…Metroid is typically remembered as a title like no other for those that played it upon release, and rightfully so. This isn’t because Metroid forever changed the way we look at gaming from a technological standpoint, but rather because of the way it established atmosphere, one so dense in alien weirdness that players couldn’t help but feel lost in a world not their own.
Although the idea of atmosphere as it relates to entertainment wasn’t a new concept prior to the release of Metroid, those discussions were almost entirely limited to the world of film. Many filmmakers considered the label of “atmospheric” to be one of the highest compliments their work could receive. For a movie to be called atmospheric, it needed to be able to truly engulf the viewer into the world the director created. Not invest them in the story alone, necessarily, but rather use a combination of sensory techniques intended to make the viewer feel as if they truly are in the movie.