Officialized a few months ago, the new Metroid Dread is finally available, exclusively on Nintendo Switch. A new episode strongly awaited by many fans of the license, which offers a homecoming, with gameplay in 2D. On this subject, it should be known that Metroid Dread (mentioned for the first time in 2005!) Can be considered as the fifth episode of the saga, since it follows directly to Metroid on NES (1986), Metroid II Return of Samus on GameBoy (1991), Super Metroid on Super Nintendo (1994), and finally Metroid Fusion on GameBoy Advance (2002). Our verdict on Samus Aran’s new assignment, “ most dangerous to date ».
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Metroid Dread finally in test!
Launched in 1986, the Metroid saga, like a Doom, inaugurated a whole new genre of video games, namely “Metroidvania”. Indeed, it is about exploring a vast labyrinthine world in 2D, the bounty hunter Samus Aran being able to recover new powers, allowing the player to retrace his steps to reach places inaccessible before. A genre today very (too?) Democratized, so much so that beyond ” Metroid aura », This new Metroid Dread had to be perfectly chiseled by Nintendo to surprise players.
A Metroid Dread that takes place 20 years after the Fusion episode, when the Galactic Federation receives a transmission indicating the presence of X parasites, which seemed to have disappeared, on the planet ZDR. The Interplanetary Multiform Mobile Explorers (or EMMI) are sent there to solve this mystery, but they immediately stop transmitting. It was then that Samus Aran made the decision to go to ZDR, where everything did not really go as planned …
We will obviously not spoil you any part of the scenario here, but it will be a question of getting your hands on the different powers of Samus Aran, by exploring different interconnected territories, in order to go and kill a vile character who does not want us that good. . Metroidvania obliges, the map, relatively succinct at first, will quickly spread out, with many areas initially inaccessible. It is only by evolving in the game, that we will be able to retrace our steps to reach such a zone too high, to break this obstacle or to go through a very narrow path.
Metroid Dread is a giant labyrinth, so newbies will sometimes feel a little lost, even if the map allows you to sort certain elements (like doors, handy to know which ones could be opened with your new power), but also to place markers. Of course, over the course of the game, you unlock many shortcuts, elevators, teleporters and other means of transport to get from one area to another very quickly.
Quand la Nintendo Switch OLED Samus
From a strictly technical point of view, Metroid Dread is quite a slap in the face, with the added bonus of a new rendering ” tout en OLED On Nintendo’s new console. But regardless of the Nintendo Switch you have, Metroid Dread displays a very pleasing to the eye (720p in portable and 900p in docked), with a particularly stable 60 fps. The sound design has also been very worked, and is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the title. A great feat on the Nintendo console. Visually, not everything is perfect, but some panoramas are sublime, with the added bonus of good depth management.
But where Metroid Dread is really impressive is the quality of its animations. Indeed, the game offers a very natural rendering, very ” living », And it suffices to see Samus leaning on a wall, or even aiming with precision (via the L key and the left stick) to enjoy a job that is just admirable. Added to this is a particularly nervous gameplay, based on slides, jumps against walls and other acrobatics, which allows you to enjoy a show at all times.
The fluidity of the gameplay is another strong point of this Metroid Dread, and it is a pure joy to wander through the levels, sometimes as a hunter, sometimes as prey. We also find here the parade system introduced in the 3DS episode, not to mention various powers acquired by Samus over the course of the game, which gradually transform the latter into a real killing machine.
Still, don’t think Metroid Dread is a game. easy “. Indeed, despite the skills of this dear Samus, each enemy encountered presents a real danger, not to mention certain areas that are too hot or too cold, which will melt the heroine’s life gauge. In addition to areas of tension with EMMI, Metroid Dread also offers some boss fights in which you will have to be both precise and efficient, with if possible a good mastery of the parry. And yes, if you happen to die several times in the same EMMI zone, or in front of a boss, don’t panic, it’s normal. As in many very punitive games, the victory will be all the more beautiful.
Lifespan and grievances
Side life, Metroid Dread will require about 8 hours of time for those who will seek above all to complete the main adventure, without aiming for 100% completion on each level. Note that a Hard mode will be available once the adventure is over, for those who wish to take up a new challenge.
Overall, this new (and eagerly awaited) Metroid Dread is an undeniable success for Nintendo, even if the gamer with even the slightest bit of demand will find some flaws in it. For example, it happens that the frame rate drops slightly (but this is very rare), that some enemies / backgrounds alias a little too much and that the game sometimes requires playing a little ” nag To shoot down some mid-bosses.
Added to this is a not extraordinary staging, a concept (MetroidVania) which is no longer as “rare” as it was at one time, as well as a few long uploads between the zones, but nothing that does not exist. could not prevent this Metroid Dread from constituting an excellent (extreme) experience for those who appreciate the genre (which will undoubtedly have already acquired the collector’s version of the game).
Our opinion on Metroid Dread
It’s undeniable, despite the few grievances listed above, Metroid Dread is a pure celestial-cosmic slap. The action phases are thrilling and frenetic, while the infiltration phases raise real tension in the player. Added to this is the labyrinthine side specific to the saga, with a nice dose of exploration and always this very pleasant rise in power, without forgetting an admirable work on the animations and the sound design. Clearly one of the best games of the license, and incidentally also one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Not bad for a license which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year!
- Nervous and precise gameplay
- This rise in power!
- These animations!
- The action / exploration duality
- EMMI, very stressful
We like less
- It aliases a bit anyway
- The difficulty may discourage some
- A much less “unique” concept today