The Metroid franchise has been laying low for a couple of years now with Metroid: Samus Returns being the last game to be released on Nintendo 3DS all the way back in 2017. This wasn’t exactly a major entry either since it was primarily a modernised remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. Now, finally, in 2021 we have a brand new mainline Metroid series title in the form of Metroid Dread.
Set directly after the events of one of the best Gameboy Advance titles hands down (Don’t even @ me about this, it is!), Metroid Fusion, Metroid Dread seeks to bring the franchise to even greater heights. Does it ultimately succeed at this?
Players will once again take on the role of Samus Aran in Metroid Dread. They’ll be treated to a mini story recap right at the start of the game and this gets you up to speed with the events of the previous titles. This recap just scratches the surface of the story told so far over the past few decades but it does a good enough job of onboarding newcomers into the game. Samus receives a mysterious transmission which includes video of an X-parasite floating around on an unknown planet. The transmission was traced back to planet ZDR and the Galactic Federation dispatched a group of seven E.M.M.I robots to the planet to investigate. Unfortunately, all contact with the E.M.M.I robots were lost. Samus then decides that since she’s immune to the X-parasite’s deadly effects, she’ll adventure forth and investigate what’s happening on ZDR.
Unfortunately for Samus, things are never as easy as they seem and upon landing she gets attacked by an unknown Chozo warrior. Samus gets grabbed by the warrior, has her powers drained and is left for dead on the ground. Samus wakes up though and this is where you as the player then take over. Metroid Dread’s intro segment is not too long with players being taught the game’s basic mechanics rather fast.
Gameplay in Metroid Dread involves moving Samus around, jumping, firing her beam cannon, firing missiles and a lot of puzzle-platforming adventuring. The same level of excellence that we’ve come to expect from the entire franchise is still as prevalent as ever here with Samus’s exploration throughout planet ZDR’s facilities being a joy. Each location in this game is bursting with both background and foreground detail and graphically, the overall aesthetic of Metroid Dread is a visual feast for the eyes. Nintendo have done a fantastic job with the 2.5D look here and the way the game incorporates different camera angles into boss fights and more is fantastic.
The same level of excellence that we’ve come to expect from the entire franchise is still as prevalent as ever here...
...the E.M.M.I robots are the star of the show here in Metroid Dread.
...backtracking through an area doesn’t ever feel like a chore because you end up discovering completely new pathways...
Gamer, writer, self-proclaimed chemistry hobo. Always looking to make use of a good pun in the name of fun.
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8 October 2021
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