METROID DREAD. The latest installment in the adventures of Samus Aran, titled Metroid Dread, arrives at the same time as the Nintendo Switch OLED, the new console from the Japanese manufacturer. What does this new galactic bounty hunter adventure have in store for us?

METROID DREAD The latest installment in the adventures of Samus

METROID DREAD. The latest installment in the adventures of Samus Aran, titled Metroid Dread, arrives at the same time as the Nintendo Switch OLED, the new console from the Japanese manufacturer. What does this new galactic bounty hunter adventure have in store for us?

Announced by surprise at E3 2021 – the great international gaming exhibition – Metroid Dread has had the effect of a small bomb in the video game industry. The latest in a historical saga that has influenced a large part of subsequent video game production, it is the direct sequel to Metroid Fusion, the last episode of the main series of the franchise, released in 2002 on GameBoy Advance, or there is already nineteen years old. It is easy to understand why the announcement of the game arouses so much enthusiasm among fans of the series.

© Nintendo

What is the release date of Metroid Dread?

Samus Aran’s new epic will be available this Friday, October 8, 2021 in France. As the game is a Nintendo franchise, it will be exclusive to Switch consoles. No need to try to acquire a version for PC, Xbox or PlayStation, it does not exist. Note that Metroid Dread is of course compatible with all three Nintendo Switch models (OLED, classic and Lite), and that it will work identically on all these machines.

Where to buy Metroid Dread?

You can already pre-order the game from most specialized brands and online stores, such as Micromania, Fnac, Amazon or Cdiscount, for a delivery or pick-up in store from Friday October 8 2021. It will also be available on the same date and in dematerialized version on Nintendo eShop, Nintendo’s online game store, accessible via your Switch console, regardless of its model (OLED, classic or Lite).

What is the price of Metroid Dread?

For its launch, the game is displayed at the price of € 49.99 in physical version at most retailers and at a price of € 59.99 in dematerialized version on Nintendo eShop. This price difference, on the rise for the digital version, may seem surprising, but it is almost always the case with the games sold on Nintendo’s online store. Note that there is also a special edition of the physical version, which contains, in addition to the game, an artbook, holographic cards and a steelbook. This edition retails for € 89.99 but is currently out of stock. If you want to get your hands on it, be patient and watch for replenishments on the various online stores. Finally, as usual, Nintendo is marketing two amiibos, figurines that can be purchased separately and that will offer you some bonus menus in the game. In this case, a figurine bearing the likeness of Samus Aran will give you an additional reserve of health and the possibility recharge your life energy once a day, and an EMMI model will grant you an extra reserve of missiles and the ability to recharge them once a day. The two amiibos are sold per pack, at € 39.99 at most merchants and at € 32.99 currently at Micromania.

Metroid Dread story and gameplay

Developed by the Spanish studio MercurySteam, already responsible for the remake Metroid: Samus Returns on Nintendo 3DS in 2017, Metroid Dread looks special in more than one way for Nintendo: first, the year 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the franchise; then, it is the first new episode of the main series to be released in ten years; Finally, Nintendo has announced that it will mark the end of the narrative arc that began in 1986. There is no doubt that this episode therefore has some great moments in store for us.

On the plot side, Metroid Dread takes place twenty years after the events of Metroid Fusion. In the previous opus, our heroine had prevented the X parasites, dangerous symbiotes capable of infecting and replicating other forms of life, from invading the galaxy. After fierce fighting, the threat seemed extinct. But two decades later, signs of the presence of X parasites are detected on the planet ZDR. The Galactic Federation, the political power in the game universe, decides to send a squad of EMMI robots (for Interplanetary Multiforme Mobile Explorers) on site to investigate. But soon after the unit arrives on the planet ZDR, the Federation loses contact with the automatons. She then turns to Samus Aran, the dreaded bounty hunter, and sends her to ZDR to find out what’s going on in the depths of the planet.

© Nintendo

On the game side, we will find all the classics of the genre: Samus still wears his famous Chozo suit, an armor designed by an alien species of the same name and which seems to be closely or remotely linked to all the mysteries of the galaxy. Thanks to her, Samus has a wide range of movements and weapons, which will be enriched over the course of the adventure and which it will be necessary to learn to master to overcome the dangers lurking on the planet ZDR. We find the traditional abilities of our heroine, the jump, the rebound against the walls, the famous morph ball as well as the grappling hook, to which are already added three new powers, which we have seen in the trailers: a slide to perform while running, allowing to pass quickly under an obstacle or an enemy, a dash and temporary optical camouflage. These three additions are directly related to the presence of a new type of enemy in the series, the EMMI. Indeed, the robots initially sent by the Galactic Federation have been corrupted and are now stalking you relentlessly. Unresponsive to most of your weapons, you’ll have no choice but to run away from them when you cross their path. Beautiful phases of pursuits and tension in perspective, reminiscent of those of the previous episode Metroid Fusion, in which you were regularly chased by the SA-X, your evil double created by the famous parasites-X.

© Nintendo

On the arsenal side, Samus still has his cannon on his right arm, able to send rays and missiles of different types, but also to perform a melee parade to repel enemies and execute a powerful response, if it is. triggered at the right time. All these offensive capabilities will not be too much to face the threats that populate the planet. The videos of the game already available suggest a bestiary that seems sympathetic, between crawling, flying or leaping creatures, biological or robotic, small or titanic. The various trailers have also given a glimpse of some of the bosses that will have to be got rid of, with in particular the return of Kraid, mythical antagonist of the series, and the appearance of a Chozo warrior who seems formidable.

© Nintendo

We therefore find all the elements that made the success of the series Metroid, with which the franchise has defined a number of standards of game design still used today in video game production. A clever blend of exploration, platforming and combat, the series laid the groundwork for one of the most popular video game genres in history: the metroidvania. Portmanteau made up of names Metroid and Castlevania, another flagship game series from the 90s, it covers a wide variety of titles that nevertheless share a common structure: a world divided into interconnected areas rather than sealed levels; a non-linear progression based on the successive acquisition of skills opening up access to these areas; a strong emphasis on exploration and observation, which always rewards the player’s curiosity by discovering secrets, stolen paths or scraps of scenario; often epic and demanding clashes against bosses who want to be (most often) memorable.

© Nintendo

These ingredients form a devilishly effective recipe for immersing the player in the diegesis of the game (the internal universe of the work) and involving him in its issues, both playful and narrative. We always want to explore further, to discover what is hidden behind this closed door, this impassable precipice or this wall that seems a little fragile. We always come back to this enemy who beat us up countless times, but which we are on the verge of defeating by dint of practice, skill and knowledge. We always want to learn more about this universe which does not reveal itself and reserves its revelations to players who will have known how to survey it, discover it and understand it.

On the strength of its long experience and its pioneering position, we hope that Metroid Dread will know how, at the same time, to honor this playful heritage and to renew it. Because since the release of the very first Metroid in 1986, many other works contributed to the building of the metroidvania and, that in 2017, a certain Hollow knight has come to transcend the genre, to the point of redefining its codes and standards.