Metroid Dread was a great surprise when it was announced in early 2021, for multiple reasons. First, fans were expecting a Metroid game, but not this Metroid game. Second, the name ‘Metroid Dread‘ had been bouncing around the internet for literal decades and many assumed it was a fake or a hoax. The truth is a bit more complicated, but that hasn’t stopped people from being very, very excited for this adventure.
After a long period without any major updates for the Metroid franchise, it’s finally time to celebrate the franchise once again.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game, including when you can get your hands on it.
What is Metroid Dread about?
Metroid Dread is actually a direct sequel to 2002 Game Boy Advance title, Metroid Fusion — and yes, it appears the game has been in development hell for 19 years.
The name ‘Metroid Dread‘ first surfaced around 2005 and at the time, it was reportedly being developed as a Nintendo DS sequel. It’s unclear how the game got so off-track but regardless, it’s great to see it coming back in 2021.
As you can probably tell, it’s changed a lot since those early rumours appeared and is now looking very sleek for its upcoming Nintendo Switch release.
In the game, you play as Samus Aran as she explores the mysterious Planet ZDR to uncover a strange signal and report back to the Galactic Federation. Along the way, she’ll face off against deadly E.M.M.I. robots and attempt to escape the planet with her life.
Like classic Metroid games, it’ll be a 2D-style side-scroller where enemies come at you from all sides.
Metroid Dread: New Combat, Moves
Dread wouldn’t be a true sequel without some meaty improvements, and this go around Samus is getting some major upgrades.
For one thing, Samus will now be able to slide and dash through levels — and as you play, you’ll also be able to unlock weapons upgrades via new suits of armour.
We haven’t seen a lot of these upgrades in action just yet, but with new abilities like invisibility and magnetism unlockable, you should have plenty of wild tricks up your sleeve in Metroid Dread.
Is Metroid Dread actually Metroid Prime 4?
So, Metroid Dread is a different game from Metroid Prime 4, although it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from.
Metroid Prime 4 was announced way back in 2017 and many expected it to be the next game coming to Nintendo Switch.
Instead, fans were surprised by MercurySteam’s Metroid Dread, which seems to have overtaken Metroid Prime 4 on the priority list. As of June 2021 it does appear Prime 4 is still in development but fans will have to wait longer to see what’s in store.
In the meantime, it’s great to see we’re still getting new Metroid games. The franchise is alive once more.
Where does Metroid Dread fit in the Metroid canon?
As mentioned, Metroid Dread is a direct sequel to 2002’s Metroid Fusion, which saw Samus fighting against the alien parasites known as the X. Following the events of Fusion, it appears these creatures are now dead but they could resurface in Dread given its plot will reportedly spin directly out of Fusion.
19 years have passed since the original game came out so it’s unlikely Nintendo will expect everyone to have played it — but if you can, you might want to check out the game ahead of release for a better idea of what you’re in for.
In terms of Metroid canon, Dread is the ‘newest’ game in the entire storyline.
According to the official Nintendo website, the Metroid games don’t release in canonical order, with every recent title being classified as a prequel or side story. While every game is ‘canon’ there is a timeline order you should play each game.
Metroid Dread is the most recent adventure for Samus, meaning it’ll be the first game in a long time to actually advance the franchise’s plot. You won’t need to have played every game to understand it, but playing other titles may give a better idea of who Samus is and where she’s come from.
Does Metroid Dread have co-op multiplayer?
Details about the game’s multiplayer functionality haven’t been detailed yet, but given most games in the series don’t feature any kind of co-op or multiplayer (outside of the Prime series) we can assume Metroid Dread won’t have a multiplayer component.
Instead, the game will likely be entirely single player with a focus on story and combat.
Metroid Dread: Release Date
Metroid Dread launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 8, 2021.
The Best Prices for Metroid Dread in Australia
If you’re looking to nab the best prices for the game, you’ll want to hit up the usual places: both Amazon and Harvey Norman have the game for $68 while stores like Big W and JB Hi-Fi have it for $69.
Prices for Switch games seem to have stabilised over the last year, so you shouldn’t expect too much variation here.