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Metroid Musing: Is Metroid Prime 3’s “Linearity” Really a Bad Thing?

When discussing the Metroid Prime Trilogy, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that had many bad things to say. I hear praise heaped upon the games all the time, with people rightly proclaiming that the first Metroid Prime is one of the greatest and most innovative games of all time. Echoes is also often lauded as a sneaky-great title, with many people I know saying it’s the best of the three games due to its “Zelda dungeon” style of world. One game that I don’t often see a lot of people giving love to is Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see many saying it’s a bad game, but I think that generally speaking, many Metroid fans feel it’s the weakest of the three, and when I ask why, the answer I get is “because it is a more linear Metroid game than Prime’s 1 and 2”.

My question to you is – is being a more linear game in the Metroid series really that bad? For anything Corruption lost with exploration, it more than made up for with narrative and cinematics. I would also argue that there isn’t much difference between hopping in your ship and going between planets versus taking an elevator to a different part of a planet (let’s be honest, Magmoor and Phendrana may as well be different planets, and those areas are connected to each other!). Do you think that in the right scenario, sacrificing freedom of exploration for a more focused story is a bad thing? Or did you appreciate each game in the Prime Trilogy having a unique identity?

Let us know in the comments below!