Metroid Prime: Federation Force Preview

Be careful what you wish for, Metroid fans…

I went in to my Nintendo appointment ready to burn Metroid Prime Federation Force to the ground. In a Digital Event featuring absurd (but adorable) Muppet versions of Nintendo executives turning into even more absurd Muppet versions of the Star Fox Zero crew, this title would be known as the most laughable thing from the event. For years, the Metroid fandom has shouted to the heavens, “We need more Samus Aran!! Give us more Metroid!!” And Nintendo responded with this. Consider yourself trolled, Aranites.

I am disappointed to say, though, it does not completely suck. It's certainly not the Metroid the fanbase was hoping for, but it's… well, it's certainly a game.

The game was actually unveiled initially during the airings of the retooled Nintendo World Championships, as one portion of the competition had challengers playing the new multiplayer mode of the title called “Blast Ball.” The 3v3 multiplayer “sport” challenged two teams of totally-not-Samus-Arans to climb into Mechs, a la Titanfall, to shoot a plasma ball through a goal that progressively becomes smaller. Um, hey Nintendo… uh… wut?

It's almost unfair to do a preview based on a multiplayer mini-game, and yet here I am doing it. While the music and the graphics felt adequately sci-fi, neither those elements nor the mechs nor the plasma ball nor “Blast Ball” resonated with any single element of the Metroid series. Now, there will also be a co-op first-person shooter attached to Metroid Prime: Federation Force, obviously because nothing says Metroid or even Metroid Prime, a game that valued exploration over force (you had one job, Nintendo!) like a first-person shooter.

But, to be perfectly fair, “Blast Ball” was kind of fun, and most notably my partner and I swept the game played against our opponents 3-0.

It's hard to put a stamp of approval or disapproval on Metroid Prime: Federation Force, as what was presented really isn't going to make up any major component of gameplay. But heads up, Nintendo and Next Level Games: To quote the 1987 comedy classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “You're going the wrong way!”