The debate over game difficulty sparks up with the release of Metroid Dread. Also, Ghostrunner comes to and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s soundtrack is revealed.
Engaging Metroid Dread provides challenging exploration
Metroid Dread, the latest chapter in the story of bounty hunter Samus Aran, is clever, challenging, and thrlling. It’s also perfectly demonstrates why “metroid” became more than a video game; it’s a genre.
The sidescrolling action platformer, a Nintendo Switch exclusive, is old school in many ways. There’s very little explanation or voice over and no formal tutorial. This is a game you figure out how to play by playing it.
Because the game is so tightly designed, though, you can figure it out pretty easily. When you need a new power, you get it, and you have to use it immediately after acquiring it. It’s how Metroid trains us as players, and teaches us how things work.
Metroid Dread is similar to other games in the franchise in that Samus starts the game by being stripped of her powers. Those abilities are added back to her power suit as you explore the map and discover the secrets. Each ability or weapon upgrade opens up new possibilities and routes through the map.
The maps – there are eight sections in the game – get a little confusing after you’ve exposed much of the area, and I got lost a few times, trying to figure out where I was supposed to go next. But I always figured it out im the end.
What’s different about Metroid Dread is the addition of a deadly antagonist, EMMI robots. Standard Metroid enemies are restricted to the screen they are on, but the EMMI robots can navigate through the map, and if they detect Samus they go on the hunt.
And if Samus is captured by an EMMI, the game is over and you pick things up from the last save point.
There’s only ever one EMMI to deal with at a time, and there is a way to defeat them, but while you figure out how to get that power, you’re going to have to run and you’re going to end up dying. At least a few times.
The tension that is so perfectly evoked by the game’s music and sound design ratchets up when you’re being hunted. This Metroid certainly creates a sensation of Dread.
There are eight areas to explore and seven EMMI robots to overcome, not to mention the game’s bosses, which are also difficult and require unique battle strategies.
Metroid Dread is challenging, to be sure, but for those players who can deal with experimenting with the combat and trying different things to see what works, it’s a blast.
Futuristic aesthetic flows through Ghostrunner
Ghostrunner has been released for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. If you’ve already got the game for PS4 or Xbox One you can upgrade for free.
The game combines parkour with sword fighting – you’re equipped with a katana – in a frenzied, quick-twitch experience that barely ever slows down.
In first-person perspective you navigate through a futuristic city, finding paths through the environment and slicing up the enemies trying to shoot you. You can make quick lateral moves to dodge some bullets while using your sword to deflect others, and you’ll be repeating sections over and over trying to find the right sequence of moves, because if you get hit once, you’re dead.
With a bass-heavy synthesizer soundtrack that befits the setting, Ghostrunner puts you into the future.
Here are the songs in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game
Director James Gunn is the reason that music has become strongly associated with Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming video game is no exception.
To be released on October 26, Square Enix has published the track list on Spotify
It includes classics from Motley Crue (Kickstart My Heart), Loverboy (Turn Me Loose), Billy Idol (White Wedding), Soft Cell (Tainted Love), Blondie (Call Me), and Pat Benatar (Hit Me With Your Best Shot).
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is releasing on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.