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Metroid Dread gets a one-hit-kill mode and ‘Rookie’ mode

Samus Aran’s journey can get tougher — or easier

Samus Aran clenches her fist after receiving a power-up in Metroid Dread Image: Nintendo via Polygon
Maddy Myers has run Polygon’s games section since 2020 as deputy editor. She has worked in games journalism since 2007, at Kotaku, The Mary Sue, and the Boston Phoenix.

During Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct, Metroid Dread fans got a nice surprise: The game will get a free update, to be released later on Wednesday. The update will include two new difficulty modes, one that makes the game more difficult and one that makes it a bit easier.

Metroid Dread is already a very difficult game, as Polygon noted in our review, with bosses in particular offering “enormous spikes in difficulty” and no “helping hand” along the way. For players who enjoy mastering these encounters and getting nary a scratch on Samus Aran’s power suit in the process, Metroid Dread’s new Dread Mode will come as a welcome challenge. One hit in this mode will lead to a game over, so you can’t get nicked even once.

But what about newcomers to Metroid, or players who simply want more of a cushion on the experience? Metroid Dread will now include a Rookie Mode that will feature “increased recovery” for the intergalactic bounty huntress. That sounds like the “helping hand” the original version of the game didn’t offer, now included for the players who’d like to make use of it.

The Nintendo Direct livestream also announced that another Metroid Dread update is on its way in April: a boss rush mode. Players will get to battle every single boss in the game, all in a row. Sounds like the sort of training regimen that only an ultimate warrior would enjoy. Luckily, Samus is up to the task.

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