that also made Super Mario Strikers (2005), Punch-Out!! (2009) and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (2013).
Metroid Prime started on the GameCube in November 2002, transforming the series into a first-person shooter. The last game in the Prime-line was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in August 2007.
This isn’t the first spin-off in the series, with Metroid Prime Pinball released for the Nintendo DS in October 2005 also taking a different direction. Metroid Prime Hunters, released for the DS in March 2006, featured a single-player campaign in the Prime world.
The last Metroid game released was Other M for the Wii in August 2010.
Watch the Federation Force announce trailer: