Lost Planet Impressions

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Lost Planet is a game that I’ve been unsure about since the demo way back at E3. I liked it and everything; I just thought that the gameplay seemed a bit basic for a next-gen game. Having taken a gamble and bought it anyway (it’s an early frontrunner for box art of the year), I have to say that what could have been a detriment is actually what I like about it so far. Reminds me of stuff like Contra and especially Bionic Commando, only great looking.

Now that developers are actually developing for next-gen platforms rather than porting games across, hopefully we’ll see more games that look this nice. It can chug during explosions when there are a lot of big enemies on screen, but not enough to harm the effect because it’s very smooth the vast majority of the time. A suspiciously Parisian town in the second level looks extremely impressive.

As I said, the game plays like an old scrolling shooter in 3D. I generally mean that in a good way, but I suppose there’s a small amount of pejorative in there. The enemies are as braindead as their old sprite-based predecessors which detracts from the human foes, even if it’s bearable for bugs. And bosses, while formidable, are a case of avoiding attacks until you can attack the (conveniently glowing) weak point for massive damage. Nothing to break the game and quibbles at most, but they’re little things that will probably keep it from greatness. Multiplayer obviously sidesteps the AI entirely, and ends up being great, raucous fun, and seems like it’ll be played beyond the staid single player.

Capcom forfeited the right to make special editions after the pointless one for Dead Rising, but it’s redeemed itself here. The tin is beautiful, and it comes with art book, exclusive multiplayer map, and a disc containing the soundtrack in MP3 format and a ton of extra artwork, wallpaper, and trailers. It’s well worth the extra £5, which isn’t usually the case with these things.

Lost Planet is definitely worth a look. I’m not entirely sold on the campaign so far, although from what I’ve played the multiplayer could be what gives it the longevity it needs.

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