During the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo unveiled a game we thought had long since faded into myth. That’s right, Metroid Dread is real, and we’ve got lots of new story and gameplay details! Following the Direct, producer Yoshio Sakamoto shared details about the game’s long development history, and then Nintendo Treehouse went hands-on to show off gameplay footage. Additionally, Nintendo has revealed more info on the game’s eShop page. Read on for all the juicy details!
A long development history
Metroid Dread was originally planned as a sequel to Metroid Fusion 15 years ago. However, technical limitations prevented the vision from coming to fruition. Development started and stopped two different times, and the project seemed doomed. That changed when MercurySteam impressed Nintendo with their work on Samus Returns and their incredible understanding of Metroid as a franchise. Sakamoto entrusted them with the project, and he believes they have surpassed even his vision for the game.
Metroid Dread story
Metroid Dread picks up after the events of Fusion, which left Samus on uncertain terms with the Galactic Federation. Sakamoto has also teased that it will mark the end of the storyline of the uncanny relationship between Samus and Metroids. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but Sakamoto hopes you’ll ponder it. If you’re new to the series and worried about the lore, don’t sweat it. Metroid Dread will open with a prologue that recaps the story thus far.
The game opens when Samus descends on planet ZDR to investigate a mysterious transmission sent to the Galactic Federation. Most Metroid games open on the surface, but in this game, you’ll start deep inside the planet and work your way up. Along the way, Samus is hunted by DNA-extracting research bots called “E.M.M.I.”. If an E.M.M.I. hears you, it will actively seek you out. If you enter its line of sight, the doors slam shut and the hunt begins.
Metroid Dread gameplay
You can’t harm an E.M.M.I. with normal weapons, so stealth and just plain running will be key. However, Samus was also seen using a powerful weapon called an Omega Blaster to take an E.M.M.I. down. When using this weapon, the camera shifts behind Samus to show more of a 3D perspective of the environment. Other new gear includes the Phantom Cloak (which makes you invisible) and the Spider Magnet. Free Aim and Melee Countering are back from Samus Returns, and you can also slide as a base move.
In addition to all of the new stuff, Metroid Dread will also feature traditional exploration-based Metroid gameplay. That means a big, explorable world that becomes more open as you collect weapons and gear. Also returning is Adam, the AI computer (and Samus’ former commanding officer) from Metroid Fusion. You can look forward to the first all-new 2D Metroid in 19 years when it launches on October 8.