Metroid Dread Review

I’ve been playing Metroid games since the first one came out when I was 8 years old. There’s a whole lot to love about the genre: exploring a new world, gathering power ups as you go, and figuring out boss battles so that you can take them all down one by one. In many ways, Metroid games are a great fusion of puzzles and side scrollers all in one. The worlds are often massive, and you can spend hours and hours exploring as you look for all the secrets.

True, sometimes this also leads to some frustration, as you might miss something and end up spending hours trying to figure out what it was you missed. If you’re not into that sort of thing, then Metroid games might well not be for you. (Or maybe you’ll just want to go through them with a walkthrough close to hand. I’m not here to shame people for playing a game however they want to play it.)

There have been some riffs on the Metroid theme over the years. The Metroid Prime series on the Gamecube was particularly different, since it went more for a 3D immersive world feel, which was also a ton of fun. For the first game on the Switch, however, Metroid has returned to its 2D roots, though in a way that feels fresh and fun.

Metroid Dread follows the tried and true approach when it comes to the set up. Samus is off exploring a new planet. Something happens to her that takes away all her power ups, and she has to spend the rest of the game finding them again, one by one. (You’d think she’d have learned to keep better track of those things by now . . . ). The whole thing is side scrolling, but the graphics are done in a way that every now and then it has more of a 3D feel. The planet feels very lived in, if that makes sense, and getting power ups continually gives you a real feeling of upgrades.

Overall, I’ve loved the game. (Full disclosure: I haven’t beaten it yet, but I’m getting close. The fact that I’m getting close says a lot about what I think of the game.) I’m around 9 hours played on the official time, and I’m sure it’s much more than that, since I keep dying, and it doesn’t keep track of that. I’m hardly an expert player, so I’m sure someone who’s better at all of this than I am would be getting through this much more quickly. That said, I also feel like . . . what’s the rush? I paid for the game. Getting through it faster would feel kind of like watching a movie in fast forward. Might as well enjoy the ride, right?

If you’ve got a Switch and like Metroid games, this is a no brainer. Buy buy buy. If you don’t have a Switch still, and love Metroid games, then this would be a very good reason to get a Switch. If you don’t love Metroid games . . . then why are you reading this review? 🙂 If they’re new to you, give them a shot. This is an easy 9/10 in my book.

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