Metroid Dread’s New Dread & Rookie Modes Explained

Nintendo’s February Direct video featured many updates on upcoming games and new content for old ones, including the new Dread and Rookie game modes for Metroid Dread† Each will change the game and make it a new experience for both returning and new players, but some don’t know how they will do it. The new difficulty levels will each feature new challenges, so players may want to study them before jumping in.

Metroid Dread is the latest installment in the famous metro series. It stays true to previous games with its classic side-scrolling style of gameplay, but it also breaks away from it with new themes and an indomitable enemy that will drive more than one player crazy. The EMMI robots are ruthless and invulnerable, and if they catch Samus, it’s almost guaranteed Game Over. Metroid DreadEMMI’s are terrifying for a reason, and for good reason. While it becomes easier to dodge them as the game progresses, they are easily the scariest enemies in the series.

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Both Metroid DreadThe new difficulty settings will affect the game in drastic ways. For example, Dread mode will make it even tougher than before, which many didn’t even think possible. The Rookie Mode, on the other hand, lives up to its name by making it just that little bit easier for those who prefer a less frenetic experience. Unlocking Dread Mode will take quite a bit of work, but luckily for those looking forward to it, Rookie Mode won’t.

What is Metroid Dread’s Dread Mode?


Metroid Dread's EMMI Enemies Scary Encounters Samus Death

Dread Mode is one of the two new game modes introduced in the new update, and it’s the one that has gotten the most attention so far. Compared to previous games, Metroid DreadThe difficulty level is already through the roof, but Dread Mode takes it one step further. If Samus gets just one hit in this game mode, be it from an enemy or an environmental hazard, she’s done. A single bit of damage guarantees a Game Over, so Dread Mode easily lives up to its name. Players will need quick reflexes and a well-balanced mind to conquer this new mode, but if they do, it should be much more satisfying when they finally beat the game.


It’s easy to see how Dread mode will change the game. Such a harsh and ruthless punishment as instant death makes Metroid Dread competitions more difficult than before, that is saying something. Even the unlockable Hard Mode isn’t that bad. Find and beat Metroid Dread bosses like Golzuna become less of a challenge and more of a long shot. While the game still allows players to save their progress, it’s an uphill climb that will have more than one tantrum before completing the playthrough. The EMMIs become even more terrifying than they already were, as they are now not only an unstoppable force, but one that can destroy Samus with just a touch, making her appear as weak as a wet paper bag by comparison.


Rookie Mode of Metroid Dread


image from the game Metroid Dread in which Samus Aran fights an EMMI robot

Rookie Mode is almost the exact opposite of Dread Mode. It makes the game easier instead of harder by decreasing the damage from bosses and increasing the energy and ammo that Samus gets back. The contrast is striking, especially when compared to the terrifying Dread mode, meaning casual players and those new to the game can breathe a sigh of relief. Metroid Dread is one of Nintendo’s best 2021 games, but that’s not to say it isn’t a huge challenge. metro isn’t known for its players easy wins, and it’s a bit of a mystery why they would start now, but many who just couldn’t beat the latest game aren’t complaining.


Related: Metroid Dread Needed New Content, Not New Modes

Like Dread Mode, it’s obvious how Rookie Mode changes Metroid Dread† The game becomes less of a terrifying sprint and more of a fun challenge, even if it’s still not the easiest out there. It’s the perfect way for fans to relax in the game, and even the series as a whole. Casual players who struggled with the intense gameplay and frenetic pace can now enjoy the game more. While it probably won’t provide a blueprint for the metro future of the series, it’s still a refreshing take on the game. Some might say the new mode takes the bite out metro, and they may have a point, but it also makes it more accessible to more players. After all, not everyone likes the toughest challenges games have to offer, so Rookie Mode serves as a more relaxed (relatively speaking) way to play.


How to unlock Metroid Dread’s new game modes


To unlock Dread Mode, players must first beat Hard Mode, which itself can only be unlocked after beating Normal Mode, meaning anyone who wants to play Dread Mode will have to beat the game twice. Simply unlocking is an achievement in itself, not to mention beating it, meaning even veteran metro players will have to dig deep and dig in their heels to have a chance to see it. Even Metroid Dread fans who have read the original manga and have been with the series since its inception may feel that getting to the dread mode is a challenge in itself. It will likely be a long, difficult process, one that will be no small source of frustration.

A perfect reflection of both game modes, Rookie mode couldn’t be easier to unlock by comparison. All players have to do is update the game, and they can stalk through ZDR and avoid the dreaded EMMI robots much easier than usual. This makes it even more of a perfect sequel for new players to join the series, and introduce even more people to metro and the adventures of bounty hunter Samus Aran. Metroid Dread can be very difficult, but Rookie Mode could be a sign that the series is learning to let go of its grip.

Next: Everything Revealed During Nintendo Direct (February 2022)


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