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Metroid Dread, also refered to as Metroid 5, is the fifth mainline game in the Metroid series released on the Nintendo Switch on October 8, 2021, which is the same day as the Nintendo Switch OLED Model's release. It is a sequel to Metroid Fusion developed by MercurySteam and published by Nintendo. Metroid Dread is inspired from Metroid: Samus Returns gameplaywise, and is also known for its long and convoluted development history.

Gameplay

Metroid Dread is an action-adventure game in which players control bounty hunter Samus Aran as she explores the planet ZDR. It retains the side-scrolling gameplay of previous Metroid games, alongside the free aim and melee attacks added in Samus Returns (2017). As the player explores, they discover new items and weapons, allowing them to access new areas.

Dread adds stealth elements, with Samus avoiding the EMMI robots in certain areas by hiding, reducing her noise, and using the Phantom Cloak, camouflage that makes her invisible but slows her movement. If an EMMI catches Samus, the player has two brief chances to perform melee counters and escape. If they fail, Samus is killed. EMMIs can only be destroyed when Samus obtains the temporary "Omega Blaster" upgrade, which is lost upon using it to destroy one; however, destroying an EMMI grants Samus a new permanent upgrade. Upgrades can also be found by finding Chozo statues or destroying a Core-X like in previous games. Players unlock images in an in-game gallery based on their completion time, difficulty level, and percentage of items collected.

Plot

The Galactic Federation receives a mysterious transmission from an unknown source, in which an X-Parasite is seen roaming around in a planet known as ZDR. The Galactic Federation sends 7 E.M.M.I. units to investigate the planet in search of the X-Parasite. As this units land on the planet, the federation loses communication with them. With communication lost, Samus is assigned for the mission. Once there, she descends on an elevator. After descending, she finds a living Chozo, who attacks her immediately. After a short battle, this Chozo leaves her unconscious with all her abilities lost in Artaria, where she must now track down all of her abilities again and return to the planet's surface.

Reception

The game has been well-received by critics. It currently has a score of "88" on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[1]

Development

The first official reference to Metroid Dread was on a 2005 internal Nintendo software list of Nintendo DS games set to release in the future. This led to speculations that it would appear at the Electronic Entertainment Expo convention of 2005 or 2006. Metroid Dread ended up being the only game on this list to never see an actual release. This caused rumors about the project that raged for years. The second official reference to Metroid Dread was in another Metroid game, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. A line in the game state that "Experiment status report update: Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing the final stages of completion". This was in 2007 and led to further speculation.

in 2010, Yoshio Sakamoto confirmed that Metroid Dread had existed, but that it was cancelled and that it would need to be redone from scratch if Nintendo decided to go back on it. He later denied that both Metroid: Other M, released in 2010, and Metroid: Samus Return, released in 2017, were related to Dread. Finally, Metroid Dread was rebooted by MercurySteam and was announced as a Nintendo Switch exclusive during E3 2021.

Sales

Dread opened at 86,798 in it's first week in Japan. This alone made it the 3rd best selling Metroid game in Japan when lifetime sales are taken into account. In a month, it climbed to 128,257 units sold in this region. This made it the second best selling Metroid game in Japan just behind Metroid Fusion who sits at 155,528. Meanwhile, it sold 854,000 copies in the USA during this same time period. This put it at around 982.257 units worldwide in a month without taking other markets into account such as Europe, which has not given any concrete numbers so far. This makes it the ninth best selling Metroid game so far just behind Metroid Prime Hunters, which sits at 1.08 million sales worldwide.

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