A game worth waiting for, ‘Metroid Dread’

Spencer Woodbury, Editor

On June 15, 2021, fans of the beloved gaming franchise, Metroid, were exhilarated when Nintendo announced a fifth entry to the mainline Metroid series that would be released on Oct. 8, 2021. The fifth game instalment title is “Metroid Dread” and it is the first new 2D Metroid game to be released since “Metroid Fusion”, which was released in the year 2002.

“Metroid Fusion” follows Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter, on her exploration missions. Samus first explores the planet SR388 with a crew from Biologic Space Laboratories(BSL). While Samus explores the planet she is suddenly attacked by a parasite known as a X Parasite. After vigorous medical procedures, conducted by the Federation, Samus recovers from the attack. The Galactic Federation is then notified of a distress call from BSL so they send Samus to investigate it. While investigating BSL Samus discovers SA-X, which are duplicates of Samus that appeared after the X Parasite incident. Samus eventually eradicates all SA-X and explodes the BSL station full of X Parasites.

“Metroid Dread” begins with a narration explaining that the Galactic Federation received video evidence suggesting that X Parasites were still alive on planet ZDR. In order to eliminate the parasites, the Federation sends out exterminatory robots known as EMMI. After numerous days of zero contact from the EMMI, the Federation begins to worry. Shortly after, the Federation sends Samus to investigate the situation. While on ZDR, Samus encounters a Chozo warrior who easily defeats her in combat and strips her suit of all abilities. Samus is then instructed by her mission leader that she must find another path to her ship in order to escape the dreadful planet ZDR.

“Metroid Dread” is a side-scrolling action-adventure game that allows the player to control Samus Aran as she journeys through the planet ZDR. Throughout the game the player is able to learn numerous abilities, such as charge beam and spider magnet, which will help Samus while in combat and exploration. While exploring ZDR, the player must keep track of their surroundings due to the sheer size of each subsection of the planet.

The primary focus throughout the game is exploration. For a game so centered on exploration, it is disappointing how linear it can be. Although the areas to explore are large, most of the exploration is going from room to room. Occasionally the player must backtrack through areas but at that point it feels like walking through a neighborhood – nothing has changed and everything feels bland. In addition, occasionally players will experience frame rate drops due to the hardware of the Nintendo Switch.

Despite the linear exploration and frame rate problems, “Metroid Dread” is an outstanding game that refines the stereotypical Metroid combat. In previous entries the combat was very rinse and repeat. Many of the old bosses and enemies were extremely predictable, but now they are less formulaic by mimicking and countering the player’s attacks. The outstanding cutscenes and visuals allows players to fully immerse themselves in the planet ZDR. The EMMI zones are nice, new and fresh by allowing players to be challenged fairly.

Many of the previous Metroid games, such as “Metroid: Other M”, were disappointing and lack luster in sales. Because of this, Nintendo had little to no hope for Metroid so they froze the series for many years. After high demand and hard work from Nintendo, Nintendo released a phenomenal 2D action-adventure game that is perfect for Metroid fans and gamers in general.