By Brodie Dayton-Mills / April 16th, 2013
Fans of the Blue Bomber have had it pretty rough these past couple of years. Both Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe were ultimately met with cancellation, and Capcom has yet to announce any new games in the series despite this year marking its 25th anniversary. Now new information reveals a previously unheard of Mega Man title by the name of Maverick Hunter, a first-person shooter set in the Mega Man X timeline.
Such a radical change to a beloved series will always spark some controversy, but in this case, fans can all relax and stop composing those angry forum posts, as work on Maverick Hunter ceased back in 2010, mere months after production began. Though this incarnation of Mega Man will probably never see the light of day, it certainly looks like one of the great could-have-beens of this generation, especially considering the pedigree behind the game.
Capcom chose Armature Studios, founded by key members of the team that worked on the Metroid Prime trilogy, to develop Maverick Hunter while Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune penned a rough script for the game and potential sequels. If anyone could take a 2-D platformer, toss in an extra dimension, and mix it all up in a big pot of sci-fi shoot-’em-up action, this would be the team to do it. Adi Granov, the artist behind Iron Man’s armour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was brought on board to update Mega Man’s look for this more realistic and mature saga.
Before it met with cancellation, Maverick Hunter was playable in a basic form, and included many of the classic gameplay elements found in previous Mega Man titles. The player would be able to take weapons and abilities from fallen enemies and use them to exploit other foes’ weaknesses. Weapons could be combined, modified, and swapped mid-fight. Levels had branching paths and required wall-jumps and creative platforming to navigate fully. All this adds up to an experience that, despite being vastly different than anything that came before, still feels unmistakably Mega Man.
Capcom explained that Maverick Hunter was scrapped due it being a too much of a departure from the core series and posing a significant risk, but perhaps this is just the kind of risk the company needs to take to reinvent itself in the eyes of gamers. Is this the direction you’d like to see the Mega Man games go in the future? Sound off in the comments below.
CapcomKeiji Inafunemaverick hunterMega Man