Metroid may not be as popular as Zelda or Mario, but our enthusiasm for Nintendo’s sci-fi action platform games is comparable to those blockbusters. A few months ago, Nintendo announced Dread in the company’s E3 2021 Direct demo. It’s now less than a month before the October 8th release, so here is a quick overview of everything you need to know before playing Metroid Fear.
Who is the developer?
Metroid Dread was produced on MercurySteam, which worked with Nintendo to develop the 2017 Metroid: Return of Sams. Prior to this, MercurySteam developed Clive Barker’s Jericho, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. With a few exceptions, the studio has a good record, so we hope Metroid Fear will live up to expectations.
Is this a direct sequel?
Nintendo advertised Dread as a direct sequel to the 2002 Metroid Fusion, which was initially released on the Game Boy Advance, making Fear the fifth official 2D Metroid series. Nintendo also stated that this title ends the main storyline, focusing on Sams’ interaction with a parasite called Metroid.
Do I need to play the rest of the series before playing Dread?
Metroid has never been a series with a rich storyline. We trust that Heaven will let players know any key details they need to know when playing this game, but you may not need to play the early Metroid games to enjoy the fear. That said, many of the early Metroid games are still interesting today (especially Super Metroid), so if you missed them for the first time, it’s worth going back to see these games.
How long has this game been developed?
Shortly after the release of Metroid Fusion in 2002, the name Metroid Fear first surfaced. Series producer Yoshio Sakamoto has stated that he has tried at least twice to develop “Fear” for the Nintendo DS handheld computer. After MercurySteam released Metroid: Sams Returns in 2017, Nintendo revived the Dread name and launched the project for Switch.
What is the plot setting?
Bounty hunter Samus Aran is back. In Metroid Fusion, Sams explored a space station filled with hostile, deformed creatures called Parasite X. After Samus dealt with the potential disaster, the Galactic Federation received evidence that Parasite X survived the destruction and is now infecting the distant ZDR planet. In response, the Federation sent a robot team to investigate the world. But when these units disappeared shortly after they arrived, Samus Aran was used to uncover the bottom line of the mystery.
Due to the Metroid fusion event, Sams is immune to the X parasite. Unfortunately, Parasite X is not the only threat to ZDR. Sams soon encountered a member of the ancient alien race named Chozo, who attacked Sams and stole her abilities. When Samus woke up from this attack, she found herself in the depths of the ZDR surface and had to work hard to return while competing with the federal robot team that was pursuing her.
How much do we know about ZDR planet?
Little is known about the planet ZDR. This distant alien world has a purple atmosphere and is a huge monster with fangs called Corpious. Corious has no legs, and uses two muscular arms to drag himself on the ground. Beasts can also be invisible and attack enemies with their long scorpion tails.
The deep underground caves of ZDR, an area marked Artaria, are full of rock outcrops and underground waterfalls. Cataris is another area within the ZDR planet. This area is an industrial station used to transport heat from the surrounding magma reserves. The extreme heat in this area will damage Samus’s equipment until she obtains a Power Suit.
Will Adam Markovic come back?
Longtime fans may remember Commander Adam Markovic, a “famous military genius” who served in the Galactic Federation Army. When Sams was young, she served under Markovic, as described in Metroid: Another M. Sams also thought of Adam many times during her adventures in Metroid Fusion, and even named a computer AI after him. Adam’s version of artificial intelligence returns in fear, but he will not order Sams to move around. Instead, this AI acts as the master of knowledge in the game, so it is more like a means to provide the player with the details of the story.
What is EMMI?
The multi-form mobile identifier of the outer planets of the Galactic Federation is a high-tech operating robot created for “research applications.” However, these EMMIs are also powerful destruction tools. EMMI was designed as a DNA extraction machine. They are now hunting down Samus on the planet ZDR, probably because Samus has some Metroid DNA.
EMMI is not easily destroyed. In fact, Sams can only remove her arm cannons by temporarily upgrading her arm cannons at a set location on the ZDR planet. As a result, Sams must sneak past these machines. This is no easy task, because EMMI can hear Samus’s footsteps, and if they find her there, they will chase after her mercilessly. When EMMI catches Samus, the player has a small window for melee counterattacks, which gives Samus a chance to escape. If the player fails to pass this counter, EMMI will immediately pierce her, leading to the end of the game.
The Galactic Federation sent seven EMMIs to the ZDR planet, each of which is a different color. EMMI has different capabilities. For example, the green EMMI can crawl through narrow passages, the yellow can move at high speed, and the blue can freeze and smash objects.
What abilities did Sams gain?
Metroid has always been a series focused on exploration. As Samus explored the depths of the ZDR planet, she slowly discovered new weapons and abilities that allowed her to enter new realms. This loop has always been the core of Metroid, and this will not change with Dread.
Sams can still use many of her main skills, such as her arm cannon, missiles, grappling hooks, and deformable balls that allow her to enter unreachable areas. In Metroid: Samus Returns, MercurySteam introduces a melee counter that allows Samus to parry enemy attacks and face cruel counterattacks. This technology is the return of Dread. However, Sams also has some new moves, such as a slide, which allows her to slide quickly through small spaces without turning into her deformed ball.
In Samus’s adventure, she also acquired powerful new technologies and weapons. The Phantom Cloak ability temporarily makes Sams invisible. However, this ability consumes a resource called Aeion, which is also introduced in Samus Returns. Unlike the previous game, the Aion will now be replenished slowly over time. Another Aeion capability called Flash Shift allows Samus to rush across the screen.
Not all power needs the Aion. For example, the spider grab helps Samus climb walls and ceilings marked with blue magnetic surfaces. This is similar to the spider ball in the previous Metroid game; however, it does not require Samus to enter her transformation ball form. At the same time, a weapon upgrade called Storm Missile allowed Samus to lock and launch a series of missiles at multiple targets. Sams can use her free aiming to lock up to five targets and launch three missiles at each target.
Will the old enemies Kraid and Ridley return?
According to reports, the giant three-eyed reptile called Kraid will return, but this time the alien appears to be locked on the wall. We haven’t heard whether Ridley will appear, but this is a Metroid game, so our Magic 8-Ball said “very likely.”
I like to spend money, is there a special edition?
Nintendo is producing a Metroid Dread special edition, which has a steel game box, including five art cards and a 190-page art book, covering all five entries of the 2D Metroid Saga. The package retail price is 89.99 US dollars.
When will Metroid Fear be launched?
Starting October 8th, you will be able to purchase Metroid Fear for Nintendo Switch.