A Rocky Reception

To say Metroid Prime: Federation Force has been under fire since its announcement is definitely not a lie. The game has been hated on and generally dismissed by Metroid fans and I honestly don’t blame them. As a massive fan of the franchise, I was initially disappointed that all we were getting for our favourite bounty hunters 30th anniversary would be a spin off. I never completely dismissed Federation Force, in fact I always knew I would pick it up just to see what it’s like. I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed Federation Force, and while it may not be the Metroid game fans are looking for, I can still recommend it to those who might be interested.

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The decoy can be used to distract enemies

Post Prime 3

Federation Force’s story takes place after Prime 3 and the destruction of the planet Phaaze. The Federation Force is testing a brand new system to where they put Federation troops into mechs in order to deal with various threats. The space pirates make a sudden return and it’s the Federation’s job to find the source of them and deal with it. From there on it’s a fairly standard storyline with some expositional dialogue before and after each mission, however the final boss and ending caught me off guard. It’s fairly enjoyable, but nothing spectacular.

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Different enemies can be found on different planets

Not Metroidvania

Federation Force’s biggest different from a standard Metroid game is definitely its gameplay. Federation Force is a mission based cooperative first person shooter. Playing different missions progresses you through the story and you can play with up to 3 other players either online or locally. If you want to play Federation Force solo, you can but bosses can start to drag, it’s not as fun, and sometime the game can get a little overwhelming. To compensate for this you can equip the lone wolf mod, doubling damage and defences to make the game more bearable. Speaking of these mods, they’re hidden within each level, adding good reason for exploration. At the end of the mission, mods are shared among players, and players can pick what mods they want based on score. Federation Force is set on 3 different planets, Bion, Excelcion, and Talvania each varying in environments and hazards. Bion is the deserted hot planet, filled with reds and oranges. Excelcion is the ice planet, with tons of snow, water and glaciers. Last but not least is Talvania, serving as the Space Pirates home world, which also lines up thematically with a factory. Before each mission items can be chosen from a pool for players to use, from missiles to healing pods. It’s important to have a few people to take always heals and elemental shots. Shooting is fairly fluid, and controlling the Federation troops was tight and responsive. Gyro controls are incredibly helpful when they’re needed and I often didn’t have a problem with using them. Certain levels have sections where you need to get out the mech and proceed as a little trooper through a section of a level, keeping the game varied. One thing I can absolutely praise Federation Force for is its mission variety across the entire game. Each mission is different, and none of them recycle any areas or objectives from past missions. What’s really cool is that simple mechanics early on in specific missions are further explored and developed in later missions. I was always doing something different in Federation Force and that kept me on my toes. The last component of Federation Force is Blast Ball, a 3 v 3 soccer match. It’s entertaining at first but quickly gets boring and I doubt it’ll keep you hooked for too long.

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Space Pirates have a new look as well

Looks like a Metroid Game to Me

Federation does  good job at staying stable on the hardware of the New 3DSXL. I never experienced any frame drops, keeping the experience at a buttery smooth 60FPS the entire time. The art style of Federation Force heavily reminds me of Prime 1, and I was surprised to see just how much some of the environments in Federation Force reminded me of Metroid as a whole. The game doesn’t look amazing sure, but it definitely doesn’t look bad. Textures and character models are fairly detailed and some backdrops are absolutely gorgeous to look at.

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There’s a free demo for Blastball on the Eshop if you’re interested.

Verdict: 8/10

Metroid Prime: Federation Force really did surprise me with just how much I enjoyed playing it. It’s sure as hell not what I wanted for Metroid’s 30th anniversary, but as a spin off it does its job damn well. Solid mission variety, a decent story, and strong performance make Federation Force worth your time, Metroid fan or not.

Positives

-Loads of mission variety

-Multiplayer is fun and connections are stable

-Planets are unique

-Exploration is rewarded

Negatives

-Playing solo can be tough sometimes

-Blast Ball eventually gets boring

 

Thanks for reading guys. One last thing for you Metroid fans out there, if you haven’t heard already (i’m sure you have) a fan made remake of Metroid 2 has surfaced on the internet and it’s fantastic. If you’re craving a new Metroid experience look into it, it’s a truly fantastic Metroid game and deserves all the recognition it can get! Up next is ReCore, Harry.

 

 

 

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