A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Your job is to help restore order, but you do so by killing thousands of aliens, robots.
Positive Role Models
You don't know much about character you play, but you hop in a Mech suit, battle with your teammates to take down enemy forces. Your efforts are noble, as you're destroying "bad guys," but you're using weapons to kill thousands of them.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn; minor control issues.
Violence & Scariness
No blood, gore, but core gameplay mechanic is to aim, fire at enemies, which include aliens, mechanized soldiers. You'll use lasers, missiles to take them down; they disappear in black smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a first-person shooter for the Nintendo 3DS. While there's no blood or gore, the core gameplay mechanics are shooting and killing numerous alien creatures and robot soldiers. This is the latest part of a franchise that covers games, merchandise, and other items, and parents should know that amiibo cards and figures can unlock additional features for an extra fee.
Is It Any Good?
Although it's a new installment in the franchise, this is really only a slightly above-average team-based shooter. Fans of the Metroid series likely will eat it up, and it is fun -- especially when you're playing with others -- but from a pure gameplay perspective, it's not anything extraordinary. First, the good news: Federation Force is easy to pick up with simplified controls. It's even more gratifying to wirelessly pair up with a friend in the same room or with someone online. The more than 20 missions are quite diverse, as are the roles on the team, and it's fun to customize your load-out before each mission by selecting your weapons, defensive items, and other (limited) slots you have to work with. The production values are quite high for a Nintendo 3DS game, even if the visuals can be a bit pixelated.
The not-so-good news: The game doesn't have a lot of checkpoints, so if you die, you'll have to repeat large chunks of a level. There's very little atmosphere in this game, especially compared to other Metroid adventures. The text-chat system in co-op play isn't easy to use, and there's no support for voice-based chat. While the missions are fairly diverse, which strengthens the narrative, the core gameplay grows repetitive after a short while. Plus, the mini-game, Blast Ball, isn't so fun. There's some fun to be had if you're a fan of this series and enjoy first-person games while on the go. But the bar is high for this franchise, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force is slightly below it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.