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Metroid Dread lives up to the series

With a successful remake of the second Metroid, Nintendo’s sci-fi series made a modest comeback in 2017. Metroid had never really gone away before that, because the influence of the series was and still is enormous. Few other games have seen their title immortalized in the denomination of a subgenre.
Yet every new Metroid today has something to prove. After all, there is more competition within the metroidvania genre than in its heyday. Dread does not have an easy mission: it is the first Metroid in HD and in this part the storyline of Metroid Fusion is finally continued. The game starts with a summary video that summarizes the most important events in the life of heroine Samus Aran.In Fusion, Samus was attacked by the life-threatening X parasite. This organism was given free rein to reproduce after Samus’ extermination of the Metroids on planet SR388. With her life in danger, scientists decided to mix Samus’s DNA with that of the very last Metroid – also the natural enemy of the X. As a result, Samus is about the only person in the universe resistant to this all-devouring parasite. .
Metroid Dread

Start over on ZDR

Samus is therefore also the perfect person to explore the planet ZDR. Intercepted images from this unknown site show the X parasite in the wild. Once on ZDR, Samus encounters a member of the extinct Chozo tribe who takes away her powers and leaves her for dead in the depths of the planet.

That is of course an excellent start for a decent metroidvania and Dread is also getting off to a quick start. Many skills that had to be found at the beginning of previous games are immediately in her arsenal. Samus is also equipped with a lightning-fast slide and counterattack that neutralizes most enemies – if timing is right. The setup of a typical Metroid game is further skilfully maintained. By exploring the tunnel systems and defeating towering bosses, Samus gains new abilities that give access to previously unreachable places.

Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread

In the lair of the EMMI

Important intersections on ZDR are the domain of the EMMI. These mechanical killing machines have been sent out to reconnoitre by the Galactic Federation, but once they arrive on the planet, they’ve gone crazy. Care must be taken as soon as Samus enters their territory. If an EMMI grabs her, it is immediately over and the player must start at the beginning of this special zone.

Have the usual weapons on the EMMI no effect, leaving fleeing or hiding are the only two options. Fortunately, the areas in which these robots operate are perfectly suited for this. For example, there are almost always several routes to an exit and Samus soon gets an upgrade that allows her to move temporarily unseen and silently.

Each EMMI- zone can eventually be liberated by collecting omega energy and melting the armor of the robots before they get one last hit in the eye. That’s easier said than done, as both actions take time and EMMIs don’t stand still while under fire. These moments – especially in the later areas – are accompanied by a lot of fast game overs. It’s a bit of trial and error, but because the loading times are short, it’s never really annoying to try again.

It has to be said that Samus is very well portrayed in the game. In every cutscene she is coolness itself.

Maze-like labyrinth

The cat-and-mouse game with the EMMI is a nice break in unraveling the secrets of ZDR. In addition to many recurring skills to help with that, Dread also introduces quite a few new ones. For example, consider a move that allows Samus to move a few meters in a flash. Most of the skills are also multifunctional, making them useful in combat as well as exploring.

With every step she takes, Samus fills more of the map of ZDR. This new planet is without a doubt the most expansive location to date in the franchise, making navigating corridors not always easy. Unlike Super Metroid, for example, the order in which new skills are collected is tightly controlled. Getting lost, stuck and bombing all the walls in desperation is still part of it, but the player really doesn’t dare to let go completely.

metroid dread

metroid dread

Hard backtracking

Sometimes the player is very forced in a certain direction. ZDR is bursting with doors that only open from one direction and returning to previously visited areas is a hassle. Between different areas there are trams and lifts, but they only take Samus to specific points. It would be a useful addition if a tram could take her past multiple stations to make backtracking just that little bit faster.

Returning to earlier areas to clear up leftovers extra’ is also no longer as crucial as it used to be. With new abilities, optional upgrades can still be found that can increase the stock of energy and missiles. Additional missiles are plentiful, but they feel completely unnecessary over time. Ordinary enemies and bosses are constantly leaving items behind to replenish supplies, so Samus never runs out. So it is not necessary to collect every optional item, but the quest for these extras is actually more fun than the reward. The accompanying puzzles are often very cleverly put together and demand the utmost of all skills.

Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread

Confident

Extra energy tanks are crucial to survive on ZDR, because the many intermediate bosses and bosses that populate ZDR can pound two or three full bars to health. These battles are the highlights of the game. As Samus gets more and more new moves as the game progresses, the battles get more complex and intense. Combined with the counter that can be used at crucial moments, Metroid Dread contains both challenging and spectacular bosses.

It must also be said that Samus is very cool is placed in the game. In every cutscene she is coolness itself. The self-confidence with which the heroine moves in the movies is also present when the player is at the controls. Never before has Samus been so fluidly controlled and the action so fast. In many ways, this makes Metroid Dread feel like a confident next step for the series.

Metroid Dread will be available for Nintendo Switch on October 8th.Latest reviews on Gamer.nl:

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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