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What The Critics Are Saying About Metroid Dread

Fans have been waiting for "Metroid Dread" for well over a decade, but the game's name had been around longer than most realized, going all the way back to 2005. Now, critics have finally had a chance to review the game and they're raving over it.


PJ O'Reilly from Nintendo Life said that it "could" be the best "Metroid" game ever, which is a pretty high compliment considering games like "Metroid Fusion" and "Metroid Prime" are considered to be some of the best-received titles on their consoles. Digital Trend's Giovanni Colantonio had something similar to say, calling the game "the exact jolt of energy the 'Metroid' series needed."

"Metroid Dread" earned praise for several of its elements, ranging from its stellar soundtrack to its snappy combat and immersive worlds. In fact, Samuel Claiborn from IGN pointed out that "Metroid Dread" reminded them that games like "Hollow Knight" were able to succeed because of everything the "Metroid" series created. The "Metroid" games' influence on the world of gaming, in general, cannot be overlooked, and "Metroid Dread" brings out the best aspects of the Metroidvania genre.


Critics were quick to point out all of the things "Metroid Dread" did well, while they struggled to find places where the game was underwhelming.

A crisp return to the series

Samuel Claiborn argued that the game ramps up perfectly, meaning that it never felt slow or awkward. This is something that PJ O'Reilly discussed as well, adding that the game itself never has problems with things like framerates dropping in handheld mode. By having excellent pacing and a smooth gameplay experience, "Metroid Dread" earned praise for its performance and structure, but critics also adored its moody setting as well.


Most critics loved the atmosphere of the game. Giovanni Colantonio painted the picture when he said that the game included "visually striking biomes" that kept him interested. However, not all critics agreed. Chris Carter from Destructoid argued that the maps just weren't memorable and tended to feel too similar as the game progressed.

PJ O'Reilly was one of the few critics to praise the stealth aspect of the game. He tied the stealth back to combat by pointing out that having to be stealthy to avoid death made coming back to the enemies when you're able to destroy them feel pretty satisfying. Since doubling back on one's path is a tactic the "Metroid" series practically invented, it's nice to see "Metroid Dread" using those tactics in new ways.


Tough, but well worth it

One comment that everyone mentioned was that "Metroid Dread" is hard. This isn't your run-of-the-mill adventure or platforming game that you can sit down and get through pretty quickly. Critics were quick to point out that most bosses destroyed them in initial encounters, and the majority of bosses required a lot of trial-and-error before being taken down.


However, the tough combat was worth it for pretty much everyone. "Metroid Dread" felt rewarding, and Samuel Claiborn mentioned that the difficulty also provided an incentive to explore and grab as many power-ups and ammo as possible.

What this means for fans is that there's a lot to look forward to when the game finally releases on October 8, 2021. Though most gamers took about 12 hours to beat "Metroid Dread" for the first time, most "Metroid" games reward repeat playthroughs by teaching players new tricks and techniques as they progress through the game.