Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
    Sorry, but you can't access this content!
    Please enter your date of birth to view this video

    By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
    Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Review

    • First Released Aug 27, 2007
    • Reviewed Aug 27, 2007
    • WII

    Slick controls and great boss fights make Corruption a worthy end to the Metroid Prime trilogy.

    GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

    If you expected Metroid Prime 3: Corruption to be a high-quality continuation of the series, you'd be right. And yes, the Wii controls are terrific and intuitive, so if you hoped that controlling bounty hunter Samus Aran would be a dream, that wish has been granted, too. All told, even though Corruption's easier battles and conservative design sometimes seems like less of a sprawling Metroid adventure and more of a straightforward first-person shooter, it's still a great action game that does exactly what you expect it to do, no more and no less.

    Of course, the five years that have elapsed between the original Metroid Prime and the trilogy's final hurrah is an eternity in gaming, so even with its smooth, Wii-specific controls, there is a strong sense of familiarity here. While Metroid Prime spectacularly ushered Metroid gameplay into a 3D vision, Corruption is content to be a solid successor. Yet you shouldn't let some spurts of predictability dissuade you from checking it out, particularly if you are a Metroid enthusiast. Corruption offers its own formula tweaks while staying true to its roots, and like the previous games in the Prime series, it sends you on an atmospheric journey of discovery and enjoyable boss fights.

    I...have...the power!
    I...have...the power!

    This sequel is aptly named. Samus and her fellow bounty hunters are struggling to repair an organic computer that has been infected by a mysterious virus. As always, these things are never what they seem, but rather than risk spoiling any sensitive plot points, we would rather safely say that the ensuing adventure sends Samus across a number of lush alien worlds and bizarre landscapes. (Not that the Prime games have ever strived to set standards for gaming fiction.) There is a plot here, but it's never been about the destination: It's about the voyage. As before, there is a ton of written backstory to discover, all dispersed among strange, imaginative worlds. You'll also meet up with a number of old acquaintances, friend and foe alike.

    But all that is part and parcel of a terrific series. The obvious change here is in the controls, and Corruption leaves behind the methodical maneuvering of its GameCube brethren with an intuitive and configurable scheme that sets the standard for first-person shooting controls on the Wii, despite Corruption's battles not being all that challenging. (More on that later.) All of your aiming and turning is done with the remote, while moving and strafing is handled by the Nunchuk. It's been done before, of course, but not to this degree of success. Almost any player will be at home with the "advanced" scheme, where moving the remote moves your targeting reticle but also turns your point of view as it approaches the edge of the screen. The other schemes require your reticle to hit the screen's edge before turning commences, which is more than a bit annoying. You aren't stuck free-aiming at your enemies, though, since the Z button allows you to lock on to your target.

    Suffice it to say, Metroid Prime 3 takes on characteristics more akin to a standard first-person shooter than its predecessors did. The good news is that moving about is less frustrating and plodding than before. Your enemies fall faster, boss encounters require less controller fumbling, and there is an overall ease to travel and movement that the series lacked before. It's a double-edged sword, however, because while most Metroid Prime hallmarks--object scanning, careful exploration, complex puzzle-solving--remain, Corruption feels less like a probing adventure than a regular shooter.

    Only grapple the ones you love.
    Only grapple the ones you love.

    But a highly enjoyable shooter nevertheless. When it comes to blasting stuff, Retro Studios kept things simple this time. Samus begins with the trusty arm cannon and soon gains the use of homing missiles. These are, more or less, the weapons you will keep for the duration, though not as you are given them. As you progress through Corruption's 20-hour campaign, you'll earn cumulative upgrades, so the standard fire becomes plasma fire, which evolves again come the next power-up, and so on. You never lose any abilities with a new upgrade, so once you've earned the ability to melt through ice, you aren't in danger of losing it later. But don't expect a barrage of constant enemies; nor should you expect much of a challenge from the standard foes. Yet even without a sense of challenge, shooting feels great in Corruption. A lot of this has to do with the smooth controls, but even more of it is due to the good variety of alien and mechanical monstrosities you do battle with.

