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Metroid Prime developer pitched XCOM-style spin-off

Tactical withdrawal.

Metroid Prime developer Retro Studio once had an idea for an XCOM-style game starring Samus Aran.

The concept, dubbed Metroid Tactics, was the brainchild of Metroid Prime developer Paul Tozer. The idea was one of several pitched following the conclusion of Retro's Metroid Prime trilogy - and another which was ultimately turned down.

Tozer discussed the pitch publicly for the first time this week in a new Did You Know Gaming video which details the game's planned setting and storyline as a prequel to the entire Metroid series.

Nintendo announced Metroid Prime at E3 2017. Its development has since been rebooted, with Retro Studios at the helm.Watch on YouTube

"It marks the very moment when Samus Aran first separates from the Chozo who raised her from childhood, encounters humanity and becomes a bounty hunter," Tozer said (thanks, Nintedno Life). "The game also marks humankind's very first encounter with the Space Pirates and Metroids.

"Samus must cooperate with an elite team of highly-trained Galactic Federation Troopers and colourful bounty hunters to stop the incursion on several Galactic Federation planets, at various locations on planets such as Norion and Earth and eventually take on the Space Pirates at their outpost on planet Zebes."

Players would have controlled Samus and a squad of other soldiers from the Galactic Federation using the Wii's motion controls.

Sadly, despite Tozer describing it as having been a "relatively cheap" project which would have reused work from the Prime trilogy, "higher-ups" at Retro ultimately declined his idea.

"It's basically XCOM, it was XCOM in the Metroid Universe except instead of fighting aliens, you're fighting Space Pirates - who are also aliens but different," Tozer concluded.

Retro Studios is now back working on the Metroid Prime series, as work continues on the long-awaited and long-delayed fourth entry in that series.

The secretive studio has not been credited as leading development on a game since 2014's Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (ported to Switch in 2018).

In the meantime, several other cancelled pitches for Retro Studios projects have also surfaced - including a Final Fantasy Tactics-style Legend of Zelda game, and another Zelda spin-off starring Sheik.