An anonymous video transmission comes in to the Galactic Federation showing a thought to be extinct parasite known as X thriving on planet ZDR.
The X can mimic any creature it infects, taking their mannerisms and memories as well.
It’s now up to you to find the source of this evidence and exterminate the parasite, if there is one… but is this video just to lure you in?
A long time in the making – Metroid Dread was initially touted for the Nintendo DS in the earlier 2000’s. But it was shelved as the developer’s couldn’t make the game the spectacle they wanted it to be. Technology had to catch up.
Now you can re-enter Nintendo’s nostalgic and infamous Metroid universe again.
A 2D to sometimes game specific 2.5D side scroller sees you, bounty hunter Samus Aran on the creature and mech filled world of planet ZDR.
Gameplay is choc loaded with cinematics – nearly one every few minutes and difficulty ranges from simplistic to almost game breaking in a heart beat.
Suited up you have your infinite weapon – a laser pistol, but soon in to gameplay you’ll get beefier ammo, like the Omega Cannon.
This is where the controls get a bit awkward.
The Omega Cannon is not only one hell of a punch, it needs to be charged up to be effective.
You’ll absolutely need it against larger enemies and bosses, but you need to aim it with a laser sight, then charge it up, then release the charge.
This requires a combination of three buttons on the JoyCon at once… and those buttons are not as close together as one would like.
Tricky. Especially if you need to blast a larger foe (and usually you need to aim at a critical spot) and that large mech or beastie is bearing down on you.
You’ll also need the mighty cannon to get yourself through obstacles in your path.
This aside, the run and gun is simple play. And a short play for the game’s entirety coming in at just over 5 hours to complete.
The Levels on ZDR are maze like and multi-tiered. Metroid Dread is not open world.
Bouncing from wall to wall to reach higher spots. And like a labyrinth there are multiple paths – so it’s best to explore to find hidden goodness.
You’ll come across stations littered throughout that will either upgrade you or replenish your weapons.
Metroid Dread hearkens back to old skool 2D platformers but with smooth present day (almost) graphics.
The SciFi narrative compels you to play on – even when you get to parts that you die, die and die again.
A simple platformer made great on Nintendo Switch with the same experience on or off the big screen. I feel some thought needed to go in to the games control mechanics though.
Released: October 2021
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Mercury Steam