The hunt is online

Metroid Prime: Hunters to offer seven ways to win with multiplayer

The hunt is online
| Metroid Prime: Hunters

If going head-to-head against fearsome space warriors armed with power beams and other exotic weaponry is your thing, then you best start preparing for Metroid Prime: Hunters. Nintendo's most high profile shooter for DS, it's also being touted as the company's next great online game. A full singleplayer game is promised too, so you should get the best of both worlds.

Actually, in singleplayer mode you'll get a whole four different worlds to explore, as you fight your way through the mysterious Alimbic System. Deserted, but full of traps and hidden weapons, there's a race on, with the meanest bounty hunters in the galaxy converging to discover the ultimate power that's rumoured to be found somewhere in the System.

When taking that scenario into multiplayer, meanwhile, you'll play as a character picked from a bunch of different bounty hunters, ranging from Metroid's singleplayer hero Samus Aran, to more evil hunters such as the insane failed supersoldier experiment Kanden and the three-legged sometimes invisible slasher Trace.

Of course, each of the seven characters will have their own special abilities. Everyone can use default weapons, such as the power beam and missiles, but the key to success will be in using a character's Alt Form, which offers more powerful weaponry, and will provide you with enough variation to satisfy your favourite way to play. For example, bounty hunter Noxus has the ability to change into a rapidly spinning top, while space pirate Weavel can separate a part of his body to use as a remote gun turret.

The multiplayer modes bring loads of options too. The simplest ones are Battle mode, where you see how many players you can defeat in a fixed period of time, and Survival mode, where the last player standing is the winner.

Two other modes use an in-game item called the Octolith. Like the Capture the Flag mode in PC shooters, this can be played either in a team-based version or an all-for-all way, where the player who manages to get the Octolith into a goal the most times wins.

Similar is the Prime Hunter mode, where one player is made the Prime Hunter and gets better speed, jump, and attack capabilities. But when he's defeated, that player becomes the new Prime Hunter. Like tag – but using volt drivers and shock coils – the player who spends the most time as the Prime Hunter wins.

In Challenge mode, players battle for control of an area, and the one with the most time in control is the winner. Finally there's the Nodes mode, where players gain points by standing on a circular area in a level called a Node. Once one Node has been activated, another location in the level will become a Node, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

All in all there's plenty to play with: you'll be able to choose the number of rounds, the length of each game, and the number of points needed to win when you set up each game as well.

All seven modes will also be available for four players in either local wi-fi or online via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and there will be the option to use computer-controlled Bots for local multiplayer, so you can practice even if you're on your own.

As for finding out how good you really are, Nintendo will include a Hunter License, which will keep track of all your multiplayer games, in terms of wins and losses, and other details such as your favourite weapons and Alt Forms. Other players will be able to check out your skill level by the number of stars you've got, and the Wi-Fi Connection service will use this information when you're playing in the Rivals mode, so you'll be pitted against people just as good as you.

Still travelling at warp speed through the upper reaches of the universe, Metroid Prime: Hunters is due to arrive on the 5th May.