Exploration and backtracking are core pillars of any Metroid game (or any good Metroid game, at least), so it goes without saying that it’s crucial for any new mainline entry in the series to have good map functionality. In a new Metroid Dread Report, the game’s development team focused on this element in particular quite a bit, talking about the various improvements being made on this front in the upcoming Metroid Dread.
“Where previous maps used a simple cell-based view, this new map has become a more detailed navigational tool that can show things like differing terrains,” the developer writes.
“Since the Metroid series of games is all about exploring, it was clear to us that the map—the foundation of exploration—would be an important thing for us to focus on. This new map is powered up from previous, traditional maps in terms of look and function, which we think will make exploring the world feel even smoother than before.”
So what exactly can you expect in terms of map improvements? You can place up to six custom markers on the map now, which will also appear on your minimap, while the map itself also allows you to zoom in and out. The minimap can also be expanded during normal gameplay by pressing left on the d-pad. There’s also icon highlighting, which will let you highlight and view the same type of icons across all area maps. Additionally, the map now also contains hints for hidden items, with glowing spots on the map hinting at nearby secrets.
You can check out a few screenshots of the game’s map below.
In the previous Metroid Dread Report, the development team spoke about the game’s biggest hook, the stalker enemies known as E.M.M.I. robots, and what players can expect from them in terms of their abilities and variety. Read more on that through here.
Metroid Dread launches for the Switch on October 8, the same day that the Switch OLED comes out. Though Metroid Dread will serve as a conclusion to the five-game arc of the 2D Metroid saga, it will also set up future stories.