Feature Article

Can Metroid Prime: Federation Force Survive Without Samus?

Gone girl

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Metroid fans seem wary of the upcoming cooperative spin-off, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, because it lacks the series exploration-focused gameplay, but perhaps most of all, because it won't prominently feature the series' iconic heroine, Samus Aran. In fact, the game's E3 trailer garnered a substantial number of downvotes on YouTube. I recently got the chance to play the game, and while its baseline shooter gameplay may not seem like the Metroid game fans asked for, what I played was at least a competent experience with solid team-based mechanics.

Federation Force lightly surrounds itself with the series' lore, putting you in control of a marine from the Galactic Federation--the same organization that Samus Aran was once a part of. You and up to three other players embark on missions across various locales across the galaxy, some of which fans might recognize. The presentation also retains the ominous and atmospheric musical tones heard from early Metroid games.

Federation Force unfolds in a first-person perspective with a visor overlay and a blaster in tow in a manner reminiscent of the Metroid Prime series. However, the aiming controls have been altered to accommodate the 3DS' control scheme. Free-aiming, for example, now utilizes the gyroscope, meaning you can aim simply by tilting your 3DS. The series' other controls and features--such as the ability to lock on and strafe with the left shoulder button--also remain intact.

No Caption Provided

Unlike past Metroid games, Federation Force has a customization system. Before a mission, players can select from a stock of items, such as missiles, elemental weapons, and repair capsules. Depending on the items each player takes, they can fill out specific roles within their team. These roles become even more defined by the game's mod chips, which are passive buffs with different effects. For instance, a squadmate can take all the repair capsules and equip a 50% heal buff mod chip to rejuvenate their squadmates during a mission. With a variety of mod chips to collect, the possibilities for customization and strategy seem promising.

Our first mission was to investigate an abandoned power station that had somehow reactivated after years of disuse. I chose to specialize on shock-based weapons to better fight mechanical enemies. The mission led us through a series of corridors, filled with agitated security robots. We eventually reached the power station's generator and had to destroy its core while acid flooded the map and more robots attacked. Take a look at the footage from the tense battle below:

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My squad's second mission was to eliminate a Space Pirate warship that was trying to destroy a skiff we had recently landed on. Under the pressure of a 10-minute countdown timer, we had to simultaneously use a catapult to launch bombs at the warship and fend off waves of incoming Space Pirates, all while the skiff slowly crumbled beneath our feet. Check out our struggle to catapult bombs in the footage below:

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These mission scenarios gave the cooperative action a sense of excitement and demanded that each squadmate play their part. While one player had to ward off attacks from incoming enemies, the others had to focus their attention elsewhere to eliminate an even larger threat. And even when these tactical roles were set among our squad, the responsibilities would shift dynamically as we reacted to every tense new development.

Besides the engaging missions and customization options, I didn't see firm evidence of how Federation Force takes advantage of its universe. It's true that the Galactic Federation hasn't been the series' focus in the past, but a story from their perspective represents an exciting possibility. It could provide more insight into the conflict with the Space Pirates and the Metroid universe at large, which may be the only way for this game to redeem itself in the eyes of fans.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

mgespin

Matt Espineli

Matt Espineli is an Editor at GameSpot. He loves MGS, film noir, and westerns, but he very much loves YOU too.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

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timmerous

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Leaving out the main protagonist is any series where they've always been the focus almost always sees that game not live up to expectations. Halo 5 got a good deal of negative feedback due to the Master Chief not being the focus and this game will likely always feel like it is a standalone game riding on a name it has little to do with. We associate certain titles with certain characters, Tomb Raider without Lara Croft wouldn't be TR for instance, and removing those characters leaves the game troubled before it is even sold.

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Delston

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No. Next question.

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AndreasRufus

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Edited By AndreasRufus

I am interested - if it does have Single Player as well!

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so_hai

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Edited By so_hai

Even for a spin-off it looks too simplified and watered-down. Even Metroid Prime Pinball (great game) honored the Prime games expertly (music, mood, landscapes, effects).

