Metroid Dread is the first new side-scrolling entry in the series in 19 years – that’s right; almost two decades after the last classic entry in the series, the iconic Samas Aran is back on a Nintendo console. If you like your action platformers fast-paced and with more than a nod of inspiration directed at Samus Returns, you’re in luck: this game looks like the perfect title for you.
Metroid Dread has piqued the interests of old and new fans of the series alike; Nintendo’s Metroid franchise has been dormant for so long, there’s a lot of pressure riding on this new entry. Developed by MercurySteam, the studio behind Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo 3DS, the title will debut the cult series on Switch, and will launch with a special edition and two new Amiibo figures, to boot.
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Here’s everything we know about the upcoming title from its release date, gameplay details and even a collection of all the game’s trailers.
Metroid Dread release date, platforms, and price
Metroid Dread will release on October 8 this year exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, and the base version of the game will cost £49.99 (or USD $59.99). The Special Edition will cost £79.99 (or USD $89.99) and feature a steel game case, five art cards featuring key art for each 2D Metroid title and a 190-page art book with artwork from all five 2D Metroid games as well.
Metroid Dread trailers, gameplay footage, and videos
Initially introduced as Metroid 5, the game’s reveal trailer was part of the Nintendo Direct at E3 2021. It was the very first look we got at the E.M.M.I., an enemy that stalks Samus and can instantly kill her as she explores the unfamiliar terrain of the planet ZDR.
After the Direct, a Nintendo Treehouse presentation (which is split into two parts) was streamed and later uploaded to YouTube. In it we got an extended look at the gameplay and mechanics.
Metroid Dread will give Samus Aran a few new abilities as shown in these gameplay videos. She can now utilize a simple slide and a ‘Spider Magnet’, which allows her to climb and shoot from certain glowing surfaces.
There was also a deeper look into the development history of Metroid Dread in a six minute video on Nintendo’s YouTube channel. Producer Sakamoto Yoshio starts by giving a breakdown of the history of 2D Metroid along with the characters and universe.
Metroid Dread will also mark the end of bounty hunter Samus Aran’s story with the Metroids, the alien organisms present throughout the series. Yoshio also states that as long as players watch the prologue in this game, they should easily be able to understand the story.
If you’re curious to know more about the wide array of weapons and skills bounty hunter Samus Aran will utilise in the game, you can check out the ‘Find Your Power’ trailer we’ve embedded below. The trailer sees Samus using familiar powers (including her ability to transform into a morph ball to fit into tight spaces) along with brand new abilities, such as a cloaking field that helps her evade detection by Metroid Dread’s terrifying E.M.M.I. robots. These enemies are disturbingly prehensile machines whose original research purposes have been corrupted, leading them to relentlessly hunt Samus instead.
Check out all this in the dedicated trailer here.
Metroid Dread Amiibo cost and features
Despite being incredibly difficult to buy, down to copies selling out every time they go on sale, Metroid Dread does have Amiibo accompanying the game. The double pack contains both Samus and the E.M.M.I. for £25.99 (or USD $30).
Scanning the Samus Amiibo will net the player a permanent health upgrade of 100, and once a day will give a little extra health back. The E.M.M.I. Amiibo gives Samus a Missile Plus tank, increasing her missile capacity permanently by 10. The E.M.M.I. can also be scanned once a day for a few extra missiles.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 15, 2021
The Amiibo double pack is available for pre-order right now where available. Just be aware, though, that Nintendo of Europe has announced a delay for the amiibo pack. The figure is now due to arrive later than the actual game (launching on November 5), with the items coming roughly a month after the release of Metroid Dread (October 8).
“Unforeseen shipping delays” are to blame for the issues with getting the amiiibo out on sale sooner.
Where does Metroid Dread fit in the timeline?
As mentioned, Metroid Dread is the first proper 2D Metroid sequel in 19 years, which means it’s actually the most recent game chronologically. The Metroid 5 title card at the start of the trailer confirms the game takes place after Metroid Fusion, which was technically Metroid 4.
Metroid Fusion centres around the X parasyte, and Nintendo wrote up some lore for Metroid Dread that indicates the parasyte’s return. As the lead up written by Samus Aran states:
“One day, the Galactic Federation received video footage from an unknown source indicating that the X still lived. The Federation dispatched a special unit consisting of seven E.M.M.I. robots to the remote planet ZDR, believed to be the source of the transmission.”
“Soon after arriving on ZDR, the whole unit mysteriously vanished.”
The E.M.M.I. was created and sent to planet ZDR by the Galactic Federation to hunt organisms, and now for an unknown reason it hunts Samus as well.
What does the title Metroid Dread mean?
Nintendo has stated that Dread refers to the state of terror they want to elicit in the game, but the title also links to the troubled history of 2D Metroid for more than 15 years.
Metroid Dread was originally supposed to be a Nintendo DS game in the mid-2000s, but the team at Nintendo kept pushing the game back due to technical limitations. An easter egg in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii even references the title, as an in-game scan reads:
“Experiment status report update. Metroid project “Dread” is nearing the final stages of completion.”