Pikmin is perhaps one of the cutest mascots that Nintendo has ever released. These little plant-like beings were first introduced in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube and have since soared in popularity. Spanning three numbered entries and a 3DS title, the core gameplay revolves around using different types of Pikmin to traverse the environment, collect supplies, complete puzzles, and kill the vicious wildlife. Despite the release of a spin-off game last year, many players are wondering when they can get their hands on Pikmin 4.
Thankfully, we at least know that there is a new Pikmin in the works, however, details are still scarce on what users should expect. Here’s everything we know about Pikmin 4 so far along with what we expect the future holds for this next entry.
Note: This article is largely speculative. We are not claiming to have any official news about a Pikmin 4 release date, we are making educated estimations and speculating about the upcoming Pikmin 4.
Update 6/12/2018 – Nintendo E3
Sadly, Pikmin 4 did not make an appearance during Nintendo’s E3 showcase. There has been no word from Nintendo on the status of this game, so we suspect it isn’t ready to show publically. Since this company likes to dedicate entire Nintendo Directs to a game’s reveal, there’s a chance this is the case for Pikmin 4. As it stands, we may not be getting this colorful adventure game as soon as we hoped.
What to Expect
While virtually nothing is known about any changes to the gameplay, we do know that Pikmin 4 is in development. In an interview with Eurogamer, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that this game was in the works, stating: “I’ve been told not to share anything about this from PR, but I can tell you it is progressing.” Nintendo then followed up on the brief interview with Eurogamer and confirmed that Pikmin 4 is in development, but no further details were revealed.
However, given the series’ history, we expect the core gameplay for Pikmin 4 to remain same. Outside of the Nintendo 3DS game Hey! Pikmin, every entry has followed a similar structure of completing objectives under a tight deadline. It’s also possible that the fourth game will feature a new cast of playable characters. Every entry has introduced a new protagonist that is connected in some way to the series’ lead Captain Olimar. It will be intriguing to see where Pikmin 4’s story takes place since the third game had multiple endings.
What we hope to see is the implementation of online co-op. Nintendo has been making a big push for more online modes and a cooperative mode is a natural fit for the franchise. In the last entry, users had to micromanage multiple crew members at once. While there was a co-op mode, it was local only and restricted to specific missions. The actual campaign was completely offline, so hopefully, the fourth game rectifies this.
Another game mode that would great to see is one that lets one player control the various monsters, while the other commands the different Pikmin. This would craft a unique multiplayer experience of players trying to outsmart their enemies while understanding the limitations of their creatures. We’d also love to see a level editor, but the chances of that happening are extremely unlikely.
When to Expect It
Even though we know that Pikmin 4 is in development, Nintendo has been inconsistent on a release date. The first time we heard about getting our hands on Pikmin 4 was way back in 2015. In another interview with Eurogamer, Miyamoto spoke briefly about the status of the next entry in this series.
“It’s actually very close to completion. Pikmin teams are always working on the next one.”
Yet, it turns out that fans would need to wait a bit longer than expected to play Pikmin 4. It wasn’t until January 2018 that we received another clue for when this title would release. The February issue of Nintendo Force Magazine contained a page that showed a list of big games that would arrive this year. On this list was Pikmin 4, which all but confirms a 2018 release date for the next numerical entry. This also confirms that Pikmin 4 will be coming to Nintendo’s newest system, which may explain the lengthy development period.
There’s a very high chance that Nintendo reveals the actual release date and gameplay during this year’s E3. Nintendo needs to keep the momentum going after the successful releases of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyessy. We suspect that Pikmin 4 will release sometime in early fall since the new Metroid Prime game is also slated for 2018. This would give Nintendo a strong first party showing during the holiday season, especially if the updated version of Super Smash Bros. drops sometime around October.
Despite all the mystery surrounding Pikmin 4, it’s clear that our wait is almost over. With a new system and years of development, there’s a chance this could be the best entry in the entire series. Until then, we are going to have to wait and see what surprises Nintendo has in store for us.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.
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