Metroid Prime 2: Echoes I purchased this game, my first ever fps in 2005. I was instantly encapsulated by the mysterious plot and alien world called Aether that you were tasked to explore.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes features you playing as the heroine, Samus Aran. You are tasked with finding and assisting a missing Federation Task Force called Herakles. You start the game in an underground cavern and as you progress you discover the slaughtered marines and something more sinister. You uncover a world torn between two dimensions; one that exists in ours and another in a more twisted dark dimension. This dark world featured creatures that would possess any creature on either side. As the game progresses you uncover a war between the inhabitants of light Aether who beseech you to end the war by destroying Dark Aether. To do this you must drain the planetary energy from four temples in the dark world. Each one is guarded by a powerful boss who can only be confronted by gathering keys to unseal each temple. The first boss is Amorbis a trio of colossal worms, the second Chykka a monstrous larva and its evolved form a twisted looking wasp. Quadraxis, a giant mechanical behemoth and finally the emperor of the dark creatures, Emperor Ing.
This game features numerous abilities at your disposal. Such as the power to turn into a little ball, fire an array of weapons, and acquire more powerful armor. Whilst these abilities are great and you have many when you start the game you unfortunately lose many of them to the Ing at the start of the game. As you progress through the game you must work to collect them by destroying each guardian that stole them. The frightening thing is how these bosses make use of your former abilities in battle which makes for a nice twist in gaming where your own weapons are used against you. To make matters worse you have an evil twin, a spawn from a creature in the first game (I discovered this years later though). She destroys buildings, and causes a general nuisance. What is troubling is how she becomes more deranged and obsessed with destroying you after each encounter. This all spectacularly ends during a great boss battle where the dark world begins to collapse and you have 8 minutes to escape and destroy the dark clone of yourself.
The Metroid Prime series is built on puzzles and solving complex problems, and I can vouch for this as the game had taken me 2 years to complete. The environment holds many secrets that can help you but also hinder. With the latter, I mean for example when you travel to Dark Aether you truly begin to experience the dangers of the environment. Dark Aether’s atmosphere is toxic, and your basic armor loses about 10 units of health per second until you acquire the Dark Suit, which slows this down to 1 unit per second. Once you gain the Light Suit, you can travel trough Dark Aether and not worry about losing health from the atmosphere. Some puzzles require you to jump between the light and dark worlds to activate machinery. A true challenge as this features numerous times and you must pay attention to a device and return to its location in either world to progress further. The bosses are challenging and require certain puzzles solving elements to kill them. The second form of Chykka is a testament to this. In the wasp form it becomes stunned by your weapons and four targets appear. However, they cannot be attacked from the front, you have to quickly circle around the back and shoot them in order to take down the boss and bring about its final form. With Amorbis you have to allow it to eat you whilst in your ball form so you can damage it internally, and Quadraxis has hidden sonic emitters that need to be damaged to stun it.
The game is full of information and background lore of what happened to Aether. By scanning particular objects in the environment you can discover logs, ancient history, scientific research or even activate machinery. Scanning is a vital mechanic in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and allows you to also discover potential weaknesses in the various enemies you would face in the game.
This game also features a multiplayer feature, quite enjoyable as you battle it out with your friends. You can acquire invisibility, a death ball which instant kills your enemies and other interesting abilities as you play on interesting maps.
Overall, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is an amazing game with a stunning backstory, incredible plot, a recommendation to any who adore fps games. I would rate Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 9/10 as the game is stunning for its time.
This is Reclaimer signing off.
Image Courtesy of the Metroid Wikia.