    The biggest addition to the shooting is that of the Phazon Enhancement Device. The PED allows you to enter hypermode by holding the plus button. In this mode, Samus' attacks do outrageous damage. But she has limited phazon in her reserves, so once it's all gone, all you can do is wait for it to replenish. You've got to pay attention, since entering hypermode depletes Samus' energy, and you also run the risk of overloading her with too much phazon and being forced to fire it all away lest she bite the dust. Another new element is the nova beam, which is a great cannon upgrade in and of itself, but is also used in conjunction with the x-ray visor to shoot at enemies and objects through solid walls.

    But this is Metroid, so of course you'll need to use your wits as much as you use weapons that turn alien scum into goo. Environmental puzzles are generally as good in Corruption as they've ever been, and you'll need to survey your surroundings carefully to find the path to your next goal. Yes, the scanning visor is back, so be prepared to study objects frequently to best know their purpose and potential uses as puzzle solutions. It's easier to switch visors than ever--all you have to do is hold the minus button and flick the remote toward the visor you wish to switch to--so while it makes the scanning mechanic seem less central than before, it also makes it simpler to survey the objects in question and move on.

    The bosses look awesome and are a lot of fun to fight.
    The bosses look awesome and are a lot of fun to fight.

    Corruption truly shines when these mechanics work in tandem, making for smooth, seamless puzzle-solving and occasionally bringing new dimensions into the combat as well. Samus still has a grappling hook, though this time, you'll grab objects (and occasionally, enemies or their shields) by flicking the Nunchuk forward, and rip the thing away by pulling it back. It works and feels great, both in puzzles and in combat, particularly when used in tandem with other activities. Samus can still transform into the morph ball, too, and it's fun to discover new places to squeeze her into, though morphing has its unique uses in battle as well. The context-sensitive actions aren't quite as successful. There are times when you need to push the remote forward and twist it to unlock doors or perform other tasks, and while you can always manage to make it happen, it's usually awkward and doesn't feel the way you think it should.

    Undoubtedly, Corruption's finest moments are its boss battles, which may not be quite the challenge they've been in the previous Prime games, but will still manage to impress you by the sheer variety that goes into winning them. A single boss battle may involve using morph ball techniques, the screw attack, entering hypermode, and firing both missiles and beams--often requiring pinpoint precision. Most of these battles are an absolute blast, and most of them have real meaning in context of the story.

    If this all sounds like a lot of fun, it's because it is. Yet Corruption's focus on refined FPS mechanics and general sense of familiarity keep it from being as special as the other Prime titles. Just like Resident Evil 4 would have felt different--and arguably worse--had its controls been stripped down to a simple FPS scheme, Corruption loses some of its sense of wonder and strangeness on the Wii. Rather than being a true action adventure, it's hard to lose the sense that it's merely an FPS with trimmings. Its core control scheme is a revelation, but the resulting tempo adjustment and streamlining is missing some of the careful pacing that made Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2 so superb. Still, any fan ought to enjoy this outing in spite of those quibbles, thanks to a good number of awesome, involved environmental puzzles and delightful (albeit fairly easy) boss fights.

    The environmental puzzles can be intimidating at first.
    The environmental puzzles can be intimidating at first.

    The exotic worlds of Corruption will excite series fans, and for good reason. Like its predecessors, Corruption features superb art direction, so every level is even more incredible to explore than the last. While it isn't a huge step over Metroid Prime 2 in terms of sheer graphical quality, there are plenty of elements that will catch your eye, such as Samus' visor reflections, or the detailed, complex machinery that brings some of the environmental puzzles to brilliant life. The biggest surprise in the production values is the addition of a good deal of voice acting, at least toward the beginning of the game. You'll still spend most of your time exploring in relative silence, and the eerie, great soundtrack keeps you in just the right mood. But occasionally you'll interact with bounty hunters and other characters, and their lines are mostly spoken. The voice acting is fine, though its presence does reinforce just how effective the ghostly silence was in the first two Prime games.

