Nintendo has a long way to go to turn public opinion around on Metroid Prime: Federation Force. When the game was revealed at E3 2015, fan response was overwhelmingly negative. I have to admit that I, too, was pretty let down. I don't mind a Metroid game that doesn't star Samus--I've wanted a co-op Galactic Federation trooper game since Metroid Prime 2--but as usual Nintendo is giving me about 50% of what I want. Federation Force is indeed a co-op shooter, but with Samus reduced to a cameo, and with a bizarre chibi art style that makes the characters look like toddlers? Ugh.
You can tell director Kensuke Tanabe is really proud of this game and he wants fans to accept it. That's the first element in this game's favor; Tanabe masterminded the whole Metroid Prime series with Retro Studios so I'm willing to give Federation Force the benefit of the doubt here. It's also cool to see my man Gil Ruta playing as the green trooper; Gil's the guy who heads up the annual Nintendo Airstream PR Tour and he's a pretty cool dude.
In terms of the gameplay, Federation Force looks undeniably like a Metroid Prime game. The lock on, the shooting and strafing, even the pace of the gameplay are very familiar. The depth here is also impressive, with a surprisingly involved upgrade system and co-op oriented puzzles. I like the teamwork on display here, with the ability to heal teammates by shooting them with an energy tank.
I'm still not completely sold on Federation Force; I doubt I'll like it more than my poor, misunderstood Metroid Prime Hunters, and the cringy art style really chafes. That said, I'm a lot more excited than I was a year ago to get my hands on it.