Metroid Dread Report Vol. 10: To those departing for ZDR
Welcome to the Metroid Dread Report! This series will introduce the newest information on Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch and the world of the Metroid series, along with behind-the-scenes glimpses from the game’s development team.
It's time! Metroid Dread launches on October 8th (that's tomorrow!) for Nintendo Switch.
To all of you who plan to explore this uncharted alien world alongside Samus Aran (and experience the dread within!), we have a few parting transmissions from the developers. In this report, the teams responsible for the game’s design, visuals, programming, sound effects, and music each share thoughts about key areas of their work they wish to highlight.
Making the most of exploration
"Once the key elements and the vision of the game were established, we started an iterative process of design where both gameplay and level design feed each other constantly."
"A solid base lets us define the type of progression we would like to offer players. Having in mind the whole picture and knowing the kind of game we wanted players to experience allowed us to create such an interconnected world without losing focus."
"Also, every area has a distinct premise behind it, something that makes it unique. The layouts have been thought through and adapted to perfectly fit all the capabilities of the most versatile Samus that we’ve ever seen. Events, enemies, abilities, secrets, and so forth...we had to balance all of these pieces and their placement, not only for the first time a player visits an area but also the next, where they may be bringing new perspectives and opportunities for further exploration. Please enjoy the core element of what makes a Metroid game: the fun of exploration."
The overwhelming power of the E.M.M.I.
"When the concept of the E.M.M.I. was decided, we immediately realised that it was going to be a challenge of extraordinary proportions. For one thing, the E.M.M.I. had to be formidable opponents, capable of hunting down Samus even with all her new navigation enhancements. In addition, they had to make you feel afraid, so that every time you met them your heart would skip a beat."
"They are machines capable of deforming and twisting their bodies in eerie ways, allowing them to adapt to any type of terrain or mobility need. We created a whole new navigation technology, different from other characters, so that they would be able to tirelessly chase Samus through an intricate labyrinth."
"Each E.M.M.I. has its own unique abilities that it skillfully uses to hunt down Samus. But that's not enough: the E.M.M.I. are always looking for Samus, they remember where they deduce that she may be, and they try to locate her, even if they lose track of her."
"If Samus is detected, the E.M.M.I. will relentlessly chase after her, and there is little room for error when escaping them. Heed our warning and please be careful around the E.M.M.I."
A Samus for a new generation
"From the very beginning, we were clear that we needed to put special effort into visually updating Samus to modern standards while still keeping her essence. At the same time, we wished to make her appear more agile, faster, and more lethal than ever before."
"From a modelling standpoint, the armour needed to balance the traits from her more powerful and classic side with a mix of flexible and robust materials that stressed her more agile and athletic side."
"To do this, the art team aimed to design Samus with a powerful, anatomically-realistic appearance that stressed this duality. In addition, her proportions were adjusted to emphasise that there is someone inside the suit pulling off such extraordinary feats, giving Samus an unprecedented appearance."
"Also, to translate this same feeling into her movements, each and every one of Samus’ animations in the game and cutscenes were exhaustively fine-tuned to look empowering and exhilarating, whether she is fighting or exploring. We are excited for you to see her in action."
Eerie isolation on an alien world
"The goal we had in mind when designing sound effects for the game was to make the player feel the solitude of Samus on planet ZDR. There are hundreds of audio details in every area that will transport you, from realistic audio scenarios filled with waterfalls and winds to the darkest synths that will submerge you in dread, especially when inside an E.M.M.I. Zone."
"Once you hear the E.M.M.I.’s call, your auditory adventure starts: several sounds will emerge depending on if it’s searching, if it’s aware of your presence, or if it finds you. Careful listening will be essential to survival, allowing you to plan your movements in advance to know where to avoid the E.M.M.I. or where to hide from it. Good luck out there."
Honouring atmosphere and legacy
"In music production, as a general philosophy, we put a lot of weight on creating music that makes it possible to recall the atmosphere of the Metroid series."
"For the E.M.M.I. Zones, which are a first in the series, we took on the challenge of creating a music presentation for a new fear-based experience, which is a departure from the typical Metroid atmosphere."
"Through these music expressions, we believe it’s easier for players to imagine the atmosphere of Metroid Dread and get in the mindset of exploring planet ZDR."
Thank you for reading the Metroid Dread Reports! Metroid Dread is the culmination of all the 2D Metroid games that came before it. Now, it's time for you to experience the action and exploration of it, as well as find out how the E.M.M.I. and mysterious Chozo play a role in the story. You can also, ultimately, see how the strange, interconnected fate of Samus and the Metroids concludes. See you on ZDR!
Haven't yet read the previous Metroid Dread Report? Go here to check it out now.
Make sure to follow@NintendoEurope on Twitter for more on Metroid Dread and lots of other games coming to Nintendo Switch. There's also information about the game, as well as the ability to buy it, on the official Metroid Dread gamepage.