Nintendo Switch Game of the Year: Metroid Dread
Whenever I remember Terror Metroid exists, I have to pinch myself. Not only was the all-new 2D Metroid title in nearly two decades a hell of a game – it was the better Nintendo Switch 2021 title from afar.
What co-developers MercurySteam and Nintendo EPD achieved this year was nothing short of a miracle, given how daunting the task they faced was. Terror Metroid had to bring back the oft-overlooked franchise in a way that appealed to old-school fans. But it couldn’t be just a rehash of Super Metroid; He needed his own ideas and find a way to combine old formulas with new innovations to attract new players and make sure there wasn’t another 19-year wait between games. Oh, and he must have done all of this while carefully concluding an ambitious story that began 35 years ago.
Watch a trailer for Metroid Dread, below …
MercurySteam – working closely with Nintendo itself – complements this intimidating list of commands with the skill and confidence of a studio that has been making Metroid games for decades. That this is the team’s first original game in the universe (its latest effort being a relatively solid, albeit sure, remake of Metroid II: The Return of Samus) is remarkable.
Terror Metroid is a triumph. I can’t really say it in simpler terms than that. It’s a fluid, hyper-focused action-adventure that borrows the best ideas from the past three decades of Metroid gaming and changes – or completely removes – things that never really worked.
Our hero Samus Aran goes through beautiful 2.5D environments with incredible physical and dynamic feel. Old moves like the morph ball and grapple beam have been tweaked to complement new techniques like free aim and a physics counter to ensure that navigating the many labyrinthine biomes on planet ZDR is a constant joy. Rolling back is seldom a pleasure in a video game, but the joy of just moving around. Terror Metroid does so.
It’s also a game that doesn’t perform well. The screen-filling boss fights make the best possible use of Switch hardware in some of the most punitive and inventive encounters ever in a series. known for his difficult bosses. In the last hours of Terror Metroid, you’ll learn to combine abilities to move like you never imagined you could, and take down powerful enemies that at first seemed overwhelming, if not impossible.
“We are honored to accept the ‘Nintendo Game of the Year’ award for Terror Metroid from GAMINGbible, ”Nintendo wrote in a statement. “We would like to send a big ‘thank you’ to all the players on behalf of all the staff who have worked to make the development vision a reality. And we hope that players will continue to enjoy the exciting adventure of Samus Aran.
Terror Metroid is alternately stimulating, maddening, downright terrifying. The speed at which it can go from a hellish platformer to an open world adventure to full survival horror is impressive. That’s what a Metroid game should be in 2021, and it is why it’s the best Nintendo Switch game you’ll be playing this year.