Nintendo revealed Metroid Dread, the first side-scrolling Metroid game with an original story in more than a decade, for the Nintendo Switch. The game contains everything that fans are after from the classic Metroid experience, but it’s enhanced by being 2.5D, and advancing the story of the base Matroid games. This is not Metroid Prime 4, it’s Metroid 5. In this guide, we’ll cover the Metroid Dread release date, details of the game, and everything else you could possibly need to know leading up to the game’s launch. This is definitely one for Switch owners to be excited about.
Metroid Dread Release Date
The release date for Metroid Dread is October 8, 2021. The game is a sequel to Metroid Fusion, which is a Game By Advance title. While it won’t reference too many of the details from that game, it does show off the same version of Samus. One that has been strengthened by her challenges in the story so far, but one that is distinctly separate from the Samus seen in the other games, namely the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
Metroid Dread is said to be an end to the story arc that began with the first Metroid game. Samus first met the original Metroid decades ago, and rescued it from being destroyed. Since then, the species has been exploited again and again, appearing in every entry. While they’re a huge part of these games, and they arguably couldn’t exist without them, they do need to see some sort of conclusion. More questions than anything have been raised in the past few entires.
The one thing that fans want to know is where is that original Metroid, when will Ridley die, and how will Samus get any sort of closure. This is what everyone wants to know, but there’s never been any sort of advancement of the story. It’s all just added lore to the central plot that Metroids are being used for evil. In Metroid Dread, we may finally see Metroids put in a place where no one can take them ever again.
The only thing the trailer shows is Samus in a new area of the galaxy. As she usually is, she’s investigating a long-abandoned area where a mysterious signal is coming from. However, it appears as though there’s a threat lurking around every corner that she couldn’t have anticipated.
As we’ve already pointed out, this is the first original side-scrolling Metroid game in more than a decade. It’s not entirely 2D though, it’s more 2.5D like the remake of Metroid 2: Samus Returns was. The game combines the 2.5D angles with stunning visuals, the likes of which no Metroid game has ever contained.
It looks like all the classic elements of a Metroid game are there. Corridors to follow, areas to explore at your own pace, new powers to unlock, and loads of bosses to kill. Players should expect much more metroidvania gameplay from this title. After all, this is one of the franchises that spawned the genre.
While there do appear to be a few differences, everything looks pretty much the same as it would do in any 2D Metroid game. You begin in a cut off part of the map, and need to explore until you find every locked door or a boss. After the boss, you’ll get some more story and a new ability, and then need to explore more so that you can further progress in the game.
While Nintendo hasn’t shown off too much, we did get a look at what might be some brand new features in this game. The first is a shadow ability. This sees Samus change her suit to black and become undetectable for a short period of time. It’s used to avoid being detected by certain robot enemies. There are also climbable walls, something the series has generally shied away from. Usually, Samus would need a new jump ability or morph ball power to jump. Here though, she can climb for the first time ever.
The EMMI are the new threat in this game. They’re indestructible robots that Samus can’t defeat with her standard loadout. Instead, she’s got to hide from them and use the environment to take them out in whatever way she can. This is similar to some of the threats that came with Metroid Fusion, but here we see them taking the form of an entire race instead of a single foe.
Samus’ New Look
In Metroid Dread, Samus has a brand new look. Well, sort of. She’s in her Fusion suit from Metroid Fusion, which makes sense. That suit is fused to her now, so she’ can’t actually remove it properly. However, her entire appearance looks to have been streamlined more. This may simply be a change because of the power of the Switch. The new visuals may be what Samus was always imagined to look like, it’s just the graphical capabilities of past technology couldn’t render it.
The Nintendo Switch is a much more powerful machine than the Nintendo 3DS or Game Boy Advance. As a result, this game will almost certainly have features that are completely new to the series in terms of interactions. For example, the Switch touchscreen will undoubtedly come into play in multiple scenarios, whether that’s hiding from enemies or targeting them. The Switch also has a gyroscope as one of tis key features. So anything that makes use of that would probably go down a treat for all fans.
Ultimately, this is the first true Switch Metroid game. It’s got a lot to live up to. This is where the series is going to take a huge turn. The developers have already confirmed that Metroid Prime 4 is still coming. That’s why this game is so important. It has to finish Samus’ story arc in the mainline series and open up things for the Prime series. This could even be the defining point at which we see where they all fit together. How will Samus progress as a character over the course of these games? It’s not known until later in 2021.