Metroid Dread: Review


Oliver Capito, Editor

After 15 years, Metroid will have its first mainline game. Better yet, Metroid 5 will be the ever elusive Metroid Dread, a game that has been rumored to be in development since it’s predecessor, Metroid Fusion, was released in 2002 for the Nintendo Gameboy. Because of constant delays, the game has been in development hell since its first rumors in 2006. 

In this Nintendo Switch title, galactic bounty hunter Samus Aran goes to Planet ZDR to investigate a mysterious video transmission showing the existence of the most powerful organism in the universe, Parasite X. Thought to be extinct, this alarming discovery leads Samus down a scary path where she collects upgrades for her suit and fights powerful enemies. 

The Good

Performance and Graphics

Surprisingly, Metroid Dread runs at 60 frames per second, a rare feat given how weak the Switch’s hardware is. This allows for very smooth gameplay that flows well and feels responsive. What makes the 60 FPS even more surprising is how it is coupled with very good graphics. In both handheld and docked mode, the colors seem to pop off the screen, but don’t give off a plasticky, childish effect that other E rated Nintendo games have (Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Party Superstars). Instead, it makes the game feel crisp.

Varying and Balanced Enemies

Right from the beginning, Dread’s enemies always surprised me. Although some of the enemies do feel pretty similar (Ply and Quetzoa, for example), most enemies have very different animations and attack patterns that distinguish them from each other. Even small things such as their idle animations were crafted to make sure each enemy had a different vibe to it. For example, slimes feel slow and weak, Obsydomithon feel deadly and menacing, and E.M.M.I.S (the main enemy of the game) feel extremely cold, robotic, and ruthless.


These enemies are the mini bosses of the game. In order to progress through the game, you need to go through massive spaces called “E.M.M.I. zones”. E.M.M.I.S roam around these areas looking for you. There are seven different E.M.M.I.S in the game, each with a new ability that makes them harder to avoid. However, all of them share one common trait: they can all instantly kill you if you touch them. This seemingly overpowered ability creates much tension when roaming these areas. The E.M.M.I.S also have a  good AI that could find you quickly.

Boss Fights

Boss fights in this game are surprisingly hard, but are also fair. All fights will definitely kill you at first, but the game is very good at allowing you to learn from your mistakes. This allows boss fights to be rewarding and enjoyable.

The Bad

Performance (sometimes)

Most of the time, the game runs the consistent 60 FPS said earlier. However, late in the game, in a certain battle that I won’t spoil, the frame rate drops significantly (15 FPS), to the point where it interferes with gameplay. The game should have had a little more polishing, and even though it is only one battle, it is still disappointing.

Repetitive EMMIS in the mid-game

Remember when I said that each EMMI has a different ability? While it is true, EMMIS 2,3, and 4 have very little changed about them and the new abilities that they have aren’t game changing at all. It feels like you are beating the same E.M.M.I over and over again, just with a different color. 

Game Length

Metroid Dread is 8 hours long, making it the longest 2D Metroid game. However, this game still goes by extremely fast, and I was able to beat it in 3 days. For a game that costs $60, 8 hours of gameplay isn’t enough to justify buying it. The game shouldn’t be anything over 15 hours, as that would be too tedious for a Metroidvania, but 8 hours goes by quickly when playing this game. Sure, hard mode does add a little more playtime, but by the time you get to it, you are probably good enough at the game where it isn’t a challenge


Overall, Metroid Dread is a great game that I would recommend getting. It is a welcome addition to the 2D Metroid franchise, and I would go as far as saying it is the best 2D Metroid ever made. 


Rating: 8.5/10