Metroid Prime: Federation Force is an untraditional take on the venerated Metroid series, one that moves it in new directions reminiscent of some of Nintendo's recent releases such as Zelda: Triforce Heroes and New Super Mario Bros. Essentially, Federation Force is two games in one. Players control a mech in either campaign mode (comprising a large set of varied missions) or 'Blast Ball,' a kind of team-based sports game.
The campaign takes place across several planets and space installations. Objectives are generally straightforward, but extra exploration is encouraged as 'mods' can be discovered to customize the player's mech. These mods generally increase weapon power, or provide greater defense. Prior to the start of a mission up to three mods can be selected, along with a number of secondary weapons befitting the Metroid universe (freeze or fire weapons, missiles, super missiles etc.). If playing in single-player, the mech can also be equipped with three drones that provide cover for the player.
While those who prefer single-player modes will find plenty to sink their teeth into, the real meat is in the multiplayer mode. teamwork feels less of a necessity, or chore and more like a choice. The diversity of mission types prevents Federation Force from becoming boring, particularly after the fourth mission when a number of interesting concepts come in. One example is the mission where the team has to push a cargo train through a canyon, trying to find cover when a hazardous storm periodically strikes, whilst fending off space pirates.
Missions undertaken in groups are entirely cooperative, with the only competition coming from achieving a higher score. Coming first at the end of a mission is highly desirable because any mods found by the team are then shared out, with the highest scoring player given the first choice.
Federation Force isn't your older brother's Metroid, breathing fresh life into the beloved franchise with new ways to play.