Almost twenty years since the last original entry in the 2D series, Nintendo has unveiled Metroid Dread for the Switch, due out this fall.
Though there are still no updates on Metroid Prime 4, the news is sure to be welcome for fans of Nintendo’s sci-fi franchise. Metroid Dread is the fifth game in the 2D line and a direct sequel to 2002’s Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance. The subtitle “dread” was attached to a project for Nintendo DS that never saw the light of day, but now Samus Aran is back with a brand new suit and a new nemesis.
Following the additional announcement, Metroid Dread was shown off on Treehouse Live, with comments from series producer Yoshio Sakamoto. He stressed that this entry is not just for longtime fans, and its signature exploration and action will be accessible for newcomers as well, and the prologue will cover all the story details they’ll need.
Metroid Dread will pit Samus against a new foe in E.M.M.I. droids, justifying the game’s subtitle. They patrol certain areas, like the Metroids in Samus Returns, but once they detect Samus, they will relentlessly pursue her and cannot be harmed under normal circumstances, like the SA-X in Metroid Fusion. If caught, Samus will suffer an insta-kill, but she can power up her cannon at special stations to take them down with a single blow. Sakamoto referred to these segments as “powerful spice” to regular gameplay.
Samus has a newly-designed suit for the planet ZD-R, a far cry from her usual orange hues, but following the events of Metroid Fusion a costume change was necessary. However, she retains many of her features from the 3DS remake of Samus Returns, such as free aiming, sliding, and melee counters. Free aiming can now be done on the move as well—the improvements from last game have been improved. Samus will also unlock a Phantom Cloak to hide herself from visual detection.
Sakamoto mentioned that the original concept of Metroid Dread came up fifteen years ago as a Nintendo DS sequel, but was ultimately abandoned because the team believed technology at the time could not support it. However, the long-awaited sequel is arriving now at the perfect time, to hold fans over until Metroid Prime 4.
Metroid Dread will release for Nintendo Switch on October 8. It will also receive a Special Edition featuring a steelbook case, art cards for all five games in the 2D franchise, and an artbook. Additionally, Amiibo figurines of Samus and an E.M.M.I. droid will launch alongside the game, though their use has not yet been revealed.