Metroid Prime 3: Corruption • Page 2

The big break.

Take your time

As for the upgrade formula, it's practically identical to previous games, and some of the same abilities make an inevitable comeback. Without spoiling the fun of discovering the upgrades, Samus get improved abilities to melt metal, freeze liquids, as well as missiles which lock-on to multiple targets, not to mention the excellent Grapple Lasso, which lets you attach the grapple to loose items like enemy armour or door plates, and literally yank it off by whipping back the Nunchuk. Sadly, the plethora of upgrades which emerge later in the game don't quite involve the same level of gesture-based interactivity, but in terms of what they allow Samus to do, they more than make up for that. As with all the games in the series, the progression of your abilities is directly connected to the level design - so not only do you get to enjoy exploring new areas with your improved athleticism, you also have it in the back of your mind that areas that were previously off-limits can be returned to and explored - with rewards guaranteed at every turn.

Responding to criticisms of the past, Retro appears to have realised that players need rather more prompting than it used to give, and the already extremely useful mapping system has been improved with a touch more hand-holding. And when I say 'a touch', I don't mean Halo-style 'walk this way you moron' arrows, but gentle nudges to make it evident that where you really ought to be heading. And before you exclaim that it used to do this before, it just seems better implemented, and seems less inclined to make you traipse halfway across the world just to tell you to sod off somewhere else. It still does that too - but not to the same extent.

4
Samus gets another upgrade. What, pray, happened to all the ones from the other games? Hmm?

The icing on the cake of Metroid Prime 3's appeal lies in unquestionably glorious visuals. Already the best-looking game ever to grace the GameCube, it's appearance on the Wii might not represent any kind of dramatic leap, but nor did it need to make one. Keeping the game consistent with the visual style of the previous two appears to be the order of the day here, with minor improvements to effects, draw distances and detail levels. Tellingly, playing it on a massive plasma screen doesn't prove to be its undoing (as is so often the case with 480p games), and the worst thing you can say about it is that wall and door textures sometimes lack a little detail when viewed up close. Apart from that ridiculously tiny quibble, the rest of the game is a sumptuous feast of artist vision, both ornate and convincingly alien at every turn. Sprinkled with a typically moody soundtrack accompaniment, the game oozes atmosphere without even trying. Once you factor in the challenging combat, silky smooth control system and engaging storyline, it really is a game with very few flaws.

5
Point, clunk, and click adventure.

If you wanted to be extra picky, you could gripe about the lack of multiplayer (removed since last time, but not a loss as far as I'm concerned), and you could justifiably say the gameplay hasn't changed a great deal in the intervening years. You might also say the boss monster design obsessed with showing off the precision targeting element too much, but these are the sorts of hairs that superfans like to split. For most of us, the game is utterly fantastic and deserves a place in your collection if you're remotely turned on by either sci-fi or shooters. If you like both, it's a must-buy.

If you've never been treated to the delights of a Metroid Prime title (and sales figures of the last two suggests that's most of you) then it's essential that you at least give this a try - and if you liked either of the previous two, it's just plain essential. Corruption is a game which places adventure as a joint priority among the action, and one that will live long in your memory once you're done with it. Quite unlike the slew of generic first-person shooters crowding out the shelves this year, it's a special game that might take a while to appreciate because of the way it does things differently to other games of a similar nature - but once you do unravel its charms, you'll be glad did. Immersive, engaging and with the kind of gameplay depth that so many shooters lack, Metroid Prime 3 might not represent a huge progression as far as the series goes, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best games I've played all year - and certainly one of best yet on the Wii.

9 /10

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Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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