Unveiled during Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse Live, Metroid: Samus Returns is the latest 2.5D platformer for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a reimagining of the original Metroid II from 1991, and apart from the modern 3D visual updates, the title is packed with new features for even the most seasoned Metroid II fan to enjoy. Forty-five minutes of gameplay was shown off during the Treehouse Live presentation, seen below, but EGM has pulled all of the new, returning, and upgraded mechanics found (so far) in the upcoming title.
New details have been included from the ground up, including Samus’ main arm cannon. In the past, the Bounty Hunter could only aim in forty-five-degree angles, but now holding the left trigger will allow a full-range of motion in the arm. Precision and accuracy have also been upgraded through a visible red beam emitting from the arm cannon, and an audio beep, once a target is in line. Perhaps the most game changing of additions to the cannon is the Melee Counter move, which allows Samus to perform an uppercut against enemies attempting to bash into her. Players that can successfully pull off the counter will raise their critical hit ratio and find weak points on otherwise tedious boss fights.
Of course, there are a slew of returning upgrades and abilities to find, including the iconic orange and yellow Varia Suit, Charge Beam, Morph Ball, Arm Cannon Missiles, and many more. The ability buffs will still be found in Chozo Artifacts or through boss encounters, but it seems there will be available that didn’t appear in Metroid II.
Completely new to the remake are the Aeion Abilities, which act as consumable features for Samus to use in battle and exploration. A lightning-based ability creates a shield, harming enemies and giving Samus invulnerability, while Pule Sensor reveals hidden areas on the map. Exploration is still a key component in acquiring upgrades and consumable items, and thankfully the map system also received updates. Pins can now be placed on the map screen to create markers for locked doors or items just out of reach that will need to be found later. It’s a simple but needed touch for a game with such an expansive area to explore. Taking a cue from the Castlevania platformers, a teleport system has been integrated, allowing Samus to use specific stations on the map to move from one corner of the map to the next.
If all of this strikes your fancy, a special edition of the game was announced at the end of the presentation, which includes a collective soundtrack known as the Samus Archives, which includes twenty-five tracks from various songs across the Metroid franchise. Two new Amiibo, a squishy headed Metroid and Samus in her Metroid II pose, will also be available with in-game functionalities. Metroid: Samus Returns launches on September 15th, 2017 for Nintendo 3DS.