Since its reveal last year, fans have been eagerly looking forward to Pikmin 4. Now we finally have an official release date: July 21, 2023. This was revealed in a brand new surprise trailer released by publisher Nintendo. As a bonus, we also get a look at the game's story and new features for the first time. The trailer also unearths some surprising details that fans should be excited to check out on release.
What is the story of Pikmin 4, and what new changes are coming to the game?
The narrative for Pikmin 4 seems to be rather straightforward. Captain Olimar, one of the main characters in the series, has crashlanded on a mysterious planet. Thankfully, his distress call was received by the Rescue Corp. The courageous team must visit the planet to brave uncharted territory and track down the missing explorer. As luck would have it, even this rescue team ends up failing, crashlanding onto the planet themselves in the process.
Now it is up to the Rescue Corp's latest recruit to save everyone. This brings us to a series-first feature: character customization. Players will customize a new avatar to step into the boots of the recruit and set out on a dangerous adventure. From the trailer, it is clear that the following parameters will be customizable:
- Skin tone
- Hair color
- Body type
- Costume (space suit)
Unfortunately, that is all we learn about Pikmin 4. With the game still a month away, publisher Nintendo will likely shed more light as we near release day.
What constitutes gameplay in Pikmin 4?
Gameplay for Pikmin 4 was showcased during the Nintendo Direct livestream in February earlier this year. The mechanics are fundamentally unchanged from what fans have come to expect. The player will command a series of plant-esque alien creatures called Pikmin to aid them across an Earth-like planet. This is done by commanding various Pikmin types to interact with the environment to solve puzzles or create stepping stones toward progress.
This can mean clearing debris out of the way or attacking hostile creatures. There are different Pikmin types, each discernable via their design and color. For example, the pale blue Ice Pikmin can not just freeze enemies but also create water puddles to allow the explorer to get across.
To top it off, a brand new partner will also help overcome obstacles. An adorable puppy-like alien creature will be more than happy to lend a fluffy paw where the Pikmin cannot.
This includes dragging large creatures or ferrying the protagonist and their Pikmin gang across deep water bodies. The dog's help will be required against some of the most challenging segments of the game: boss fights featuring bizarre alien monstrosities. These will test the player's reflexes and resource management skills across the campaign.
Pikmin 4 is set for release on July 21, 2023. It will be available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch hybrid console. Pre-orders have also gone live on the Nintendo eShop.