Lost Planet Review

August 5, 2009 at 3:10 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Lost Planet

Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Capcom
Genre: Action
Number of Players: 1-16
Release Date:
US: January 12, 2007
Japan: December 21, 2006
Europe: December 12, 2007
Australia: January 12, 2007
Features: Xbox Live, Memory Unit, Downloadable Content

Narnias White Witch ain’t got anything on these guys…

-Overall: Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve taken time out from playing to write this. Its something that draws you in. Back in Oct-Nov I distinctly remember downloading the demo, playing it and thinking. ‘Wow, this game has got some potential’ I saw the Akrid enemies as something from a Starship trooper’s film, but still original and very daunting. I also remember talking about the game before its release to a friend and calling it ‘Gears Of War on Ice’. But no. How dare I say something like that? This game deserves its name. Someone slap me for saying that before. Really hard.

Anyways, I get to the counter, purchase the Limited Edition version of the game and the girl at the counter says ‘Hold on one sec, you get something else for free.’ So I wait, interested, till she comes out with one of these…

The PTX-4OA, Wayne’s father, Gale’s custom Vital Suit. Not bad. But I don’t get why they do that kind of thing. Nice thing to have anyway!

Also with the Limited Edition comes a Concept Art book. A bonus CD with Wallpapers, Trailers, Soundtracks and more including a Windows Media Player Skin. And a bonus multiplayer map which will be available for everyone on the Xbox live marketplace soon.

-Music/sound: The music in the game is…well its nothing overly special. On the menu it’s something you hear, and as the track loops. It just fades from your ears and you forget about it. The music in the game isn’t anything special either, but it tends to be drowned out by gunfire, explosions and the floor rumbling violently. So you don’t hear the music that much. So I’d recommend some good alien busting tracks on your hard drive, or you listen to the glory of your Machine gun mowing down those Akrid punks.

-Graphics: Well. It doesn’t take a smart person to know they made this game with the greatest intentions. Smoke mushrooms and expands with the explosions, gears turn and twist on the arm joints of VS’s, snow crumbles under your feet and the sun pierces through the clouds in an array of different colours and reflects off icy rivers and mountain sides. The guys at Capcom always have had a way of getting things good. This time, they’ve done it almost perfectly. This game has some of the best water, snow and ice effects I’ve seen for awhile. Explosions are a common thing on this game and the way the clouds move and how light is affected, it really is just ‘Holy crap it looks almost real’

The detail in the Akrid is just as good. The way they come tearing through the ground beneath you, sending snow and rocks flying, and you stumbling forwards really does send you into a panic as you franticly get your footing back and await the snow to settle to see what the hell just tore through the ground. The small detail in the bodies, are missed first time round, but most things you’ll notice and just smile to your self or think ha that’s cool. One example is of the rather timid enemy which flies through the air, but the way their bodies move, its like a Sting ray, where each of its little ‘wings’ move separately and in their own way. Kudos to the guy who sat and programmed all that. Seriously.

-Gameplay: The levels are linear, but still quite large so there’s no confusion as to where to go next. They are set out where you progress through the level and end the mission on a boss. I found with some boss’s some were quite easy, where as some weren’t as much hard, but more just damn annoying, one battle I played through was against someone in a Vital Suit. I managed to escape from the warehouse into a snowy valley where she chased me. I was hit by a rocket and was sent tumbling backwards, I got up, yet before I could fire back; another rocket came rebounding off my face. Now, I’m all for a challenge. But when the same thing goes on for a good minute of being thrown down from a rocket and getting back up to receive the same thing, you can imagine my happiness after she changed her pattern ever so slightly and I got a rocket off before she hit me back down again.

Certain levels have really open areas. And little cylinder canisters called Data posts dotted across the map can be activated giving you a way point in the right direction if you really get lost. You also have a grapple which can be used to get you to higher areas, cross gaps you can’t jump and is automatically used when you fall off a cliff, you can rappel up and down the cliff edge using this (you can also shoot whilst in this position which looks pretty cool online)

The controls are quite different to some other games in my opinion. All of the buttons have a use. But after you get halfway through the first level, you find yourself getting the hang on them really fast. Experienced gamers will catch on almost instantly.

The VS’s (Vital Suits) are also easy to use and work. You can only hold two weapons at a time but it’s simple to switch with one you find on the floor. And also goes with the VS’s as they also have the capacity to hold two weapons but at the same time.

There are a very large array of weapons available in this game. They vary from Machine Guns, to sniper rifles, shotguns and Energy rifles. There are also standard hand grenades, sticky grenades, the clever ‘Disc grenades’ which are thrown like a discus and often stick to the target. Plasma (pretty much stun) grenades and dummy explosives. The vital suits have separate weapons also, you can vary the weapons you can carry on them, and you can also carry them on foot, but they are very heavy and you have to be stationary whilst firing, having said that, they are really, really powerful, some of the weapons are Gatling Guns, Shotguns, Rocket Launchers, and Laser Rifles. Even after this short list, there’s still more weapons I haven’t mentioned to you.

