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E3 2017: Metroid: Samus Returns (Twice)

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There hasn’t been a proper new Metroid game in seven years. People are so starved for a new Samus adventure that anything, even a mere title card that contains no footage but promises a game is in development, would bring down the house at this point. This morning we got that…and then we got more.

Yes, the Metroid Prime continuation every fan has been begging for has been confirmed. This was the only time we saw anything relating to the series during Nintendo’s main E3 presentation. Then the Treehouse started, and Reggie sprung a second title on us, this one much closer to completion.

Remember when somebody made a fan recreation of Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Nintendo made them take it down? Now we know specifically why. Metroid: Samus Returns is Nintendo’s own remake of Metroid 2, which originally appeared on the Game Boy in 1991. That game hasn’t aged well and it’s needed a remake for a long time. It’s happening at last, and it’s being brought to life by the dev team Mercury Steam, known for the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games.

The Treehouse hosts spent the next half-hour playing through several areas of Samus Returns. The plot hasn’t changed — Samus has traveled to the planet where the deadly Metroid species originated to eliminate it once and for all (that doesn’t happen, but she tries). The planet is not only full of the regular floating jellyfish variety but evolved forms that are even more deadly.

Samus had 108 Metroids to find in the original. This time she’ll get some extra help in the form of Aeion abilities — special powers that can only be used when the energy gauge that powers them is full. We saw two in the Treehouse playthrough: the Lightning Suit, which makes Samus briefly invulnerable, and the Scan Pulse, which reveals a portion of the map if Samus hasn’t unlocked it yet.

The original Metroid got an excellent re-envisioning in the form of Zero Mission for the GBA. Now its sequel has been rescued as well. Good job, Nintendo, good job.

The release date for Metroid: Samus Returns hasn’t been announced, but it must be close because we already have the boxart. It will launch in two forms: the regular version and a special edition with a soundtrack CD. Two new amiibo will also be available on the same day: a new Samus (in her Metroid 2 suit) and a spongy Metroid (a Treehouse attendee demonstrated its squishiness).