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PlayBack: Lost Planet 2

Ice rage.

Over the past few years, third person shooters have gravitated more and more towards a generalised shortlist of conventions. Series such as Gears of War and Uncharted have popularised the use of snap-to cover points. The same two blockbuster franchises are also known for their rich narrative and well-rounded characters as well as intuitive melee segments of gameplay.

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us may have bucked the trend by implementing its own freeform cover system but there’s no denying the similarities present throughout the genre.

One series hasn’t been as quick to conform to these trends is Capcom’s Lost Planet. Seen as one of this generation’s original heavy-hitters, the first game in the franchise -Extreme Condition- launched as an Xbox 360 exclusive before the series branched out to PC and PlayStation 3.

The game picked up some years after the human colonization of E.D.N III, a snow-covered planet inhabited by an alien species known as the Akrid. Lost Planet hardly set the world on fire, though even today, still stands out as one of the most unique third person shooters on the market. The same can be said about its 2010 sequel, perhaps to an even greater degree.


Best Bit

In some ways, Lost Planet 2 can be likened to the ever-popular Monster Hunter -another Capcom property. Though you will spend a great deal of time swatting smaller, less aggressive Akrid, it’s the bosses you need to look out for. As in Extreme Condition, these are by the far the game’s highlight, especially when you factor in Lost Planet 2’s online co-op focus. Huge in size and complex in proportion, these giant Akrid can take a while to put down, even with all four players giving it full whack.

One battle in particular sees a sluggish behemoth bounding around an open field. At first there doesn’t seem to be a way to kill it though, after a bit of ballistic experimentation, it becomes clear that players must blast its legs off before shooting it in the face. In truth, I rate Lost Planet 2 as an undeniably mediocre third person shooter, but there’s something about these battles -particularly when played online- that makes you think Capcom was onto something.


Worst Bit

Sadly, the publisher failed to capitalise. By focusing on a washed-out campaign and competitive multiplayer, Capcom’s efforts were stretched too far, and it really shows.

Where Extreme Condition had linearity and a clear-cut story, Lost Planet 2 was a little more open. The game’s campaign was broken into episodes, chapters, and stages, each throwing a pocket full of objectives for players and their AI/online squaddies to beat. The result was a something that felt more akin to a gauntlet of score attack missions as opposed to an actual journey across E.D.N III.

This issue wasn’t isolated, however. No, Capcom had in fact centred the entire Lost Planet 2 experience around bitesize chunks of online co-op action. Every mission played would feed into a meta-score and player rank, yet the sense of reward was missing.

The game was also hamstrung by a number of mechanics and a control system directly inherited from Extreme Condition. Just to give a couple of examples: when aiming, the crosshair would move freely about the screen and wasn’t anchored to the camera. Instead, players would need to tap the shoulder buttons to snap the camera in ninety-degree angles.


Jumping back into Lost Planet 2, I think you’d be surprised by how many people still play the game internationally. However, the third person genre has come a long way since Extreme Condition. Though there’s a strange part in all of us that dislikes conformation, in some cases it can be deemed necessary.¬†Capcom seems to agree, having passed the reigns to Californian studio, Spark Unlimited, Lost Planet 3 feels like a completely different game.

Still, if you’re looking to play something a little out there and detached from everyday gaming conventions, Lost Planet 2 is worth a try.

5 Comments
  1. igotmy9milli
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Haven’t played this for ages, going to revisit! I love this game, the campaign is pretty epic.

    Comment posted on 30/08/2013 at 09:09.
  2. Kamokazi-UK
    Member
    Since: Sep 2009

    I did enjoy the game for the first few missions, but found after a while very repetitive and hard to feel any sort of progression. Felt like a uphill struggle to get anywhere. I was really looking forward to the game when first released.

    Sort of a precursor to how they did the coop in Resi 5 + 6 which wasn’t a bad idea. If they did with those games on LP2 I would have been more satisfied

    Comment posted on 30/08/2013 at 09:33.
  3. scavenga
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    LP2 is one of the games I found the least appealing of all time, really hated everything about it.
    Couldn’t even force myself to give it a second go, and traded it in the same day after 2 hours of painful gameplay.

    And I’ve completed Blacksite and several other uninspired games.

    Comment posted on 30/08/2013 at 09:35.
  4. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    i quite liked it when i played.
    what plot there was seemed pretty disjointed and nonsensical, but it played ok, not amazingly, but ok.

    then i lost the bloody disc. >_<

    still haven't bloody found it.

    Comment posted on 30/08/2013 at 15:09.
  5. OneShotWook
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    Did enjoy this game alot although i have to admit the only real point of playing single player was to grind unlocks for coop.
    The train level,co-op quicktime events that would dump the slowest player to his death,the emphasis on customization over all else.
    Top stuff and loads of fun with mates.

    Comment posted on 30/08/2013 at 19:59.

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