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My First Impressions of Metroid Dread

My First Impressions of Metroid Dread

I have a large game collection, and because of that, there are a lot of titles that get neglected and put aside as I'm always playing something new. Metroid Dread is one of those titles in my backlog; I had played the demo for it and really enjoyed it, so that year, I put the game on my Christmas list. That was in 2021, and I have yet to check the game out… I am going to finally play Metroid Dread for an hour (my work lunch break) and see if it's as good as I remember and if I will continue to play it or if it will be another one of those games that sit on the self to collect dust.

MetroidDread savefiles

Before I jump into the game, there is an update, so I need to get that downloaded first. Three empty save files are displayed (I swear it's just to make me feel more guilty), and I select the first to begin. A difficulty selection screen appears:

Rookie Mode — increased recovery from health drops and less damage taken from bosses. 

Normal Mode — your standard difficulty setting; those who have played Metroid games in the past can probably handle this.

Hard Mode — locked until you beat the game on Normal to prove that you can handle it. 

Dread Mode — this remains locked until you complete the game on Hard; I can confidently say that I will never play on this difficulty!

MetroidDread difficulty

First, we start off with a history lesson. A Metroid is a floating organism that drains the energy of its prey by physical contact. They were created by the Chozo race, who you will know if you've played any of the other games in the series. They were the inspiration for the statues that would hold the power-ups that Samus used. The name for these parasitic organisms comes from the word for "ultimate warrior." These creatures were wrongfully used as bioweapons and, thus, have all been eliminated, making them extinct.

MetroidDread parasiteX

The X Parasite is not the same as a Metroid. This parasitic organism absorbs the DNA from its host, whether it be living or dead, and replicates its form. If the host is still living, the parasite is able to access their memories and use the information that they have learned. Since the planet of SR388 has no Metroids on it anymore, the X Parasite easily took over, killing everything in its path. The X Parasite attached itself to Samus, trying to take her over. She was fortunate and was able to get a vaccine that was created with Metroid DNA, saving her from being controlled. To destroy the powerful X forms, Samus crashed the B.S.L. research station into the planet, and it was thought that the parasite was now extinct.

MetroidDread parasiteXwild

The Federation had gotten a video showing the X Parasite in the wild on the planet ZDR. If this is true, they would pose a threat to the entire galaxy. The Galactic Federation had sent out a research team of large research robots called E.M.M.I's to investigate. Soon after they arrived at ZDR, they lost communication with the units.

MetroidDread chozo

Because of the Metroid DNA in Samus' blood, she is now immune to the parasite. So, she is sent out to find out what happened and stop the X Parasite from taking over. Samus lands on the planet and is instantly confronted by a Chozo, who grabs her and lifts her into the air. The screen goes black, and then Samus awakens with what looks like an Iron Man-style pulsar/blaster in her hand. You finally get to take control of Samus and learn how to navigate this environment. 

MetroidDread level

From the start, Samus doesn't have the ability to roll into a ball that she did in the original game; she apparently has Physical Amnesia, so all those handy abilities are forgotten for the moment. Instead, she can slide, which is handy to get into small spots and under enemies, along with her wall jump. To attack, you will be using your trusty Arm Cannon, and along with that, you have a Dash Melee that you can use to stun enemies, and these frozen enemies have a chance to drop more items. When you kill an enemy, sometimes they drop what looks like a glowing purple light. It's not an orb, just a floating light that will replenish some of Samus' health, so be sure to pick these up. 

MetroidDread stuck

I continue to explore these underground caverns, taking out the basic enemies I encounter. You will collect Missiles to use on special doors or to blow holes through weak walls. There were a few times when I felt totally stuck and didn't know how I was going to get out, but once I looked at everything around me, I saw an enemy that was trapped in the ground that I had to shoot, which caused an explosion and gave me a way out. This got me into a lab where my Arm Cannon was upgraded to an Omega Cannon. When charged, it blasts a powerful shot that can open certain doors and can be used against enemies. I soon discovered which enemy as soon as I walked through the open door and the music changed — the E.M.M.I is here, and it is not a happy encounter.

MetroidDread EMMI

I am impressed by how good this game looks; the opening cinematics are great! So far, I have just been playing handheld mode on my original Switch, and I'm really curious to see how it will look on the TV. The music is atmospheric and makes it feel like something seriously wrong has taken place here. It remixes the classic Metroid themes we have heard throughout the series and gives it a tense and foreboding feel. The music when the E.M.M.I is near, it made it feel like I was in a horror movie being hunted by a serial killer! It definitely got my heart racing.

MetroidDread save

After playing for a super short hour, I will definitely be coming back to play more. I ended that hour on such a cliffhanger; I can't wait to see all the cool power-ups and abilities that Samus can learn to take down these creepy E.M.M.I's and the X Parasite, once and for all. I seriously should have played this game a lot sooner, but better late than never! I really should go through my growing pile of untouched games and give them all a try, Steam Library included!

MetroidDread cannon

Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

I'm too stubborn to quit! I run on caffeine and kitty snuggles <3

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Thejakman - 04:07pm, 10th October 2023

It's so weird, but nice seeing a continuation on the whole X parasite plot, though the E.M.M.I's are a creepy addition. Nice job on the review!

Thejakman - 04:18pm, 10th October 2023

and when I say review, I naturally mean first impressions. Whoops.

Alana - 12:58am, 11th October 2023

Thanks! I feel bad it has taken me so long to play it!