PAX East 2016: First Impressions – Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

We’re going to get real with you for a second.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is not a bad game.

No, really. We’ve said it. It’s out there. We can’t take it back! (Well…that’s not entirely true, we only had a demo to look at, after all!)

Here’s the thing—we were just as annoyed as the rest of you back in 2015 when Nintendo announced the next “Metroid Prime” and then it turned out to be…not really Metroid Prime at all. No Samus. Just…weirdness in the form of galactic police.

But we’re optimistic people over here at Nintendo Fire, so when we heard Nintendo was bringing Federation Force to PAX East, we got ourselves geared up for the experience—and thankfully, they brought more than that ridiculous E3 “soccer with guns” demo.

So, here’s the deal: No, there’s no Samus. Yes, it feels like a Metroid Prime game. If you’ve played a lot of Metroid Prime, the controls will feel familiar and practical. You’ll have no problem using the lock-target button for accuracy, accessing power weapons, and strafing just like Samus to avoid attacks.

The three game modes mean that it’s a game made for playing with friends, namely in the local multiplayer mode—which is what the PAX East demo showed off, with up to four players going on missions together. The demo took players into a compound where battle took place against security bots and a boss. The downside here is that we don’t yet know if online multiplayer will allow teamspeak, which is rather critical for a game like this…but considering the lack of teamspeak for Splatoon, for example, we’re not holding out too much hope that Nintendo went for it with this game.

That potential problem aside, the game itself looks and feels familiar in the sense that it harkens back to the nostalgic era of Nintendo—the characters are boxy, and the environments would look basically at home on the GameCube. For some, that’s a cool, fun thing. For others, you might be annoyed at a perceived lack of innovation.

With all of that said, you can see how we’re willing to go on record that it’s not a bad game.

However…is it fun?

That’s another question entirely. Our team members tried it out and came away, well…slightly underwhelmed. It could have been the experience of playing with strangers in a loud room (no way to wax nostalgic) or maybe the game itself, but it wasn’t something that wowed us on first play. On the other hand, we weren’t put off by it either, for all the reasons listed above.

In the end, the PAX East demo was enough to say that anyone who’s a Metroid fan should check it out and see if the game is right for them—and it’s entirely possible that once it’s released, the chance to experience more of the mods during the campaigns will make a big difference to the overall experience. Plus, having a chance to try out different character jobs (your standard tank, healer, etc.) will likely lead players to choose a role that they enjoy as opposed to having a random team combo for a demo run.

Look, when it’s released, it might surprise us all! We were willing to write it off like many of you were, but the demo wasn’t all that bad. We’re keeping our hopes up and our optimism at a moderate level with the expectation of being pleasantly surprised by the final product.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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