First Impressions: An echo is about all we know?but we'll take it.
To many, Metroid Prime stands as one of the best GameCube games, if not the best GameCube game currently available. The shift from 2D to 3D went off without a hitch, with the classic Metroid play perfectly implemented into a first-person adventure. The gamble of placing the game in the hands of Retro Studios has paid off splendidly as the Metroid franchise has once again been given life after being in limbo since 1994's Super Metroid. Surprisingly, Nintendo and Retro wasted little time in getting a sequel ready for this fall (surprisingly because, you know, Nintendo is so bad about sequels to games that deserve ?em), to give the Cube a better holiday season. That game is Metroid Prime 2, with the recently attached ?Echoes' subtitle. Very little is known about MP2, other than small snippets that Nintendo has slowly revealed. More will be revealed in time ? but until then, let's review what we know.
The hugest new thing for Metroid Prime 2 that's widely known is the inclusion of multiplayer. With excitement and joy from one camp, and blasphemy from the other camp, multiplayer is coming to Metroid for the first time, in the form of 4-player splitscreen format, whether you like it or not. There probably will be some basic multiplayer shooter modes like deathmatch, CTF, and team play, but with all the crazy stuff at the disposal of Samus and her doppelgangers, who knows what kind of tricks Retro will come up with. It will be interesting though, to see how they manage the control scheme, simply because a multiplayer shooter isn't going to fare well if you have easy lock-on capabilities. Perhaps Retro can pull a Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and have different control schemes depending on single or multiplayer modes. Hopefully Retro will sneak in LAN play as well, since you know the chances of this game having online play are slim and none.
Of course, Echoes will have a single player campaign that will definitely be the main focus of the game. Most assuredly it has something to do with the Echoes subtitle, as Samus Aran will be heading to an unnamed planet, being chased by a nameless stalker, where a race known as the ?Ing' are warring like warring nations do. The world is shrouded in both light and dark, and Samus has to find both areas to fully power her suit with abilities to take on the random enemies that surely will be looking to send her to a sudden and painful death. The looming mystery of what's going on in the single player game will be revealed eventually, but early snippets make Prime 2: Echoes sound very enticing. We know there will be Metroids and probably Space Pirates, but aside from the obvious, Prime 2 is as mysterious as its title.
Early shots see a game that will look mostly like its predecessor, only sharpened up a bit. The visor seems cleaner and easier to look at, which is always a good thing. To be honest, Metroid Prime was a beautiful game, one that is still a high point for GameCube visuals ? any kind of improvements is merely icing on the cake ? long as the game keeps the good looks mixed with the stellar spooky soundtrack, Metroid Prime 2 will be a great addition to the Cube.