Player: (s) 1 locally, 2-16 online
Genre: Action, Third-person Shooter
Release Date: (NA/EU) January 12, 2007 (JP) December 21, 2006
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC)
Lost Planet is definitely not a game you want to play on a cold day as it will bring you into a world of harsh conditions and weather the likes of which only Santa has seen and I guess anyone living in the North.
Lost Planet takes place in a year known as T.C. -80 on a planet called E.D.N. III. Earth become uninhabitable due to pollution, global warming and war. The planet is home to an alien race known as the 'Akrid' which is the source of precious thermal energy due to the alien's ability to generate this substance within their bodies. So it seems like Capcom knows what we need to do when 2012 comes around. Just equip everyone with mechs, snow suits, and weapons, then ship us all off to a frozen, alien-inhabited planet somewhere in space! Suddenly the apocalypse seems a whole lot better.
In typical Capcom fashion, Lost Planet is very easy on the eyes and in my opinion, still remains one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360. The harsh frozen landscapes, explosions that would make even Michael Bay weep and very expansive levels to explore all help pull you into the world that LP:EC has to offer. The cutscenes are rendered with the in-game engine and still look great. Every model is very detailed and in some cases can even look photorealistic. The voice acting is actually pretty good on most of the characters, with the exception of a few. Especially the Bob Marley wannabe. If you play this game, you'll know who I'm talking about right away.
Traversing these cold plains would be very hard work if it weren't for your handy dandy grappling hook for climbing tall structures or mountain faces and a variety of different 'VS' suits that can run, drive or even fly. These mechanized suits will come in handy when you have to face off against the many different species of Akrid and Snow Pirates that inhabit the various sections of the planet's surface.
Thermal energy is your lifeblood in this game. Everytime you kill an Akrid or blow something up, thermal energy will scatter around and picking it up will add it to your thermal meter. The thermal energy meter acts as a sort of time limit because once you run out of it, your life will slowly begin to drop unless you quickly find more. While this feature can be a pain if you're the type who likes to dawdle, I believe it adds a sense of urgency to the gameplay. When you get hit by an explosive or something that would normally kill you, (except for falling off a ledge) your thermal energy will transfer to your health and refill it as long as you have some in reserve.
Lost Planet also features a ton of weapons ranging from regular shotguns and machine guns to energy rifles and VS rocket launchers. Some of these weapons require thermal energy to use but they make up for it by being the strongest ones you can find. The VS suits will usually come with some sort of weapon as well but you can also switch the weapons on them out for other ones as long you can find said weapons.
The Akrid also need to have special mention. Some of them are small and the variety of these creatures is quite expansive but some of them are behemoths. Trust me, bringing down some of the bosses in this game can be quite a challenge, especially if you're playing on a harder difficulty
Lost Planet is a fantastic game but it does have it's share of flaws. Your character moves extremely slow which I suppose is realistic since he is trekking through deep snow but it can make crossing large plains very tedious if you can't find yourself a VS suit. The crosshairs on screen also move rather slow and while this is a good thing due to it allowing you to pull off percise shots, it can be a problem when your enemy is fast and is also getting out of view.
Though Lost Planet's single player campaign is a very entertaining one and somewhat lengthy, the game does contain an online multiplayer feature for up to 16 players. Multiplayer plays almost exactly like the single player. You need to check your thermal energy, you can obtain VS suits and use weapons just like in the campaign. There are only 4 different modes in online which is a bit of a disappointment, so I don't think you'll be spending any real amount of time on Xbox Live with this one.
Lost Planet is an entertaining game with gorgous graphics, an intriguing storyline and fun gameplay, but small things keep it from garnering a perfect score. Hopefully with the upcoming release of Lost Planet 2, these issues can be improved upon.
7 / 10
12/14/09 Colton West