Metroid has been a staple of gaming since the NES days. The franchise is one that has weathered the test of time and has seen numerous sequels, spinoffs, and remakes. But with the release of Metroid Dread on Switch, it’s clear Nintendo’s latest console is getting in on the action too.

Metroid Dread Review is a review of the Metroid game released on July 27, 2017. The game was developed by MercurySteam and published by Nintendo.

We haven’t had a new Metroid game in an unreasonably long time. Metroid Samus Returns, released in 2017, was a 3DS-only recreation of the classic Game Boy hit Metroid 2. It was excellent, but hardly a significant step forward for the series. Because it was released at the same time as the changeover between Nintendo’s two platforms, Switch users were never able to play it. 

Metroid Dread is a full-fledged sequel for the Nintendo Switch, and it’s a cause to be thrilled. Dread introduces a variety of intriguing new features and powers to Samus’ typical side-scrolling adventures, yet it stays true to the previous games’ formula.

Don’t Fear the Return of Samus in Metroid Dread!

This is a Metroid game in the truest, most traditional meaning of the term. Anyone who has ever played a game in the series will have little trouble figuring out what to do. On the other hand, if you haven’t enjoyed the series so far, Dread is unlikely to alter your opinion.

After the Galactic Federation gets an anonymous video showing a deadly X parasite living on the surface of planet ZDR, Samus is sent. Because Samus is the only person in the galaxy who has been vaccinated against X, she is the only one who can deal with the dangers that await her.

Dread introduces a stealth and pursuit feature centered on the Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifier (E.M.M.I.) robots, which is a significant new addition to Metroid’s gameplay. These almost indestructible research bots were originally sent to ZDR to examine the issue, but suddenly vanished.

They’re still there, it turns out, circling specific areas of each map, waiting… for Samus, presumably.

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To make things worse, Samus’ suit still lacks any backup or anti-tampering features, so she loses all of her improvements right away as the game begins. A unknown assailant overwhelms Samus, forcing her to start in her base suit, as is the Metroid way.

Granted, the entire point of Metroid is to discover new skills that lead to new paths, so this isn’t exactly a shocking narrative twist.

Samus gains a number of improvements as the game continues, both old and new. Better blasters, the morph ball and bomb, charge lasers, grapples, wall climbing, and so on are all available. We’re all familiar with the procedure. The new features that connect into the E.M.M.I. stealth and pursuit scenes set it apart from previous games.

For starters, Samus gains invisibility, allowing her to avoid the robots (and pass through certain types of security doors). This saps her vitality and, if it runs out, her health. Each map’s E.M.M.I. portions are stressful, with obstructed routes, numerous levels, and entrances that can’t be avoided, thus invisibility comes in handy. Samus eventually comes across weird brain beings that, upon death, shower Omega energy to her.

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The Omega cannon is the only weapon capable of destroying an E.M.M.I., and it only lasts as long as the annoying bot is removed from the map area. These mini-boss fights against the bots are particularly thrilling since they require Samus to flee from them, finding strategic places to fire bullets and charge up the pistol for a well-aimed death blow before the robot kills her. 

The parry is another important new feature. Samus now possesses a timing-based melee strike that can deflect certain opponent attacks (especially physical attacks).

Successful parries leave the opponent startled and vulnerable to a rapid cannon blast. There are parry-related moments that allow for enormous damage during boss fights, which are extremely dramatic. You can even parry the E.M.M.I. bots’ one-hit-kill strike, although the timing is very difficult to pin down. 

Metroid Dread looks fantastic as well. Despite the fact that the game is completely in 2D, it has a considerably more cinematic sense than previous Metroids, and the landscape looks and feels extremely three-dimensional. Cinematic sequences are used as both transitions between levels and even small quick-time event-style pieces to make multi-stage boss battles more dramatic. 

The music is also flawless, featuring all of the iconic notes and sounds that instantly identify the game as Metroid. On the negative, load times are quite sluggish (particularly when switching between sections). Also, since this is a Metroid game, it’s all too easy to get lost in the maze-like maps.

The Bottom Line in Metroid Dread’s Review

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Pros

  • It looks fantastic, and the ambiance is just right. Metroid
  • Massive levels with a plethora of power-ups and surprises to find
  • There’s a lot of shooting, a lot of exploring, and a lot of boss battles.
  • The basic gameplay is enhanced by the addition of new features.

Cons

  • Load times are slow.
  • Getting lost may be exasperatingly simple.

Metroid Dread is a wonderful addition to the Switch collection and a welcome return to form for the long-running franchise. While the game as a whole is unmistakably similar, the new components are intriguing enough to distinguish the sequel.

One of Nintendo’s finest Switch exclusives is Dread.

[Note: The writer bought the copy of Metroid Dread for this review.]

Metroid Dread Review by Samus Aran, is a review of the game Metroid Dread. The game was released on September 28th, 2018 and is available for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Reference: metroid dread website.

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