Metroid Dread is the latest installment of the legendary Franchise and has been announced for release on October 8th 2021 for Nintendo Switch. While Metroid has already returned to its roots as a 2D platformer with the Metroid 2 Remake, Metroid Dread is the first proper sequel to Fusion since 2002.
Metroid’s return to its roots: Metroid Dread
In 2002, Fusion ended on quite the cliffhanger. No one knows what happened after Samus escaped the space station after destroying the Omega Metroid. Nintendo didn’t seem to care either as they moved on to recreating Metroid as a first-person shooter set in a different place in the lore.
Fans of the original 2D platformer were consistently disappointed until 2017 when Nintendo remade Metroid 2 in collaboration with MercurySteam, a Spanish game studio known for its 2013 Castlevania reboot.
The Metroid 2 remake was only really held back by outdated game design. The enemies were lacking, the stages were recycled quite a lot. These were relics of the limitations console hardware once had. But it looked and controlled incredibly well, introduced new mechanics, and removed the tedious gameplay reputation Metroid had.
Had the same refinement gone on a title like Fusion, there would be no doubt that a masterpiece would've been released in 2017. But now once again we are seeing a fresh opportunity at a re-imagined and up-to-date game.
Metroid Dread is set chronologically after Fusion and possesses the same polished and updated mechanics the Metroid 2 remake has. Quite literally, it's a joy to witness.
The trailer sees Samus exploring through yet another abandoned space station while being terrorized by yet another android in chase and stealth sequences like that of SA-X’s in Fusion. The atmosphere is much heavier, and faithful to the name. It's definitely the darkest take on the franchise yet.
Hopefully, this game does not get passed off as just another distraction till the release of Prime and will be recognized for the beauty it’s trying to recreate for the original universe.
More information on the design philosophy and development of Dread can be checked out in the video above.