Game Review | Metroid Dread: The Mother is Back

07 January 2022 - 14:04 By Cody Nery Thomson
Metroid Dread is a must have if you’re a Metroidvania fan. It’s classic yet fresh.
Metroid Dread is a must have if you’re a Metroidvania fan. It’s classic yet fresh.
Image: Supplied

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; the Nintendo Switch is one of my most favourite consoles. I’m not sure what kind of Nostalgia Nuggets those guys are eating up there at Nintendo HQ, but every game I play takes me back to a simpler time where torches under the duvet reigned supreme. Of course, spiced up with today’s modernities, each game is just the perfect blend of what I enjoyed from the old games but what I always hoped the games would be like in the future.

Ok, so maybe my above statement reveals that I may not have played Metroid in a few years cough cough Metroid Fusion cough cough, but daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaymn Metroid Dread just took me straight back. From my first Spin Jump I knew I was in for another toe-clenching, splitter-blasting, power-suited throwdown.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all played Metroid before, and if not Metroid; more than likely some Metroidvania. So, we know what’s what and who’s who and Dread doesn’t stray from the classic Metroidvania formula.

Image: Supplied

Samus, the badass-bounty-hunter heroin of it all, gets called in for another job that the Galactic Federation has failed to succeed at. Of course, something strange and mysterious happens, causing Samus to lose her memory and most of the power-suits upgrades. From here on out, your mission is to figure out how to get back to your ship without dying along the way.

Typical of a Metroidvania; you start out with the basics and by exploring and pushing your luck you manage to pick up upgrades to get you through the game. Advancing forward is usually soft locked before you pick up a specific skill or upgrade needed to push on, with a ton of secret, little nooks hiding a few HP Up canisters or a bigger rocket belt to sling around your waist, and if you’re a gamer like me, you know you’re going all the way back to level 1 from level 67 to pick up that extra rocket pack now that you’ve finally unlocked the skill to get it.

The boss fights are sweaty, and I can honestly say I wasn’t able to clear a single one on my first try, but the most exhilarating parts are when you have to make your way through an E.M.M.I. zone…

…cracks knuckles, takes in a deep breath and rolls out shoulders.

E.M.M.I.s are these speedy, gym-nasty, robo-hounds that hunt you down like a drunk looking for that 2AM boerie roll and when you enter the area that they’re patrolling, you’d better be prepared to be boerie baby, because you’re more than likely about to be… dead meat. That breath of fresh air you get if you make it to the other side is a dream, heart rate still high and adrenaline still peaking it takes a second to remember that there are other things to get done besides surviving that E.M.M.I.s death needle.

Overall, Metroid: Dread is stellar. It’s easy to see how Metroid is the mother of a genre when they keep dropping hits like Dread. 

Metroid Dread is a must have if you’re a Metroidvania fan. It’s classic yet fresh. It’s just hard enough to keep you coming back death after death, and perfectly rewarding for when you put in that extra effort. The Mother is back.
PROS A great mix of nostalgia and modern gaming Samus Just the right amount of challenging
CONS I had to wipe down my controller a few times *phew Hand cramps on those extra sweaty bosses