The best console FPS controls ever; that's what gamers in the States are saying about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption's innovative Wii controls. For the first few hours of the final code we didn't quite see what they were on about; it was all a bit familiar to Ubisoft's launch shooter effort Red Steel. Then we found the "advanced" control mode. Ooohhh...
Return of Samus
The Metroid series has always been about aiming and shooting and less about which weapon Samus is packing in her orange space holster. That's why the Wii's new accurate method of shooting fits in to the series so well; the difficulty's ramped up even further and beaming a critter requires far more skill than the first two Prime's simple lock-on system.
It should be noted that while the 'normal' mode works well enough - especially for beginners - 'advanced' is far more sensitive and allows you to play more skilfully than on the other mode.
Retro Studios proves that a Nunchuk and Wii Remote are the perfect armchair alternative to a mouse and keyboard; with short, simple Remote movements you can aim Samus's weapon with awesome precision, and thanks to some excellent tuning at Retro Studios, vision movement is accurate and feels tight - unlike the loose aiming circle of Red Steel.
Because of this fire fights are a notch above anything possible in previous Prime games; instead of darting from baddie to baddie with an instant lock-on, Corruption's system allows you to track targets as they dash and dive away from your cursor, as you can see from our captured videos below.
Aiming for specific areas of the body is also played around with; certain enemies will require you to aim at chinks in their armour, which you can do quickly and easily with the Wii Remote, and swarms of drones test your reaction speed with shields and teleports. It's the breath of fresh air that, after the second Prime, first-person Metroid really needed.
The first Prime game could be classed as one of the visceral shooters of it's time; gorgeous visor effects, subtle HUD delay and a teasing glimpse of Samus's girlish reflection made you feel like you were actually stuck inside the helmet. Corruption takes this even further with an abundance of levers and switches you actually reach out and pull with the bounty hunter's Wii Remote-controlled hand.
You're given your first glimpse of these satisfying switch moments in Samus's orbiting space ship at the very beginning; pushing levers forward and twisting dials feels solid thanks to the Remote's sturdy force feedback, and you thrust her ship into by your own hand - which beats pressing the A-button any day.
You can see Samus's new grapple toy in action below which puts you even more in control of the on-screen bounty-hunter, whipping and lassoing rubble - and even enemy shields - out of the way. It plays a big part in Corruption's puzzles and combat later on in the game and, although there are sometimes issues locking on properly at first, it works very well and adds a completely different feel to the straight-forward point-and-click shooting we're used to.
Check out our exclusive direct-feed videos below - which show both 'normal' and 'advanced' control methods - and look for more in-depth coverage of the excellent Wii shooter shortly. Oh, and it goes without saying; battle spoilers ahoy.