Metroid: Samus Returns

Metroid returns with an enjoyable if underwhelming remake of a famously divisive game.

Metroid: Samus Returns review

Metroid is back. For real, this time. After the odd detour of last year's Federation Force, a serviceable co-op adventure but a horrendously misjudged comeback for the series after an eight year hiatus, we have this. Metroid: Samus Returns is a remake of 1991's Metroid 2, a side-scrolling action game in which you slowly discover and unlock new abilities, each one granting you access to further flung reaches of a vast and intricate map. It's a more traditional Metroid game, then, with so many of the traits coined in Yoshio Sakamoto's 1986 original preserved intact.

The problem is, Samus Returns isn't a particularly good Metroid game.

Place some blame on the original, which has always been an outlier in the series. Metroid 2 moved away from the structured elegance of its predecessor for a more formless adventure, the player searching the sprawling caverns of the planet SR388 as they track and kill a fixed number of Metroids dispersed across the map. Its charms were obscured by the monochrome display of the original Game Boy that rendered its world an ill-defined smear, its legacy overshadowed by the arrival of Super Metroid some three years later, a game that returned to the original's formula and went on to perfect it.

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FeatureReturning to Metroid

Co-creator Sakamoto on Samus Returns, Prime 4, amiibo and more.

Yoshio Sakamoto worked at Nintendo before he co-created Metroid, but it was his sci-fi series - one that that spawned a whole genre - which made him famous.

Nintendo announces Mario, Metroid livestreams at Gamescom

Nintendo has announced livestreams for two of its biggest upcoming titles during Gamescom.

Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid: Samus Returns will both be played live from the show, and key developers will be on hand to reveal more of the games.

For Mario, you'll want to tune in at 2pm UK time on Wednesday, 23rd August. Producer and Nintendo Switch mastermind Yoshiaki Koizumi will be presenting.

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Samus Aran is back. Good god it feels to great to be able to finally say that. Samus Aran is back! Metroid hasn't been away as such in recent years - let's not forget last year's Federation Force, an odd and slightly limp offshoot that didn't do much to allay fears that this was a series on life support - but this is a full-blooded return, a double header that could prove every bit as powerful as when Samus' late 90s hiatus was interrupted by 2002's exceptional Prime and Fusion.