Many people forget that the Metroid saga started back in 1986 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was revolutionary in showcasing its main character, Samus Aran, who no one thought was a woman at first, and how the game world was used. As more titles emerged, Samus became an icon, and the open-ended world would inspire its own genre called “Metroidvania.” But make no mistake, Metroid is its own thing and has many legendary titles over the years. Today, fans are celebrating one of those games via the 1st anniversary of Metroid Dread. The title came out on October 8th, 2021, for the Nintendo Switch and made an instant splash once it arrived.
One of the ironies of Metroid Dread was that it didn’t have the most extensive build-up in terms of hype. It was announced just a few months before release, which surprised many gamers because of how good the game looked and how this was a title 15 years in the making. Just as important, the team behind the game was MercurySteam. They did the Nintendo 3DS title Metroid Samus Returns, a remake of the second game in the series.
Like that remake, Metroid Dread put things back to the 2D perspective and gave Samus a new world to explore. The title was chronologically the most recent story for Samus, and the team noted it would be the “definitive end” of the story we’ve seen so far. Not the end of the franchise, just the end of this particular story featuring the Metroids.
One of the game’s highlights was the more terror-focused aspects of gameplay featuring the robots known as E.M.M.I.s. They were robots sent by the Galactic Federation to observe a planet, but they soon lost contact with them. So when Samus meets one in the game, they instantly hunt her. At first, she can’t even harm their toughened armor. Thus, Samus has to flee them to make it to the next area alive. That was a new kind of experience for fans of the franchise, and it made it very satisfying when you could defeat them later in the game.
Going back to the fan celebrations, many went to Twitter to post art of the game and thank the MercurySteam team for making such a grand title:
The success of Metroid Dread is easy to state, as it’s the best-selling Metroid game of all time, knocking the Metroid Prime games off their pedestal. Speaking of which, the next game in the franchise will be Metroid Prime 4, with Retro Studios returning to continue that particular arc. Unfortunately, the game has not been discussed for some time now, and a release window is unknown.