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Super_Tramp

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Edited By Super_Tramp

I know this is a new generation, and I don't disagree with your opinion. Saying that I lost all respect for Metroid when they decided to become a first person shooter. The original platformer will always have a soft spot in my heart.

(JUSTIN BAILEY ------ ------)

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XenomorphAlien

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Edited By XenomorphAlien

The Wii U has been out for over 3 years and still no true Metroid game. Why?

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AndreasRufus

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Edited By AndreasRufus

@xenomorphalien: maybe because the last metroid games did not sell that well...? It's a sad fact.

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XenomorphAlien

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@AndreasRufus: Pretty strange, considering there's a lot of people I've seen asking for a new Metroid.

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AndreasRufus

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@xenomorphalien: I know. Same with F-Zero. Yet, both series latest games were far from being system sellers.

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DWalker131

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@xenomorphalien: i think i read somewhere that making a game like metroid takes waay too long and since it's already mid life cycle for the wii u already they skipping it and making it for the next nintendo console

question is why wasn't there a metroid game sooner lol

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mototim34

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@ArabrockermanX: oh im acting like a little kid am i? I will admit that my language was not the cleanest. But i did however address alot of peoples biggest frustrations with nintendo. And the fact that you are so upset tells me you are a blind nintendo follower. Just upset that someone pointed out nintendos flaws. I am a nintendo fan but i can admit when the company is fucking up.. So take your amibos and see how many fit inside your loose asshole buddy, the rest of us will be waiting for a real metroid game to release...

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huss2215

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No (answering title question)

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mototim34

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Pathetic. Nintendo "fisherpriced" metroid... Nintendo never fails at shitting on its adult fanbase, neglecting its best franchises and pumping out shit childrens games and gay ass amibos.

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BryanWeary

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@mototim34: You know, been a fan of Metroid since the NES days myself, and @ArabrockermanX is correct. Your double posted additional rant only adds to the point. I myself look forward to a new Metroid that isn't Fed. Force, but let's at least see where this one goes before we pass judgment. It might be a good game, despite it's look.

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ArabrockermanX

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@mototim34: "Adult fanbase" *behaves like a little kid*

Okay...

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WALLIX

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What's with these half-baked answers to beloved games? Who is asking for *this* over a true SP experience? Is it you guys? I sure as heck didn't. Let's hope the new Zelda will be a return to form for Nintendo.

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Micropixel

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I don't know... I'd really rather have a true Metroid game.

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Palermo18

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Looks good to me, although I can understand some of the criticism so far that it doesn't look or feel like a Metroid game. I kinda wish the game was more like Bravely Default which takes many elements of Final Fantasy but is still technically a different IP.

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The_Bones

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The art direction in this game is just god awful. Even if I was interested in seeing more of the GF in Metroid I just can't get over how it looks. So using shock equipment means your gun has a lightning bolt sticking out the top? They couldn't come up with anything better than that?

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Jedilink109

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See I have no issues with this game. I don't think it looks bad. Looks fun, and I'm glad to see more first person shooters on the 3DS already.

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santinegrete

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Edited By santinegrete

No. But if time proves me wrong that'll be great. I actually screwed up with my predictions about Resident Evil 4 in 2004

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Manny_Gee_Funk

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Don't try to fix something that isn't broke, why did they screw up a good formula?

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elheber

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Edited By elheber

Nintendo should have omitted the Metroid name altogether and kept the connections to the Metroid universe hidden. The game could have dropped hints here and there that would make you suspect it shares the same universe.

Then near the end of the story, the place you're exploring shows signs of someone having been there to clear out all the monsters. A huge boss enemy shows up... IT'S RIDLEY! Holy crap, your suspicions were true. But Ridley is too strong and your team is losing the fight. Then out of nowhere, Samus comes and rescues your team. You do the last mission fighting alongside the legendary Samus Aran.

