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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
FPS / Adventure
TBA 2007

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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Written by James Hobbs

Other than Zelda, Metroid Prime 3 is the game I'm most eagerly anticipating for Wii. The history of the Prime series, and indeed the Metroid series as a whole, speaks for itself. A series of classics, followed by the exemplary GameCube titles from Retro Studios. The only feasible weakness of this new title is the control system. I have full confidence that Retro will ensure that the controls are perfect, and that the new system will take the series to a new level. It certainly looks like it will.

The game is controlled as you might expect - the Wii mote is used to aim, with the nun-chuck attachment analogue stick used to move your character Samus. For anyone who hasn't played Metroid before, Samus is encased inside a suit that is outfitted with all manner of technical wizardry, and this plays an important part in the game. Her grappling hook is activated by flicking the nunchuck forwards, whilst the variety of weapons are fired with a button on the Wii mote. A button on the nun-chuck morphs Samus into a small ball, enable her to traverse rather cramped areas that would otherwise be impassable. Reports from E3 indicate that the control system does take a bit of getting used to, as you would expect, but once the player is acclimatised to the set up it becomes natural. Certainly this system allows for a greater level of immersion into the type of game that already scares the willies out of me, which may or may not be a good thing.

The general premise of the game is similar to the previous titles - a fairly silly science-fiction story, that culminates in you running around dark warren-like tunnels jumping at all of the beasts that attack you. Apparently, the 'Galactic Federation's Base Sector Zero' is being attacked by some rather nasty and nefarious Space Pirates ( of all things ), and it is up to Samus to defend it. The press release actually ends of something of a cliffhanger, saying 'But at the end of her path, someone awful is waiting for her.' Mysterious, eh! More plot details will no doubt come to light closer to the release date.

The graphics are so far looking remarkably similar to the GameCube titles, but with a more spruced-up look. With the power of Wii being reportedly double that of the GameCube, despite Nintendo's insistence that the onus should be on the gameplay not the graphics, Retro will hopefully increase the quality of the graphics a bit more. In the demo some quite pretty outdoor locations were showcased, with spaceships flying around - it is these kind of detailed environments that I would like to see. In fact, Samus' spaceship makes more than a cameo appearance in the game - according to Retro, Samus can ( using her visor ) call her ship in to perform some kind of airstrike. Interesting.

Retro have also seen fit to implement some interesting systems for performing fairly menial tasks like unlocking doors - by gesturing with the Wii remote, Samus can stick her hand inside a lock, whereby you rotate the remote to align the parts of the lock, before pulling out. Sort of like hacking in System Shock 2, but no doubt far more intuitive with the new remote. Admittedly, this is the sort of task that would probably become incredibly tiresome after it has been performed 300 times in the tunnels of Alien Planet Z, but it is nice to see that Retro are bothering to make use of the Wii control system at every possible oppurtunity. The scanning part of the game also makes a comeback - this requires you to scan your environment with the visor to find out information, such as weak points on enemies, story details, and more. As I've mentioned, you can also use it to call your dropship in to drop some bombs on whoever may be bothering you, or even to clear a path. This should add an interesting dynamic to the gameplay.

Sadly, Retro have said that they intend Metroid Prime 3 to be single player only. Whilst it would be fantastic if it was multiplayer, the fact that Retro have devoted all of their time to making the single player as good as possible must be appreciated. We've always got Metroid Prime: Hunters on the DS. Which is actually, extremely good. As we get some high quality screenshots they will be uploaded onto this preview. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption comes out with Wii on launch day.

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