Metroid Dread: Here after a dreadfully long wait


Alivia Baker

Battle monsters and robots as a mechanical man in this beloved video game.

Kelly Quinn, Writer

“Metroid Dread”, after lingering in development hell for nearly 15 years, has found its way onto the Nintendo Switch. And it is magnificent. With a rich, in-depth world to explore, calculated strategic combat and fast paced enthralling movement, it’s impossible not to appreciate the effort that went into finally making this game available for consumers.

“Metroid Dread” first showed up back in 2005. The only information on the game was that it was a 2D Metroid game being developed for the DS. More rumors floated around for years and there was even an Easter egg for it in “Metroid Prime 2”, Nintendo’s 3D Metroid games. But, Nintendo denied all rumors that they were developing a new 2D Metroid until the series producer, Yoshio Sakamoto, stated that the project was in development but was scrapped due to technical limitations.

So, until now, a new 2D Metroid has not come out since 2002, Metroid Fusion. “Metroid Samus Returns” did come out on the 3DS in 2017, but it was a remake—not a fully original game. The Metroid series in general did not receive much attention in the 2010s besides “Metroid Other M” and “Metroid Prime: Federation Force” which were not loved by fans and critics.

But finally, “Metroid Dread ” has been released to critical and commercial acclaim. The world of the video game takes place on Planet ZDR and follows the main character Samus as she explores the nine different areas of the planet. These areas are incredibly detailed and are absolutely stunning. The game itself looks gorgeous, especially considering it’s on Switch.

Unfortunately, the exploration can feel a bit tedious at times as it involves a lot of backtracking to find new power ups. The non-interconnected map doesn’t help; each area can only be accessed by specific points on the map, which require the player to fast travel and face prolonged loading screens.
The combat feels very fluid and clean. The counter mechanic returns from the 2017 “Samus Returns”, which allows Samus to perform a melee attack that can parry enemy attacks. The enemies are telegraphed around this to be able to have specific moments when they can be parried.

The most unique concept that “Metroid Dread” introduces are the EMMI zones. Each of the game’s zones include an enemy called an EMMI which cannot be killed with Samus’s standard attacks. This makes it so the player can no longer just face things head on; they must be far more cautious when approaching situations. It adds more of an element of stealth which has never really been seen in the Metroid series up to this point.
And finally, when it comes to movement, “Metroid Dread” is sublime. The level design allows for the player to get to a point where some ludacris tricks can be pulled off late in the game. There are three upgrades which truly elevate the movement to the next level: the dash, speed boost and space jump.

“Metroid Dread” is an incredibly innovative and enjoyable experience. Its moments including combat and exploration are unmatched. Despite some annoying quirks here and there, this game will surely go down as one of the best metroidvanias of all time.

What do you think?