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Metroid: Evolution is an action-adventure video game published by Nintendo for the Wii U console as a downloadable title. It is the tenth main Metroid released, and is currently the last game of the timeline, taking place after Fusion chronologically. It was developed by the company's Research & Development 1 (R&D1) division, the same creators of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. It was released in November of 2017 for North America and the rest of the world by March of the following year.
Rather than following Samus Aran like the other games, the game instead follows a sole survivor Metroid (which they can name as desired) who, along its few remaining friends, travel the surface of a "cousin planet" of the currently destroyed SR-388; SR-398, the only other planet with Metroids located on it. Their objective is to evolve and repopulate, and expand their race once more.
After the events of Fusion, it's been presumed that the Metroid species has gone extinct, with even the research products having been destroyed thanks to the Samus Aran X breaching the system security and detaching the laboratory from the now destroyed B.L.S. station. However, SR-398, a planet that is a "cousin" of the now destroyed SR-388, housed a few Metroids that have been hardly able to escape their home. Above the surface, what remains of the X roams around, infesting creatures, and as they are the natural prey of the Metroids, the Metroids have hungered to get up to the surface and feast upon their bodies.
The protagonist Metroid, a recent newborn, is able to fit through the hole and begin feeding on the X species, and grow larger and mature into new stages, and eventually release the other trapped Metroids into the rest of the world, and begin taking over SR-398. The X population continues producing, but they only become more food for the Metroids, who continue growing in size. Eventually, one of the Metroids becomes a Queen Metroid, and the species is able to rest peacefully once more.
Due to the lack of series protagonist Samus Aran as the main player, the gameplay has heavily changed. While still being revolved around exploration, the player must now seek enemies on the planet to eat and digest to stay alive, this is necessary as slowly, over time, the Metroid's hunger meter drops. If it's empty, the Metroid has starved to death. Taking damage from the ice-equipped enemies of the planet or the ice projectiles present throughout the planet also can harm the Metroid.
As the Metroid evolves and matures into its new stages, the player can progress into new areas of the game thanks to the new abilities provided by the different species of Metroid. The game will continue being about eating until the Metroid becomes an Omega Metroid, where its objective is to wreak havoc on the planet and make room for the Metroids to repopulate. This means bringing demolition to the land and smashing it apart, and have its evolved friends help it in the process.
Like in traditional Metroid games, the Metroid can obtain new abilities, but it must defeat bosses to get those abilities. Additionally, abilities probably won't be compatible with the Metroid's system until they evolve. Although Metroids may not shoot missiles, they can drain the life force out of enemies and use look-alikes of Samus' abilities to get around SR-398.
- Every planet and their mother has a Crateria, right? This is the surface of SR-398, it's toxic and has acid rain falling everywhere. It's one of the smallest areas in the game to explore, and sports no major bosses. This is, however, where you find Metroids to free from their little homes, trapped from the rest of the world.
- The nature, leafy cave hidden under Crateria. It's where many jungle dwellers live and thrive, and is said to be where Kraid's species originated from. There isn't much to explore at first, but once the player becomes heavier, they'll get into the heavy, vine-filled heart of the jungle.
- Another familiar name. Like said earlier, Kraid's species had its origins here. This area is way more leafy than Terriree, and is pretty small. It also has a lot of aquatic areas and swamps, some of which you can't get into very far unless you have the Talons at hand. At the very center of this complex is Kraid - or at least, a cousin of him.
- The super-heated mines of Crateria. It is said that Chozo once worked here for a living, trading items and weapons across the planet. However, the area was inconveniently hidden above a hot spot and the area eventually blew up in flames. Most of the paths here are linear and not maze like, although some areas have fallen apart and prevent you from passing through.
- Yet another familiar name. Ridley's species did not originate here, but a subspecies branched off from his and thrives here. Many dragon or dinosaur like creatures make their home here, using super heated breath to hit the Metroids hard. It's very maze like because the Ridley-like creatures here have actually made a complex, thriving civilization. A Ridley lookalike is at the end here.
- The metallic, rusty core of SR-398. Many Metroids are held captive here, actually held in place by Space Pirates. As the Metroid goes forward, they'll fight other Metroids, genetically cloned ones, and be forced to kill them. However, at the end, lies Mother Brain - well an incarnation of her. After destroying her tank and eating up the brain, the Metroid needs to escape the exploding Mach. Fortunately, the explosion doesn't hurt the rest of SR-398, leaving the Metroids to live happily ever after...most of Mach is straight forward, by the way.
The normal Metroid flies around rather quickly, and is able to get into small spaces. Of course, once it evolves, it won't be able to enter those small spaces, but it can destroy them instead. The Metroid can sap energy off from opponents, but it has no other way of attacking.
Alpha Metroids do not suck, but they still suck at attacking. Their best options are to ram opponents, but they're faster at moving around than their predecessors. They are weak to attacks to the belly, so guarding your Metroid's belly is vital.
Gamma Metroids are where it all starts getting down and serious. They may not float, but they can hover around a bit and fire jolts of electricity to stun enemies, and reflect projectiles. They can also climb up walls and go into small spaces again. They can attack by ramming, just like Alpha Metroids.
Zeta Metroids can ram, just like before, but they lose that temporal electricity power for the ability to spit acid. This acid can wear down steel walls and take down enemies fast. They also regain the ability to suck out life from enemies, making them formidable foes once more.
Now you're a real man as an Omega Metroid. That acid spiting and energy sucking still is part of your arsenal as well as ramming, but now you can literally take down bits of the landscape with your enormous claws. They can also levitate and do enormous damage, and it is as powerful as your Metroid will ever get.
- KRAID: Kraid is not very different from previous incarnations. He is still an oversized monster who can fire spikes from his belly and fire fingernails from his hands as projectiles. He can also utilize his massive body to try and hit the Metroid for massive damage. As usual, his weakness is his mouth, so as a Zeta Metroid you need to ram it, then spit acid into it.
- RIDLEY: Ridley isn't really Ridley, but we'll pretend it's Ridley because it looks like Ridley. How many Ridleys are there, again? Like the deal with Kraid, Ridley does not change much from previous installments of the Metroid series, but you need to spit acid on him as a Zeta Metroid, or if you're already an Omega Metroid, slash at him.
- MOTHER BRAIN: Mother Brain is not difficult to defeat at all - or at least she wouldn't be if it weren't for the turrets set all around her chamber. Once you smash through her defenses, she won't live any longer, and you'll just need to escape MACH before it blows up and kills you.
- CAPTIVE QUEEN: Captive Queen is an artificial copy of a Queen Metroid developed by the Space Pirates. You need to kill this Queen because it is infested with the wrong knowledge and threatens your species as a whole, so you need to attack its core stomach. Good luck!
- This is the second Metroid game to not star Samus Aran in any way, other than a cameo, following Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
- If the Metroid is not named, it'll go by the name Umaran Sas - an anagram of "Samus Aran", another reference to the series' protagonist.