It’s been a long four years since Nintendo released their most recent Metroid game in 2017 and even longer since we first heard whispers of Metroid Dread back in 2005. Initially, this game was planned to be released on the Nintendo DS and was even scheduled for E3 that same year. Due to a variety of platform constraints at the time, the original version of Metroid Dread never saw the light of day. Now, we finally have a console efficient enough to run this stunning finale to the 2D Metroid cinematic universe. Check out Nintendo’s release trailer if you haven’t already.
Though this game is a sequel to Metroid Fusion, fans and developers alike have commented on Dread‘s stylistic and mechanistic similarities to the Nintendo 3DS game Metroid: Samus Returns with its fast-paced gameplay coupled with free-aim combat mechanisms. However, based on Nintendo’s release trailer, Dread seems to be much more than just a rehashed rendition of Samus Returns or Fusion. Rather, Dread seems like a welcome update to Samus Aran’s iconic 2D world.
The new maps and enemies, coupled with Samus’ new suit, provide just enough intrigue for this new environment without feeling like an entirely new game. The developers seem to have found a fantastic balance between new, exciting additions and retaining elements that make the classic Metroid franchise feel so special in the first place. While several mechanisms, like free-aim and the combat counter, originated in Samus Returns, new moves, like the melee dash, act as entirely new additions to Samus’ vast repertoire. There’s also a brand new camera angle available using the Omega Blaster, allowing for the player to spot various nooks and crannies unable to be seen in a standard side-scroller view.
In addition to new combat moves, there are brand new enemies to use them on. The Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifier, or E.M.M.I, are powerful and terrifying robots working for the Intergalactic Federation. Initially, they appear robust against any attacks from Samus’ Omega Blaster, providing a unique challenge for players to successfully defeat them. If these looming red-eyed antagonists weren’t already creepy enough, these enemies can actually chase Samus Aran from room to room, adding a timely sense of intensity to escape their clutches. In fact, Dread seems to be filled to the brim with suspense and action – from the thrilling gameplay itself to the vibrant cut-away scenes, this game already has the potential to be an instant classic for Metroid fans.
You can pre-order Metroid Dread for the Nintendo Switch now or wait for its official release on October 8th, 2021.