Nintendo's press conference may not have held great interest for the hardcore gamer, but behind closed doors it was allowing select individuals an hour-long session of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Fans will know that's still not enough time to truly get a feel for such an enormous game, but our 60 minutes of Samus definitely left us with some mixed impressions.
The first 20 minutes or so take place on a space station. There are workers milling around, space marines barking orders and rival bounty hunters arriving for a conference right out of The Empire Strikes Back. The entire scenario is new for a Metroid title, as Samus usually spends the entire game as the only human on whichever planet she's visiting. Seeing and interacting with other people is a little strange, but welcome, as it fleshes out this captivating franchise's universe.
Samus and the other hunters are tasked with removing a virus that's spreading through the allied defense network. They don't know the source of the virus, but gamers already know it's Dark Samus who's causing the trouble. But before the hunters can begin the mission, an armada of Space Pirates slams into the station, unleashing untold numbers of troops and ships into the now-defenseless facility. At this point, you take control and blast your way of the place.
Aiming and running with the remote functions well enough, especially on the advanced setting (this option makes the aiming cursor move much faster). As Reggie revealed in the presser, you can lock on to one target and strafe around it, yet still freely aim with the remote. It's a little weird, seeing the red lock reticule but still having to manually aim at your enemies. Taking down three thieving pirates took a lot longer than we felt it should, as Samus' left-to-right movement isn't all that fast.
Tackling the big bad boss pirate was off-putting as well. It had two rather obvious weak points (glowing shoulders) but hitting them with charged shots seemed a lot more complicated than simply locking on and firing as in the previous two Prime games. But as strange and new as the aiming feels, the actual gameplay of the pirate battle was identical to the older games. He's a big dude that creates shockwaves by smashing the ground. Didn't we do this like four times already? Yeah it's the first boss but how about something to really knock us on our asses?