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Metroid Dread Gets Tension Right With The Relentless, Agile EMMIs

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Metroid Dread doesn’t waste any time in introducing what exactly there is to dread in the long-awaited sequel. Many of the game’s trailers so far have featured the long-limbed, quadripedal robots known as EMMIs, who seem to be near impossible-to-kill sentries that series protagonist Samus Aran must simply avoid. EMMIs–or at least one version of them–are there right from the start of your adventure, and during my recent hands-on playthrough of the game’s opening sector, EMMIs proved to be an effective, compelling way of instilling a healthy amount of panic to the series’ tried-and-true core of action and exploration.

Granted, the last game in this specific Metroid series (Metroid Fusion, which was released a whopping 19 years ago) featured a similar Nemesis-like unstoppable enemy in the SA-X. But while the SA-X was merely a chilling presence in limited (and scripted) spurts, the EMMIs in Dread look like they’ll be a much more present and constant threat. In my hour-long playthrough, the winding path of progress took me through EMMI-patrolled areas several times, which meant repeated cat-and-mouse-like encounters. Although my time with the game was brief, it was enough for me to feel twinges of anxiety every time I saw one of the telltale shimmering black-and-white doors that indicated an EMMI was somewhere on the other side.

But let’s take a step back and frame where Metroid Dread takes place within the wider series. Dread is, officially, the fifth game in what Nintendo terms as the “2D saga,” which started with the original Metroid on Famicom way back in 1986 (or 1987 for NES). The series (which also includes Metroid II, Super Metroid, and Metroid Fusion) charts the story of bounty hunter Samus Aran and her seemingly intertwined fate with a species known as Metroids, as well as her encounters with a parasitic lifeform known simply as X, a whole bunch of Space Pirates, and a mysterious extinct (or are they?) civilization known as the Chozo.

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Source: Game Spot Mashup