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‘Prime 2D’ has been in development in some form since 2004, and promises to take all of the elements from Retro Studios’ first-person title and transition them into a traditional 2D Metroid game.
The game’s developers, ‘Team SCU’, say they’re building the game using their own engine, and the demo shows they’ve already incorporated some Prime-specific features such as the scan visor, which allows players to view lore based on items in the environment.
“We have a long history, starting way back in April of 2004,” Team SCU said. “[We] cycled through 5 different main programmers, and have had hundreds of volunteers making thousands of resources. But that is the past, and we are the now.”
While work on the project has taken longer than expected, Prime 2D’s developers claim work has sped up in recent years.
“Prime 2D has always been focused as a fan project for the joy of creating and learning – this has been exemplified by many prior contributors using skills learned from this project as a way to break into the games industry,” SCU said.
“Instead of copying the source material exactly, we are instead focused on taking the core concepts, translating those, and then implementing them in a logical 2D solution.
“By doing this we allow ourselves to focus on building a good game first and foremost, and then using that as a base on which to create a familiar experience, rather than constraining ourselves to trying to implement 3D ideas in 2D space.”
The next official series instalment, Metroid Prime 4, is currently in development at Texas-based Retro Studios.
Around half of the full-time developers who worked on Metroid Prime 3 remain at Retro Studios, according to VGC analysis conducted in August 2019.
It found that a core team of around 50 people worked full-time on the 2007 Wii shooter and around 27 remained at the developer, including four contractors made permanent.