Metroid producer Yoshio Sakamoto wants to make one thing clear about Metroid Dread: Samus is back to her old self. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but Other M‘s depiction of the heroine left a bad taste in many mouths. With Dread focusing so much on fear, Sakamoto emphasized to Polygon that this isn’t really a horror game. It’s a game about a professional warrior tackling fear head-on and winning.
It’s really about Samus encountering fear, but she actually stands against that fear and fights it and beats it. And that part of it is important. Samus is a professional warrior. She’s the consummate professional warrior. That’s how she’s being presented in this game.
The Wii title featured a more subdued and emotionally volatile Samus who was on a short leash held by Adam Malkovich. This characterization was widely panned, and it seems Sakamoto took that to heart. With Adam returning (in the form of an AI), Sakamoto and the Nintendo Treehouse team have been careful to draw a sharp distinction. In Metroid Dread, Samus won’t be taking orders. No one’s telling her where she’s allowed to explore or what weapons she can use. Adam’s just here for lore this time.