The Legend of Zelda is my favorite game series of all time. I thoroughly enjoy the older games and I am having a blast going through Tears of the Kingdom. When Breath of the Wild was first released, I thought to myself that this was the perfect upgrade to the Zelda series. Eiji Aonuma says that more Zelda games in the future will follow a similar formula and I am excited about that.
But while exploring Reddit, I found this post that asked fans what will be the Breath of the Wild upgrade for the Metroid series. I agree with most of the comments in this post, however, I am of the film belief that the Metroid series does not need a "Breath of the Wild upgrade" to elevate the series to a new high.
The Metroid Genre And The Inspiration It Brings Out
Metroid is not just a game series anymore, Metroid is a game genre. There are plenty of indie games like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells that are known as Metroidvania games, titles that are like both Metroid and Castlevania. To "upgrade" the Metroid games, you would have to change the game series completely.
An example of this would be that Metroid could potentially become a sci-fi horror game. However, this does not work as Samus is a powerful being and to remove all of her weapons and tools to fight back would destroy the spirit of Metroid. Horror can be explored but it has to be done in the theme of Metroid.
The best example of this would be Metroid Dread. For those who didn't have the time to play Dread, there's these enemies called E.M.M.I that if they catch you, it is almost a guaranteed game over no matter how much health you have. They stalk around trying to catch Samus and give you the feeling of fear at the pit of your stomach at just the mere sight of them.
However, this is done inside a game that is Metroid at its core. You are still exploring looking for upgrades and unlocking new paths using those upgrades. The same can be said about Metroid Prime. The only difference between Metroid Prime Remastered and Metroid Dread is the perspective. Both are at their core, Metroid games and both sold high numbers on the Nintendo Switch.
Comparing Metroid To Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the last game of the series that had the traditional Zelda formula. Although I loved the game personally, the game did not sell anywhere near the numbers of more recent releases. Zelda needed that shakeup because the old formula was becoming too restrictive. Thus, Breath of the Wild was created to breath new life into the tried and tested Zelda formula.
The Metroid series is not in that same position. Metroid Dread was an overall success in execution and the number of copies sold. Metroid Prime Remastered has sold nearly 1.10 million copies so far, which is good for a game that was suddenly dropped for the fans. This is while using the traditional Metroid Formula.
One thing I have noticed is that Metroid fans are not tired of Metroid. There is no need to change up a formula that is working and has fans wanting more. If anything, the only upgrade that Metroid needs, is more frequent releases. Changing the formula will just turn the Metroid series into something else entirely. I can not even imagine an open-world Metroid game, that sounds contradictory even writing that.
Admittedly, I couldn't have imagined Zelda needing the sort of glow up it received, but when Breath of the Wild dropped and as I play through Tears of the Kingdom, I could not have asked for anything better. Of course, it is possible that there's a significant upgrade to the Metroid formula out there, just waiting to be unlocked and released; and you can bet that if Nintendo was to mix things up or change the gameplay, it would be very interesting to see and I'd still buy it day one.
For now, I will excitingly wait for Metroid Prime 4, but I'm certainly not clamoring for any Breath of the Wild-style shakeup, no matter how much I can't stop playing Tears of the Kingdom.