Metroid Dread test, the return of the Queen

With the release of the new Nintendo Switch OLED, we welcome at the same time a brand new Metroid in 2D. Here is our Metroid Dead review.

After a surprise announcement this year at E3 2021, Metroid is back in the most beautiful way with not a first-person game, it’s not a Metroid Prime, but in 2D with admittedly a 3D engine but with a return to the roots of the action-adventure game.

Originally planned in the 2000s for the Nintendo DS but quickly abandoned due to the technical limitations of the time, it was finally after an excellent job on Metroid: Samus Returns that the MercuryStream studio recovered the baby, Metroid Dread. Note that this is the first 2D Metroid since Fusion which is not a Remake!

An X story

Metroid Dread follows the events of Metroid Fusion, released in 2002 on the GameBoy Advance. After getting rid of the X Parasites on planet SR388, the Galactic Federation receives a video from an unknown source indicating that the X Parasites are still alive. The Federation then sent a team of 7 EMMI (Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifier) ​​robots to the planet ZDR, where the video comes from.

And inevitably, the Federation loses contact with the team of 7 EMMI and inevitably, it is necessary to call again on Samus to go itself on the planet in order to investigate and understand what happened. As soon as she arrives, she finds herself confronted with an armored Chozo and is defeated. When she wakes up, she is not dead but above all, she has lost all her powers and has no choice but to have to find a way to come up to the surface.

From 2D to 3D or from 3D to 2D

Metroid Dread is not a Metroid Prime and therefore, it is not an FPS but rather a 2D action-adventure game. Like any self-respecting Metroid, the adventure side is never put aside and it will take exploration and memory to remember every corner of the planet ZDR.

While a good number of “MetroidVania” take advantage of the pixels to offer a 2D game, Metroid Dread uses a real 3D engine for a 2D game. This allows the more impressive effects and to play with the zooms for display. Mercury Stream provided a dantesque job with successful graphics and above all rich and varied universes. We go from a cold and metallic environment to a dense and dense jungle.

If the game is played without loading time in each of the levels, there will be a large loading time between each chapter. Nothing shocking, especially since the loading times remain reasonable. Outside of these large areas, there is no loading and it’s really pleasant, we evolve, we explore, we act, all without any frustration.

Immediate handling

Because it is a 2D game, the grip is almost immediate. If some prefer to use the directional cross to direct Samus, it will not be because Samus is only controlled by the analog stick. This is all the more logical as it is by pressing the stick that the acceleration will be activated.

For the rest, it’s pretty classic, the Y button is used for shooting while the B will allow you to jump. For the different types of shooting, we will combine with ZL or ZR. L and Y will aim without moving then R and Y will launch the famous missiles. ZL will be used to slide and later switch to ball morphing mode.

From our side, we did not notice any unpleasant surprises except that it will take a small period of habit to master the different techniques but the game is quite well done with a perfectly balanced difficulty that allows you to learn his powers as the story progresses. Everything makes sense for a progression that is a little linear and obvious at times but satisfying in real life.

The pleasure of difficulty

After a period of adaptation on the controls, it will be necessary to remember that it remains a Metroid. So, if the difficulty of classic monsters is not high in itself, it is on a whole new level with Bosses. It will be necessary to observe well in order to find the good sequences to overcome it. Afterwards, as we said above, the difficulty is perfectly balanced, which makes it possible to avoid too much frustration, especially in 2D, it remains much easier for observation than a game in 3D. Personally, we love it and we totally adhere to it.

In addition to this, with the EMMI, Mercury Stream introduces a new subtlety in the game. Indeed, certain passages of the game will oblige the player to be patient and not to pass in force. Thus, we discover a whole infiltration part where it will be necessary to play with the card to identify the danger and get rid of it. The more we advance in the game, the more the infiltrations part will require the player to be patient. Frustrating at times, it adds a lot to the end.

Metroid Dread at the best price
Base price: 49 €

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