REVIEW | “Metroid Dread” is an amazing return for a long dormant series

More than just a return to form for the classic series, the game is one of the best titles for the Nintendo Switch. Fans can be excited that Samus looks to be in top form in her latest title.

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CREDIT: SCREENSHOT | YOUTUBE

The Nintendo trailer got fans excited to see Samus battling enemies again.

It has been a long wait. The video game “Metroid Dread” released on Oct. 8 to Nintendo Switch devices.

The game is developed by Nintendo and Spanish developer MercurySteam, developer of the remake of “Metroid: Samus Returns” (2017) for the 3DS.

“Metroid Dread” follows Samus after the events of “Metroid Fusion” (2002) where she finds herself stranded on planet ZDR, where she was sent to investigate a parasite called X.

The narrative is simple: you move through stations in order to find your way back to your ship.

The narrative takes a backseat for the gameplay.

The game itself holds true to the series’ traditional side-scrolling roots and features many of the classic gameplay features. 

The game, as is tradition to the Metroid series, really leans into backtracking. 

Stations are essentially one big labyrinth the first time around, but as you return to them with new upgrades and abilities you will be able to unlock areas, reach previously inaccessible parts, which will then allow you to get more items and upgrades.

The combat is simple but challenging. In the beginning, you are stripped of abilities, and as such the combat is simple. As you progress through the game, you gain more abilities and the combat opens up to more opportunities.

Still, enemies pose a threat. I found myself easily overwhelmed by enemy attacks in large numbers. Although, enemies can be taken out pretty easily by countering their moves, which also gains a lot of health.

The game’s most challenging areas would have to be the E.M.M.I. zones. EMMIs are robots who were sent to investigate the parasite but have gone rogue. They patrol a certain area and hunt down the player upon entering the area. Getting caught is almost always an instant death unless you counter their attack in a very small window of time. 

These zones are very difficult. I always ended up taking multiple attempts to get through them. Thankfully, you always respawn at the entrance.

The bosses offer a great test of skill as well. It is very much a game of trial and error when versing them as it takes multiple attempts to defeat them. The final boss of the game would have to be one of the most intense boss fights I’ve ever played.

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The presentation of the game is very stunning. While the Switch is extremely weak compared to current and even last-generation consoles, developers have shown that if you take time to get the most out of the hardware, you can get impressive results.

The game’s areas are well designed, with a sense of mystery and eerieness to them. All of them are vibrant and unique.

The game also runs at 60fps and a fairly high resolution whether it is docked or portable, something most Switch games are lacking nowadays.

Overall, “Metroid Dread” is a stellar title, offering a challenging, but rewarding experience. It is definitely worth picking up on the Switch and has been one of the better titles to come out on the console recently.

Rating: 9/10