When it comes to classic video games, few titles are as beloved as Metroid Prime. Originally released on the GameCube in 2002, this first-person action-adventure game starred the iconic hero Samus Aran as she explored a mysterious alien world. Now, nearly two decades later, Metroid Prime has been remastered and re-released for the Nintendo Switch, bringing the classic adventure to a new generation of players. But how does the game hold up today? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the most striking things about Metroid Prime is just how well its design has aged. Despite being nearly twenty years old, the game still looks and feels incredible today. From its moody, atmospheric visuals to its tightly-crafted level design, every aspect of the game feels like it was built to stand the test of time. This is partially due to the game’s bold art direction, which blended gritty sci-fi aesthetics with vibrant, organic environments.
But more than anything, Metroid Prime’s design works so well because of how well it balances exploration and combat. As Samus, players must navigate a vast, interconnected world, using their abilities to unlock new areas and uncover secrets. But this exploration is punctuated by intense combat encounters, as Samus battles a variety of alien creatures with her arsenal of weapons and upgrades. The game’s pacing and level design are masterful, always keeping the player engaged and constantly pushing them forward through the adventure.
Of course, even timeless classics can benefit from some modern upgrades. The Switch remaster of Metroid Prime does an excellent job of bringing the game’s controls and visuals up to modern standards. Gone are the clunky, awkward control schemes that plagued the original GameCube release; instead, players can now map their abilities to specific buttons and use motion controls to aim more precisely. These changes may seem small, but they go a long way towards making the game feel more intuitive and accessible to modern players.
Similarly, the game’s visuals have been given a stunning overhaul. While the original GameCube graphics were impressive for their time, the Switch remaster takes things to a whole new level. Environments are now more detailed and vibrant, with lighting effects and particle systems that add to the game’s moody atmosphere. Character models have also been given a high-quality facelift, making Samus and her alien foes look better than ever.
Of course, Metroid Prime’s enduring appeal goes beyond its design and controls. What really sets the game apart is its sense of atmosphere. From the eerie, ambient soundtrack to the desolate, alien landscapes, Metroid Prime does an incredible job of immersing the player in its world. The game is often cited as an early example of “environmental storytelling”, using its environments and audio cues to create a sense of narrative without relying on traditional cutscenes or dialogue.
But in addition to its science-fiction trappings, Metroid Prime also has a distinct element of horror. The game is filled with grotesque, otherworldly creatures, and Samus frequently finds herself in dangerous and claustrophobic situations. The game’s use of isolated, cryptic audio logs and environmental storytelling techniques often add to the sense of unease, making Metroid Prime a uniquely creepy and unsettling experience.
So, after nearly twenty years, how does Metroid Prime hold up? In short, it’s still every bit as good as it was in 2002. The game’s timeless design, combined with the modern upgrades of the Switch remaster, make for an incredible experience that’s perfect for both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Whether you’re exploring the game’s vast, interconnected world or battling its grotesque alien foes, there’s no denying that Metroid Prime is an absolute classic.
If you’ve never played the game before, now is the perfect time to jump in. And if you’re a longtime fan, the Switch remaster is a must-have addition to your collection. Either way, Metroid Prime remains one of the greatest video games ever made, a true masterpiece of game design and storytelling. So what are you waiting for? Grab your Switch, suit up as Samus, and prepare to dive into one of the most unforgettable adventures in gaming history.