Lost Planet 2 was easily one of the most popular games at Comic-Con, and not just because Capcom ran a raffle for a plushy version of the demo’s boss. It was getting attention because it had four-player co-op, looked amazing–it runs on the newest edition of the engine that powered the graphically stunning Resident Evil 5–and was a lot of fun to play.
Lost Planet 2 changes things up from the original in many ways. Visually, you now play in a variety of regions, like deserts and jungles, rather than in levels covered in snow. Capcom focused on what happened to the planet in the aftermath of the original’s conclusion to design, so you get to see what has been hiding under the snow now; this will give you a lot of different looks, much more so than the first game, and should keep the game looking fresh.
Gameplay has seen a pretty significant overhaul too. The speed of both the gameplay as well as the characters has increased, and the large Vital Suits (VS) now have thrusters for speed boosts, which should make moving them around less of a chore as well. You can also pick up weapons off of the shoulders of the VS and use them on foot, which should provide for a pretty big boost to your firepower. VS are also no longer restricted to carrying around one person–now that you have four-player co-op, expect to see VSs that will carry multiple members of your party, so everyone can fire guns at giant creatures together. Producer Jun Takeuchi also stated at Comic-Con that there would be a flying VS, which is something I would like to see in action myself since it’s a major change.
Here’s the rundown on the demo I played. Four players were all together in this tropical swamp looking area, while a giant creature–one that is said to be one of the “smaller” ones in the game, despite the fact you could not see all of it on the screen at once–roamed around. This creature needed to be taken down, and you could do so a few different ways. You could blow out all of its legs with constant fire, or you could shoot the spike in its back until it retreated inside of the creature; from there, if you caused enough damage, you could make it fall and then get yourself inside of its mouth. From there, after a seamless transition from the outside into the belly of the beast, you could fire at the spike until it came out of hiding and was atop the monster once again. Rinse and repeat, and eventually the monster would fall.
You have to use strategy though, because unlike many games where you can just respawn after dying, Lost Planet 2 uses a score based system that determines whether you come back or not. You gain points for completing tasks and successfully attacking and killing, and you lose these points upon dying. They are shared by the team, so if your team dies too often you will fail the mission. You do need to pay attention to your surroundings too, even if you’re dominating, because the creatures do not have scripted movements and actions. They act independently based on context, so if you personally are causing the creature a lot of pain and anguish, he is going to hunt you down and stop that nasty problem in its tracks. Of course, that’s‚ a good time for your teammates to swoop in, while you haul it out of harm’s way.
There will be six episodes of Lost Planet 2, but there are not a lot of details available about them. You can customize your character for use in both online and offline gaming, which is a new addition to the series. While many of the changes are just for cosmetic purposes, the hope is that no one bumps into characters that look like them, making everyone feel like they have created someone unique. You can unlock new weapons for multiplayer by leveling up your character–completing missions, finishing extra objectives and playing in a unique manner will earn you experience points.
While the game is still slated for a winter release, the early build played at Comic-Con was impressive. We’ll have more details for you about Lost Planet 2 as they emerge. As of now, it looks like Capcom has a potential hit on their hands, one powered in part by suggestions of the original game’s fan base. Kudos to Capcom for listening, because it looks like it could pay off.