Pikmin 4 reveals major gameplay changes

Pikmin 4 is out in just over a month, so Nintendo has decided to keep the hype going with the reveal of a new feature. While many of Pikmin 4’s new ideas have already been teased, it’s good to know that the developers haven’t gone overboard in terms of reveals.

Pikmin 4 is almost upon us, as the fourth major installment (and sixth game overall) in one of Nintendo’s niche franchises. Pikmin was first released on the underperforming GameCube in 2001 to critical and financial success, and garnered a following just three years later. Both installments would later be re-released on the Wii through the New Play Control initiative, also getting representation in Nintendo Land and even Super Smash Bros.

In a small trailer released on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel, the latest Pikmin 4 novelty is shown: character customization. Against a tan background with shadow art, a cheesy narrator recaps the game’s basic premise, in which a rescue team crashes on a new planet to rescue Captain Olimar, who has also crashed. Now it’s up to the player’s avatar to reach this new world and rescue everyone. As shown in the footage, players can choose their character’s skin and hair color, facial structure, hairstyle, head shape, and body type, along with the color of their spacesuit. Combine that with Pikmin 4’s other three main protagonists and the obligatory switch, and there seems to be plenty of variety this time around.

Nintendo has been advocating for player representation since it’s been in the video game business. Concepts for a custom avatar feature have been mooted since the days of the NES, and the company has even developed games and entire series that are built around player choice. The Pikmin series has always been about exploration to some extent, but adding a little more space for the player’s personal touch to the experience can certainly go a long way.

In fact, many signs point to Pikmin 4 as the most open-ended installment yet. In addition to four main protagonists, the game includes loosened restrictions on nighttime gameplay, the addition of Oatchi to further expand the sense of exploration, and eight types of Pikmin confirmed so far for use in gameplay. It really should be interesting to see what players will be able to do once they get their hands on this long-awaited sequel.

Pikmin 4 will arrive on Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.