Metroid Dread proved to be one of the best games of 2021. However, some complained about the level design and how it made the game harder to complete.
It turns out, that’s what the studio behind the game planned all along.
In a translated interview with Famitsu, Metroid Dread producer Yoshio Sakamoto said the studio matched game design with pacing:
We’ve made a lot of Metroid at this point and thought a lot about what the appropriate tempo for each game is. For Metroid Dread, we tuned the action to be appropriately quick.
The game design of each Metroid complements the action and this time, this time it’s very easy to control, something I’m personally a fan of. I think this might be the best action we’ve seen in a Metroid game.
Sakamoto also said the game’s pacing helped determine the difficulty range:
We got used to the difficulty during development, which made it hard to understand how it would feel as a new player. Balancing is difficult no matter the game, but both Nintendo and MercurySteam were determined to get the action elements feeling smooth.
E.M.M.I. is unlike anything that’s been done before and we got lots of people to play it so we could tweak appropriate balance for an action game. One of the things we focused on was to make sure when a player hits a game over, they know what to try on their next attempt.
Critical and financial success
Metroid Dread’s difficulty hasn’t affected how well it’s performed with critics and consumers alike. The game currently stands at an 88 on Metacritic and sold more than any other Metroid title at launch.
Also, The Game Awards and the Golden Joystick Awards listed Metroid Dread for Game of the Year contention. It’s safe to say the game has done just fine.