    If you're a Metroid fan, there's no need to convince you to play Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It's got exactly what you would expect from the last in an acclaimed trilogy of titles: great boss battles, involved environmental puzzles, and a smooth control scheme that cements exactly how FPS controls should work on the platform. It'll also keep you busy for a while, since you can earn tokens for completing various tasks and use them to purchase unlockable goodies like concept art and bumper stickers for Samus' ship. While the lack of multiplayer is disappointing, the single-player campaign won't leave you wanting. In the end, you may not be able to shake the feeling that you've done all this before, but it will still make you grateful for how great it is at its core.

    Back To Top
    The Good
    Fantastic environmental puzzles are among the best of the series
    Great boss fights require you to use every game mechanic at your disposal
    Atmospheric levels are a pleasure to explore
    Various gameplay elements mesh nicely into a seamless whole
    The Bad
    Some of the contextual actions don't control all that well
    Streamlined controls make things a little too easy and a little less adventurous
    Doesn't do much different than the previous two Metroid Prime games
    About GameSpot's Reviews

    About the Author

    Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play bass in Rock Band.
    16 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
    GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

    Avatar image for fluffy_kins

    Kevin said it well. MP3 does feel more like a FPS than a FPA. Which puts it a half step down from 1 and 2 imo

    Avatar image for gordanchoong

    << LINK REMOVED >> They originally planned and developed a sequel to Metroid: Fusion for the Nintendo DS in 2005 or 2006. But for some odd reason, they cancelled it before showing it at E3.

    Avatar image for wadi_4

    "Streamlined controls make things a little too easy and a little less adventurous"

    This has got to be the worst con I have EVER read in my life.

    Avatar image for GSJones1994

    << LINK REMOVED >> No, we don't need a part 4 in the Prime series. the trilogy was already finished with 3. I would like to see a metroid fusion 2 though.

    Avatar image for gordanchoong

    << LINK REMOVED >> They originally wanted to release a sequel to metroid: fusion for the DS but cancelled it before showing it off at E3.

    Avatar image for GSJones1994

    << LINK REMOVED >> I highly disagree. Prime 3 I found more enjoyable than the original. I find that Prime 1 had not aged well when I played it.

    Avatar image for Ezioprez9709

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Well that's your opinion and I respect that but in MP3 the motion controls are good but can make your wrists hurt after 10 minutes or so. When playing MP1 I felt refreshed and I also didn't experience sore hands but If you like MP3 better then that's your choice.

    Avatar image for gordanchoong

    << LINK REMOVED >> I am playing Metroid Prime 3 soon even though it was made in 2007 and I am in 2014.

    Avatar image for GSJones1994

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I wasn't really interested in the original at first, but i'll play it again.

    Avatar image for Ezioprez9709

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I'm playing a 2001 game in 2013 and that is because it has aged well and I strongly agree with you.

    Avatar image for Ezioprez9709

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You should play it because better controls, better boss battles, better story and I even thought the Graphics were better. Some might disagree with my statement but each to their own.

    Avatar image for clookoo213

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I would think you would have a different opinion, MP1 is my personal favourite in the series and has aged so well, Iam actually playing through it again right now, in 2013

    Avatar image for GSJones1994

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> MP1 is still a good game in it's own right. It may not be my favorite Metroid game - that would be Super Metroid - but maybe I should give MP1 another shot. I may have a different opinion afterwards.

    Avatar image for jackroussel

    I'd just like to point out that in the review for Prime 2, gamespot said that the multiplayer was unneeded, but in this one, they say that the lack of it is dissapointing.

    Avatar image for NTM23

    << LINK REMOVED >> Different reviewer, different opinion.

    Avatar image for GSJones1994


    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption More Info

  1. First Released Aug 27, 2007
    • Wii
    Metroid Prime 3 marks the debut of Nintendo's action adventure series Metroid on the Wii console.
    Average Rating9227 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
    Developed by:
    Retro Studios
    Published by:
    3D, Action, First-Person, Shooter
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Animated Blood, Violence