Clearly, Nintendo spoiled us during this E3 2021: after having been able to discover some unspecified sequences of the recently announced Metroid Dread, the invited journalists had the chance to change with Yoshio Sakamoto, alongside Samus since 1986. Our questions were obviously numerous concerning this brand new episode, and here just for you all the elements of response of the gray eminence wisely remained in Kyoto.
“The game of Mercury Steam goes far beyond my vision of it fifteen years ago”
It’s been 15 years since Metroid Dread seems to be in the works: why did the project take so long to see the light of day?
Yoshio Sakamoto: The graphics have changed a lot in 15 years. Thanks to the technological contributions of the new consoles, and of the Switch in particular, we finally had the tools at our disposal to realize the vision we had for Metroid Dread.
You’ve worked with Mercury Steam before – what have you learned from this experience, and what new challenges have you faced?
We learned a lot alongside Mercury Steam during the development of Samus Returns. What I got out of it was that we were in complete agreement on what the Metroid saga should be like, and I was confident that they could develop a new episode. Obviously, the most difficult aspect of this project lies at the start in the distance that separates us. [NdlR : le studio est espagnol et se situe environ 10600 km de Kyoto]. In addition, things were made even more difficult with the Covid-19 pandemic, since we could no longer find each other physically. Fortunately, our shared vision enabled us to overcome these problems.
How will this new episode be perceived by a player who discovers the series for the first time?
We obviously want to talk about more players, but I would like to remind you that the concept of the series has remained the same over the years, and any episode of Metroid can thus serve as a gateway. Metroid Dread inherits from this same structure and benefits from our past experience, but we will also provide a series recap for everyone to enjoy. Whatever happens, everyone will discover EMMI robots and have to face them!
Doesn’t the fact that Samus can move quickly and easily go against the notion of terror put forward?
It’s important that a Metroid game offers freedom of movement, but without giving too much away about what’s new in this episode, I can say that we’ve found the right balance to get closer to a kind of fluid tension, if we can. say.
How did the development unfold? Who from Nintendo or Mercury Steam has taken the lead?
It was Nintendo who asked Mercury Steam to work on this new project. Our collaboration around Samus Returns had gone very well, and we had in mind for years and years this project that I hoped to see one day come to fruition. I then said to myself that I had finally found the ideal partner so that this game could finally see the light of day.
What are the differences between the game we discovered and the one that occupied your mind 15 years ago?
The original concept of the game revolved around Samus ‘confrontation with a stressful opponent, but I didn’t really detail the story, and I didn’t even know where it would fit in the series’ timeline. . With Mercury Steam, we thought about it and explored it, and we worked on the gameplay and the storyline at the same time, like a block, which made the game far beyond my vision of it initially.