If you’re wondering how much of your weekend you need to clear to beat Metroid Dread, you might want to cancel all of your plans. 2D Metroid games are notoriously quite compact, but the difficulty curve can mean that the hours locked in doesn’t tell the full story of just how long you’ll physically have to put into the game in order to see the credits. That makes the question of ‘How long is Metroid Dread?’ pretty complicated.
You can complete the game without collecting all the optional items and upgrades like E-Tanks, but if you’re a completionist there’s a 100% completion rate to tick off.
However, it’s very important to take into consideration that these figures aren’t accurate for actual playtime counts. How Metroid Dread works is that it only counts certain things as actual playtime.
Firstly, time spent on the pause screen – including just looking at the map, which you’ll do a lot – doesn’t count towards the completion time that the game will list on the menu. You’ll need to regularly check the map for where to go next, figure out where to backtrack to, solve puzzles, and remind yourself where teleporters and other travel options are located, among other things after all.
Secondly, your time taken to beat Metroid Dread doesn’t count any repeated attempts to defeat a boss, or anything that appears before a Game Over screen. That means only your successful progress through the game is counted towards in the in-game total playtime.
With our own experience and other reviewers saying that some bosses took multiple hours to complete, you’re looking at closer to 25 hours of real-world time that you’ll need to put into Metroid Dread in order to hit that 100% completion rate.
Good luck fellow planet ZDR explorers!