The Wii was nearly home to a tactical Metroid title inspired by Firaxis’ XCOM series.
That’s according to a video from Did You Know Gaming (via VGC), which claims that Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios conceived of a Metroid Tactics title, which was pitched to the higher-ups at the studio.
The proposed Wii game was reportedly pitched back in late 2007, after development had finished on Metroid Prime 3, and would have acted as a prequel to the Metroid Prime trilogy.
In fact, Metroid Tactics would have taken place “long before all other games in the Metroid series,” and would follow Samus Aran as she separates from the Chozo who raised her from her childhood, as she first encounters humanity and becomes a bounty hunter.
A description of the proposed game reads as follows:
“Metroid Tactics allows the player to control the legendary Samus Aran, a squad of elite Galactic Federation troopers, and various other bounty hunters as they work together to defeat the Space Pirates.
“Along the way, the player can hire new units and upgrade all of the units in his team with many different kinds of new armour, weapons, skills, and abilities – with Samus and the various bounty hunters having a large number of unique abilities that will prove invaluable in combat.”
The game was “basically XCOM… it was XCOM in the Metroid universe,” according to Paul Tozour, who worked on Metroid Prime.
Unfortunately, the game never got off the ground, as the developer’s senior team didn’t sign off on it – so the idea was never presented to Nintendo.
“If there was a way to pitch something from inside Retro Studios that would make it all the way up the chain to Nintendo and actually get approved for production, then I never figured out what it was, and no one else at Retro did either.”
In order for the Metroid Tactics pitch to be successful, it would have required the support of then-design lead Mark Pacini, studio head Michael Kelbaugh, and Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe. According to Tozour, those three had “wildly different tastes and perspectives on gameplay and different goals for what they wanted to see Retro Studios working on.”
In other news, Firaxis, Marvel and 2K all worked together to fulfil a fan’s dying wish to play Marvel’s Midnight Suns before he passed.