When Capcom released Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions a few years back, I was immediately a fan. It took me back to the 8-bit days, with it’s perfect level of difficulty, and truly epic boss battles.
However, I feel like I was in the minority, as most gamers I knew of couldn’t deal with Lost Planet’s odd control scheme, therefore never really giving the game a fair chance.
If you were one of those aforementioned gamers, don’t make the same mistake with Lost Planet 2. Sure, the oddball control scheme returns, but this game is bigger in scope, graphically beautiful, features some of the most absurdly huge boss battles I’ve ever seen in a video game, and has the most bang for your buck in regards to it’s online co-op modes.
Taking place ten years after the events of the first game, Lost Planet 2 sends you back to the fictional planet, E.D.N. III. However, the planet’s ecosystem has changed dramatically from the last game to this one. The snow that covered E.D.N. III has apparently melted (but not all of it), and given way to lush tropical landscapes, deserts, and full-on cities. As I mentioned before, graphically, this world is flat out stunning. It’s truly one of the high points of this title.
And if the level design doesn’t wow you, the encounters with the giant, alien Akrids throughout Lost Planet 2 most certainly will. Seriously, Capcom has taken the size of the alien beasts in this game (specifically, the “bosses”) to the absolute extreme. Many battles are incredibly difficult (more on this in a bit), and will provide the player with at least a few “HOLY SHIT!” moments.
OK so everything looks awesome, and the bosses take up the whole screen, but how’s the story and the gameplay?
Well, the story is kind of confusing (but basically is just “kill everything, try not to die”), and the single-player campaign is, at times, outrageously difficult. I’m talking couch punching, controller smashing, Ninja Gaiden for XBOX kind of difficult. There’s no checkpoints during gameplay, your AI partners are often completely useless, and you can’t pause the game. No, seriously. You can’t pause, ever. Dumb, right?
While I for one welcome a difficult gaming challenge, there’s a point where a game can go when that level of difficulty can make a game decidedly less fun. Unfortunately, if you’re playing Lost Planet 2 by yourself, things tend to start to feel this way, fast. Especially as you progress further into the game.
Really, this all comes down to one simple fact, and it’s this. Lost Planet 2, is absolutely NOT designed to be played alone. Capcom has not shied away from this selling point, almost forcing you to play this game using it’s four player co-op mode. Wether it’s a localized split screen game, or via online, this is really the only way to make it through the hoards of Akrids, and the colossal boss battles. Without doing so, is simply an exercise in futility, and those of you without the ability to play online (or those of you without any friends) should consider yourselves warned before you purchase.
That said, I do think that Lost Planet 2 is worth your gaming dollars. The online play is tremendous, with both the campaign mode and the six other modes available (such as Team Elimination, etc.) one could potentially have months worth of fun before boredom sets in. Plus, if you’re one of those gamers that prides loves hoarding trophies, you’ll be happy to know that there’s loads to be had while playing Lost Planet 2.
The Blast Factor: Do I wish that Lost Planet 2’s one player, campaign mode was more accessible, and that the story wasn’t so, well, dumb? Absolutely.
Still, if you’re looking for a 3rd person shooter that you and your friends can enjoy together, no matter what mode you’re playing, Lost Planet 2 is deep, challenging, and fun as hell to play.
Lost Planet 2 is available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $59.99. A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.