According to a report on Polygon, a first-person shooter Mega Man X title was being developed in 2010, but canned around the same time series-creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom.
The shooter, titled Maverick Hunter, was being worked on by Armature Studios—a development team made up of former Retro Studios members (makers of Metroid Prime and the studio behind the 2.5D Metroidvania Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate announced today). According to unnamed sources, Maverick Hunter, built was “prototyped and playable.”
Videos of the playable prototype are viewable on Polygon, showing a darker, grittier, Transformers-ish X in action.
Maverick Hunter was to be the first in a trilogy that would conclude with a third game in which Zero was the playable, primary protagonist. Polygon’s sources said that as Zero, players would face off against an X who had “grown incredibly powerful and infinitely intelligent over the course of the [first] two games.”
And Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune was onboard.
“At the time, I thought about the good old Mega Man fans from the past, that was an audience from 20 years ago,” Inafune told Polygon during an interview at last year’s Tokyo Game Show. “They’ve grown up. They’re adults. And when I thought about what people were enjoying the most right now, especially in the west, the answer was first-person shooters.
“That’s why I thought the people who grew up with Mega Man might like it. I felt that it would be a huge hit for Capcom.”
While a super interesting idea, and an utterly fascinating thing to watch, I can’t help but think that core Mega Man fans would reject Maverick Hunter with a venomous passion that would make vocal fan rejection of Ninja Theory’s DmC Devil May Cry downright tame. And, honestly, while the prototype videos have piqued my interest in that “what if?” way, and the idea of a Mega Man FPS sounding great on paper, watching it executed leaves me with a lot of doubts. I think its quiet demise was probably for the best.
But maybe not. Who knows. Maybe it could have been phenomenal. I’m sure many said the same thing about Metroid Prime and the notion of Metroid as a first-person shoot—and that turned out to be goddamn fantastic.
Check out Polygon’s full feature, complete with several short video demonstrations of the prototype, for the full story on the Mega Man that could’ve been.