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Nintendo announces new 2D Metroid for Switch called Metroid Dread

Samus Aran is back in action this October

Maddy Myers has run Polygon’s games section since 2020 as deputy editor. She has worked in games journalism since 2007, at Kotaku, The Mary Sue, and the Boston Phoenix.

On Tuesday at Nintendo’s E3 2021 press conference, the company announced a brand-new 2D Metroid game titled Metroid Dread. Fans won’t have to wait long to play the new game, which will be released for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 8.

Of course, 2D Metroid fans have already waited a long time for something like this, since Metroid Dread will be the first new 2D Metroid game in roughly 19 years. The closest approximation in the recent past was the 3DS game Metroid: Samus Returns in 2017, a remake by MercurySteam of the 1991 Game Boy game Metroid 2: The Return of Samus. Nintendo is collaborating with MercurySteam on Metroid Dread as well

Here’s how Nintendo describes Metroid Dread on its official store page: “Samus’ story continues after the events of the Metroid Fusion game when she descends upon planet ZDR to investigate a mysterious transmission sent to the Galactic Federation. The remote planet has become overrun by vicious alien lifeforms and chilling mechanical menaces. Samus is more agile and capable than ever, but can she overcome the inhuman threat stalking the depths of ZDR?”

With the 35th anniversary of the very first Metroid coming up on Aug. 6, the choice to revisit the 2D format feels like a great way to honor veteran Metroid fans. Tuesday’s surprise announcement also served as a comforting balm for folks who are still waiting for news about Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime 4, which first got announced at E3 2017 and then got rebooted in 2019. The E3 Nintendo Direct stream didn’t provide any new details about Metroid Prime 4’s progress (except that it’s continuing onward), but Metroid Dread will certainly tide us over in the meantime. For more on the game, check out the 10 screenshots in the gallery below.