Bryan Walker, who was Retro Studios' director of development and producer until 2012, revealed that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption could have been an open world game that featured a heavier gameplay focus on Samus' ship if, among other reasons, the Wii was a bit more powerful.
As reported by VGC, Walker detailed these development stories on Kiwi Talkz and shared that Metroid Prime's series director Mark Pacini had much more ambitious plans for this third entry than what ended up being in the shipped game. Unfortunately, some of the ideas were a bit too big for the time.
“Mark came forward with an interesting twist in the vision and some of the formulas for Metroid Prime 3, compared to Metroid Prime 2,” Walker said. “We wanted to a great degree leverage the ship as a playable asset, and we had that to some degree in Prime 3 but Mark was thinking much more ambitiously.
“There was also an open world that was much less linear that he was proposing and the team was excited about. We weren’t able to prototype a lot of those because they were really big. We did have some ship prototypes, but the open-world one was much bigger.
“In fact, Mark printed out as one of his visual aids this origami Samus ship. He had taken the mesh of the Samus ship and used a program that basically unfolded it into what he could then turn into a paper model. So we had this cardboard Samus ship that he had coloured in and it looked great! I think we could sell it today.”
He continued to say that the specs of the Nintendo Wii, which were behind that of the PS3 and Xbox 360, could also have been one of the reasons these grand ideas never saw the light of day.
"We knew what the Xbox 360 was going to have, when knew what the PS3 was going to have and the initial specs we were looking at [for Wii] were not competitive from a hardware and memory standpoint… there were all these disadvantages,” Walker said. "We were a little concerned, to be blunt, and then they rolled out the Wii Remote and kind of in unison the team went, ‘ah! Ok.’"
Despite this, Walker is proud of what Metroid Prime 3 ended up being. At IGN, we share that sentiment as we gave it a 9.5/10 and called it a "spectacular must-own experience and one of Wii's defining games."
“We may have fallen short of our goals with Prime 3 in not being able to expand the formula a bit," Walker concluded. "We’re still very, very proud of Prime 3, it turned out to be a fantastic game, but I would be very interested to see what the response would be, especially the fan community, to the expanded ship and the non-linear experience that we were touching upon.”
Will some of these ideas end up in Metroid Prime 4 when it is finally released on Nintendo Switch? While that question may not be answered for some time, fans only have a few more days to wait until Samus' newest adventure begins in Metroid Dread.
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