E3 2017: Metroid: Samus Returns Breathes New Life into a Familiar Setting

While Nintendo shocked everyone with their Metroid Prime 4 announcement during Nintendo’s live conference yesterday, it apparently just wasn’t enough as a second Metroid title managed to take it even further when revealed during their Treehouse presentation. Metroid: Samus Returns is a re-imagining of the original gameboy title Metroid 2 and takes Samus Aran on a journey to once again destroy every last Metroid on their home planet, but this time with a sleek new look.

The story remains the same as the original Metroid 2, with Samus trying to eradicate the Metroid threat she encountered in her first mission against the Space Pirates. The fast pace of the original seems to be very much intact, with very little interruption during the gameplay aside from occasional cutscenes when running into Metroids, bosses or certain key landmarks. Some changes include a new travel feature, allowing Samus to quickly teleport between areas to save some time from backtracking. The map on the bottom of the 3DS screen allows players to place icons to remind them of areas to check out later if they don’t yet have the right item to access it.

The biggest change to gameplay comes brand new abilities Samus first gains access to early on, called aeion. These aeion abilities give Samus a new bar that shows players how much energy she has to use, and as the powers are used the bar will slowly drain. So far two abilities were shown off, with the first being a sensor that will alert Samus to which blocks are breakable and a second which becomes electric armor that protects her while also damaging enemies who touch her. Unlike the original title, players are also now able to aim in full 360 degrees, with helpful guiding beam to show where exactly she’s pointing that lights up red when aimed at an enemy.

Metroid: Samus Returns was a welcome surprise for old and new Metroid fans alike. While players wait for the next Metroid Prime title planned for next year, they can spend their time enjoying the depths of planet SR388, hunting Metroids with a gorgeous re-imagining in the classic 2D Metroid fashion. As the first new 2D styled Metroid since 2004, it will be a welcome addition to the beloved franchise. Players don’t have to wait long either, as Samus Returns is out this year on September 15 for Nintendo 3DS.