It’s always a great day when fans of a long-running franchise receive another entry in the series, and that’s precisely what Nintendo did with Metroid Dread. Not only were fans of the originals swept up in the story and gameplay, but newcomers to the series found themselves sucked into an unforgettable experience. We here at Shacknews could not get enough of Metroid Dread, which is why it has won the Shacknews Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2021 award.
Nintendo announced Metroid Prime 4 a few years ago now, and after a couple of delays and a refresh, players had sort of lost hope in getting to experience another Metroid title any time soon. But then, out of left field, Nintendo revealed Metroid Dread and long-time fans went wild. It had been four years since Metroid: Samus Returns, and players were ready to dip their toes into the iconic side-scrolling series that birthed the now-famous Metroidvania genre.
There’s a good reason that the genre is named after Metroid, and Dread proves once again why this genre is a titan in the industry. Every single element within the game is a textbook example of how these games are to be made. Players will slowly progress through the different areas, unlocking abilities that allow them to dig deeper into previously-inaccessible locations. The levels and areas are masterfully crafted, with the player never feeling lost but always experiencing a sense of discovery.
Metroid Dread also offers long-time fans a sense of pay-off for having waited years for another entry in the series. From boss fights to important lore reveals, the game manages to stride the line between honoring the past and introducing newcomers to the dangerous universe. Fan-favorite foes return while some major reveals take place that finally provide answers to the questions that have been burning away in our soul since we first learned about Samus.
Our own Blake Morse sung praises from the rooftops in his Metroid Dread review. Whether it was the gorgeous and varied locations, the diverse and powerful abilities and armaments, or the sense of exploration and rich story, there is so much to adore about Metroid Dread. All of this solidified Metroid Dread in our minds as the deserved winner of the Shacknews Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2021 award.