Metroid Dread Review: 7 Ups & 2 Downs

Is Dread worth the hype?

metroid dread
Nintendo

Even though some games are hyped like crazy, they never come to pass. Millions of gamers were excited to get their hands on Star Wars 1313, Silent Hills, Fez II, and yet, they didn't see the light of day. And when Metroid Dread was cancelled in the 2000s (on two separate occasions), it felt like the game was good as dead.

But in 2021, Nintendo announced the long-awaited sequel was coming to the Switch that same year, making it the first brand-new 2D Metroid game in nearly two decades. Even though Super Metroid and Metroid Prime raised the bar of what fans expect from the series, Nintendo EPD and MercurySteam's new project received universal praise. The level design is superb, the bosses are epic, the music is suitably macabre, and the mechanics are astoundingly precise.

But what other elements of Samus Aran's latest outing make it stand out? How does it fair compared to its predecessors? Is it as good as people say or are there some factors that let it down? And most importantly - is the backtracking still a complete nightmare?

9. DOWN: The Loading Times Are Painful

metroid dread
Nintendo

The world of each Metroid game is divided into hundreds of rooms. Most rooms are separated by a hatch-door which Samus must pass through to enter. When Samus walks through these hatches, it takes one or two seconds to load the contents of the next room, which is annoying since it interrupts the flow of the gameplay.

However, the transition between leaving one room and entering another in Metroid Dread is seamless, Sadly, the same cannot be said when Samus Aran enters a new region. There are nine areas to explore in the game and Samus has to regularly visit each one multiple times.

While you transition from one area to another, the loading takes between 20-30 seconds, which is surprisingly long for a mainstream game for the Nintendo Switch. Sometimes, it can take over a minute, which is the type of loading you’d expect from a Commodore 64, not a modern console.

It may seem like a minor gripe but it’s quite aggravating near the end of the game when you’re travelling back and forth a lot, trying to locate the last few upgrades.

Contributor
Contributor

James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85