On the final day of E3 2021, Nintendo came roaring out of the gate with a Direct featuring a plethora of incredible announcements.
Among them was Metroid Dread. We got a glimpse of the first 2D entry in the series since 2002’s Metroid Fusion and it was glorious. As the game’s title implies, Dread will combine “the series’ universal theme of exploration with the concept of a looming, terrifying threat.”
Metroid Dread is ostensibly the final entry in bounty hunter Samus Aran’s story. It’s fitting that Nintendo chose to close her epic adventures with the same style in which they began. Of course, this is the final game in the timeline and doesn’t prevent other entries in the series.
Dread picks up after Fusion, following Samus’ infection by the X Parasite and her showdown with the deadly SA-X. While she believed both the X Parasite and Planet SR388 destroyed, the “Galactic Federation receives video footage from an unknown source indicating that the X still lives.”
While the lore behind Metroid is vast and expansive, going back to the NES and spanning several games, Nintendo claims that Dread is a great starting point for newcomers. In other words, you don’t have to rush through the extensive back catalog of Metroid games in preparation for the latest title.
What’s The Story?
Dread will take place on a remote planet known only as ZDR. Shortly after landing on ZDR, a special unit of seven E.M.M.I. (Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifiers) robots disappears. As the only person immune to the X Parasite, it’s up to Samus to uncover what’s going on.
While there is no doubt that other enemies will be present on ZDR, the main threat of the game will be the E.M.M.I. robots. They are large and agile robots sent to collect DNA from unknown creatures. Given the nature of their mission, the robots have incredibly durable armour which Samus’ weapons have no effect on. Unfortunately, they are on a relentless chase to capture her.
As Nintendo put its, if you come up against an E.M.M.I., “your best option might just be to run away.”
Enhanced Movement And Abilities
Samus’ different abilities have always been a staple of the franchise. For Metroid Dread, players will be able to enjoy enhanced movement and abilities.
For starters, there are the melee counter and dash melee abilities. Samus can automatically strike at an enemy’s weak point with a well-timed melee counter. While the melee counter appeared in Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS, it has been improved. Players can use the move while running and dash melee to leverage counters as offensive moves.
Free aiming has also been overhauled. No longer do players need to stand still to fine-tune their aim. Players will be able to make specific adjustments to Samus’ aim while moving.
In a completely new addition to the series, Samus can slide. While this new ability will undoubtedly serve to reach hidden areas, it will also help players keep up momentum as they explore ZDR. Not to mention, it could serve as an incredible tool when trying to escape E.M.M.I. robots.
The Spider Magnet is another new ability. It allows Samus to cling to specific walls and ceilings and still shoot or counter. Walls and ceilings that support the Spider Magnet will be obvious due to their blue magnetic strips.
Metroid Dread Launch Date And Special Edition
Metroid Dread will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 8, 2021. You can pre-order the game right now on the Switch eShop.
For collectors who want more, the Special Edition will come with a steel case, five cards featuring art from each game, and a 190-page art book spanning all five entries in the saga. Special Edition pre-orders are not yet available.