|Dev: Next Level Games|
|Release: August 19, 2016|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Fantasy Violence|
The social elements are rather impressive as well. Metroid Prime: Federation Force is all about working with a team of four to accomplish your goals. You can map the four most common phrases you’ll find yourself saying to the directional pad, which is handy. While preparing for a match, preset phrases allow you to alert people as to your auxiliary loadouts and plans for the mission. Once you’ve touched down on a planet, it’s possible to switch the touch screen view to check on your allies’ health, pinpoint their locations on a map, or choose from the predetermined phrases you didn’t map to issue directions, ask for aid, or comment on the situation. The ability to use the 3DS’ microphone would have improved the situation even further, but the options provided are competent enough.
Which is good, because you’re going to want to play Metroid Prime: Federation Force with friends. While it is possible to go it alone, you don’t want to. Trust me on this. I went through missions by myself, because I was having problems finding someone to work with, and it wasn’t pleasant. The mission time goals were clearly set with at least a two-person team in mind, as I never came close to meeting those times when tackling certain puzzles or some tedious boss fights solo. They’re set up so that efficiency demands you be in two, three, or even four places at once, and that just isn’t possible if you’re playing by yourself. The optional drones you can equip hover around your character and only supply a very minor amount of additional firepower, not the intelligence needed to properly accomplish certain tasks. If you can find at least one other person to play with, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a much improved affair.
The same sentiment applies to Blast Ball, a soccer-inspired mini-game that divides people into two teams of three and tasks them with using their blasters to shoot the ball into the opposing team’s goal. People may liken it to Rocket League, due to the number of players participating and the ability to temporarily disable opponents, but this is a more deliberate and slightly slower affair. Whereas Rocket League requires constant motion and can encourage chaotic maneuvers, positioning is more important in Blast Ball. Your movements and actions are precise, allowing you an earlier opportunity to exercise more exact shots. I especially appreciated that the techniques I learned there could be applied to some puzzle segments in the main campaign.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force isn’t what you expect when you think of a game carrying the Metroid name. It’s a more freeform experience that encourages you to gather together friends, either locally or online, and cooperatively carry out missions of varying degrees of complexity and difficulty. In the right conditions, it can be wonderful. Find at least one friendly face and you’ll make the galaxy a better place. But, space is cruel to those who choose to go it alone. If you know at least one other person who’ll join the force with you, say “Oorah” and head into battle.
Date: August 19, 2016