Still on weapons, there are a range of different Vital Suits available around. You cannot choose which ones to use, but you often find them lying around, some of them can be transformed into some sort of vehicle, as most of them are legged suits. One turns into a snow bike like vehicle and another into a rather scary looking tank. Most of the other suits have a hover, or double jump ability which helps you overcome nasty looking terrain, Wayne’s fathers VS is a lot faster than most of the other suits and it also has a custom chainsaw like weapon on its hand for melee combat.

You often encounter these vital suits during the campaign and almost always online. Don’t be fooled by this review though, there not something you could just shot and blow up. There huge, there nasty. And if in the right hands. There firing all sorts of weaponry at you. A few nicely placed rockets will take them down, but no way do you have a chance if he can see you. Campaign, its a little easier. But you all know how hard online can get.

By killing Akrid they drop something called ‘Thermal Energy’ in the top left hand side of your HUD; you have your health and a counter that is always dropping. This is the amount of your thermal energy you have. Kill enemies and destroy certain objects to gain thermal energy. You need this energy to obviously keep you warm and alive. Once the counter drops to zero, your health slowly depletes. And when your injured, thermal energy is used up faster by a device on your arm which converts the energy to health, which in return fills up your life bar. Once your health is full again, the counter begins to drop back to the steady rate it normally does. Because of this, I could call it almost a timer. You can’t just sit in awe at your surroundings too much. Which is a shame in itself because the levels are just beautiful to travel and fight through.

Online play is really good, but for me, often frustrating. When being attacked there is no signal that you are either losing life or where your being attacked, so you often find yourself laying face down in the snow thinking. WHAT THE HELL? It’s also annoying when someone climbs into a VS and blows everyone to hell. He can walk whilst firing rockets at you. You can’t. There are four match types available.
Elimination – Your standard deathmatch.
Team Elimination – Deathmatch in teams.
Fugitive – The host becomes the Fugitive and the other players have to hunt down the fugitive, the game ends when he is killed, or the timer runs out.
And Post Grab – Where players must capture all the Data posts on the map.

There is also a level system to the online play where points that you earn from matches go to your level xp. As far as I know, there’s no limit to the levels but you need to be getting some heavy points to go up levels once you hit double figures. All the weapons found in the game are available; they can be hard to find though, especially on the Team Elimination maps which are quite large. Which is good because a full match can be up to 16 people. And 16 people all running around and blasting rockets everywhere can get pretty hectic. You’re also given the chance to choose your character on online before you start playing; your choices are of different Snow Pirates (other human enemies in the single player campaign). You also have the option to have a voice mask. Which honestly are a bit crap. Anyone who uses them, just sound like they are mumbling and you can’t understand it and are more than worth the mute option.

-Storyline: You are Wayne Holden, a VS pilot who fights alongside infantry and your father another VS pilot. You are apart of a Colonization team who have come from Earth to the habitable planet of E.D.N.III. Whilst construction of homes and facilities to make the planet livable, they stumble across the Akrid, the Akrid have what is known as Thermal Energy inside them. The humans need this precious energy source to keep warm and basically, alive. The humans were driven from E.D.N.III from so many attacks and came back with one main plan. To eliminate the Akrid and make the planet livable with all the Thermal Energy they can get. Whilst fighting. Your platoon is attacked by a monster named ‘Green Eye’. The creature kills your men and your father and leaves you trapped in your Vital Suit. Sometime later, you are recovered frozen in your VS by people working for the same agenda and you work with them to achieve your goals. However Wayne only remembers his name, how to pilot a VS and is haunted by memories of his father in his last moments battling the Green Eye. You join the people who saved you into fighting the Green Eye, but something more is on the agenda for one of your saviors.

-Replay value/play time: The game is 10 chapters long. The levels are roughly around 20-30 minutes long, depending on the difficulties. There are 3 difficulties which will keep you going. And also there are 5 or more coins to find hidden around each level, they all have letters on them and spell out words at the end. If you find all of them in a level, an achievement is heading your way, but they are hard to find. A lot of them are obscured by snow blowing across the screen or you simply walk past it whilst fighting. But if the campaign isn’t enough to keep you going. The online will, purely because it’s just different to what other games have too offer at the moment.

-Conclusion: The game is really good. I’d recommend it to all of you. The fact it was made by the producers of both Devil May Cry and Onimusha really show in the game visually and gameplay wise. It’s something I’m glad to have paid full price for and will always come back to it. Online will keep me going, as I’m sure there will be some patches for it soon like always. I hope for maybe a second one. Or maybe something else on the snow, because that’s really a terrain that isn’t really explored much with games. (Except for Snowboarding games of course)

My Rating – 8.9

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