After nearly 15 years in development hell, Metroid Dread has finally found a home on the Nintendo Switch, and launched on the handheld console on 8th October. If you’re new to the series and looking for a primer on what this highly-coveted game is, hopefully we can help you decide whether you want to pick it up and cut your teeth on this legendary Nintendo series. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the long-anticipated Metroid Dread release.
The history of Metroid Dread
Following the release of Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance in 2002, series producer Yoshio Sakamoto wanted to create an even darker sequel called Metroid Dread. Prototypes were created but famously, this game never materialised and fell into development hell. Happily for fans, it was subsequently brought back to life in 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. The game has been developed by MercurySteam, the Spanish developer behind the successful 3DS Metroid 2 remake – Metroid: Samus Returns – which launched in 2017.
The Metroid Dread release is seemingly disconnected from the spinoff series Metroid Prime; a first-person adventure game that debuted on the GameCube, with sequels coming to the Nintendo Wii in the mid-to-late 2000s.
What is Metroid Dread?
Metroid Dread is the first sidescrolling Metroid game with an original story since Metroid Fusion in 2002, so you’ll be forgiven for not knowing anything about it. Of course, in the years since there have been many Metroidvanias and roguelikes – such as Hollow Knight – among others that are deeply inspired by Nintendo’s Metroid series. Therefore, you may already be familiar with how it works even if you haven’t played a mainline Metroid game.
In Metroid games, you typically explore and backtrack around a giant interconnected map, fighting monsters and solving puzzles. You’ll pick up upgrades along the way that let you return to previously inaccessible areas and surpass them. Flanking the gameplay loop are tricky boss battles with dangerous monsters, where the skills you’ve trained and the abilities you’ve picked up will be tested. Metroid games are known to be quite punishing, and may be particularly tricky if you’ve never played a game of this style before.
The new Metroid Droid release
Metroid Dread is meant to conclude the arc that started in the 80s with the original Metroid on the NES, but you don’t really need to play all of the 2D Metroid games to understand the story of Metroid Dread. Dread opens with a handy introductory cutscene for new players, and you can supplement that with a series recap on YouTube to get up to speed. The basic premise is that the bounty hunter protagonist Samus Aran has been sent to the planet ZDR to dispose of a dangerous parasite that she had previously eradicated in Metroid Fusion.
The new Metroid Dread release plays similarly to previous Metroid games, except for the fact that you will be hunted on ZDR by the corrupted E.M.M.I robots. These are dangerous, seemingly immortal foes who you will have to avoid to survive, engaging with stealth mechanics that are new to the series. All in all, we think that Metroid Dread is one that will live up to the hype!
If you haven’t yet seen the awesome Metroid Dread trailer, where have you been? But never fear; you can check it out below!