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BLiTZ_156

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@elheber: Damn, sounds as if that would of been a lot better lol

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Delston

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@BLiTZ_156: Yep, it really is a much better idea.

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iandizion713

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@elheber: That would have been pretty cool. Reminds me of Pikmin 3.

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GreekArc8

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Remake prime hunters and watch Metroid be popular again, this lame excuse for a game is not what people want out of the Metroid franchise.

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ferna1234

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wow, I guess there are things worst than death. RIP metroid. This is so sad.

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elheber

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Nintendo's going to point at the sales of this game and say, "see? Metroid games just don't sell." It's so frustrating.

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TheWalkingGhost

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@elheber: And if it sells they will say samus isn't needed. We lose either way.

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dreamtildead

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Wow... does this remind anyone else of some sort of power rangers type of thing?... Ive been a metroid fan since I was a kid.. but Nintendo continues to make poor decisions.. I see Nintendo ultimately failing and going down the same path as Sega did. Their consoles will no longer be made, but their iconic characters will live on and be sold through Playstation, Xbox and PC..

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

@dreamtildead: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was cool back then. And it had good graphics. But it was very dull and way too easy. It was all show and no go. Tanabe games on the other hand are fun and very complex.

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hochstreck

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It can.

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sladakrobot

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Metroid must go WiiU and it must be a true sequel to Super Metroid imo,period.

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rushiosan

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@sladakrobot: There is a direct sequel to Super. It's called Other M.

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so_hai

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One of the weirdest ideas and concepts I've ever seen generated from such a seriously solid franchise. It's truly baffling.

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GH05T-666

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I don't think I could get into it, to me it looks awful.

2 • 
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Fallenstaph

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What nintendofans truly love it's just the same character in diferent games so without samus a "metroid" game isn't a metroid so even if the game turns out good i doubt it will have good sales.

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fluffy_kins

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Edited By fluffy_kins

Who cares about this game? It's a complete slap in the face to Metroid fans.

We've gone nearly 6 years now without a proper Metroid game. Nothing has been announced for the future meaning if there ever is a proper Metroid game again, it's still years away... FF is the only thing we have.

And to make things worse they take a potentially interesting concept, pirates vs the galactic federation, and squander it on a multiplayer 3DS game with chibi graphics that look like an original DS launch title. Oh but at least Samus, the star of the series, gets a little cameo! Oh yeah!

It's amazing how far Nintendo has fallen in the last decade or so. Are they that delusional to think this is what any Metroid fan wants? Of course they are ... look at the latest youtube video on their channel for this game. They disabled the likes because they know everyone hates it. They're just choosing to ignore our feedback and soldier on with this crap.

And the truly frustrating part is, once this game fails because no one wanted it in the first place, Nintendo will say "Well, guess no one is interested in Metroid games anymore". Lol **** the **** off, Nintendo.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

@fluffy_kins: Im a Metroid fan and i cant wait to join the Federation Force and help Samus Aran battle the galactic space pirates while exploring the 3 planets. I dont think this game will fail, but ill be buying me a copy from Bestbuy to let you know how it goes.

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DocPhilgood

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@iandizion713: "I can't wait to join the federation force!" You sound like a 90s ad for some flavor-of-the-month toy product.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

@docphilgood: Playing Tanabe games will have that affect on a user.

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fyrant

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Cash grab. They didn't even try to make them look like the same universe from Metriod.

5 • 
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snapcrackleNpop

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Boycott the game simple as that

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Thanatos2k

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Nintendo is taking a huge dump in front of us, and then saying "Ta da! The Metroid game you've been asking for!"

No amount of PR is going to cover up the smell.

11 • 
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cboye18

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Edited By cboye18

no; aesthetics looks more like something from Star Fox rather than the Metroid universe.

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Magikmike39

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Motion control needs to die on handhelds. I really don't feel like twisting and turning every possible way to free aim. This should have been a Wii U game, because it's an FPS. Porting an FPS onto a handheld is a stupid idea.

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aigis

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Short answer no

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