Lost Planet 2 is a much awaited sequel to Lost Planet with a seemingly large fan base. When Lost Planet came out I remember playing it on my friends 360 and I was absolutely blown away at how cool of an idea it was. With the second installment out now, it’s a great sequel but for some reason I feel there is something that is missing. LP2 has very strong points that keep it very playable yet; some of the downsides make it hard to want to continue. Without a doubt, it is a decent game and deserves a play through by way of rent at the least.
Starting off on a turn for the worst, LP2 has the connection errors that many other Capcom games have been experiencing. My inability to connect to other players created servers on the first and third day I was testing out LP2 was very discouraging. I had to play most of the time in offline mode. I have only spent about 4 hours playing online, and when I wasn’t getting booted from servers from connection errors I was stuck in the lobby waiting for the next chapter to end so I could finally get in to play, only to suffer yet another connection error. Some of the more technical issues I had with Lost Planet 2 where short little ticks during game play. At first I thought nothing of them, and figured it was just loading lag, and presumptuously nothing to worry about. As I continued to play, they lag was still there and very interruptive of game play. Not only was it messing me up in single player, but this was not fixed for multi-player levels. When I’m playing multi-player games against other people I want my only excuse for failure to be that I was bested. The lag that causes me to not be able to aim at a player on the run is absolutely unacceptable for a true competitor. So for me, playing this game competitively online seriously is out of the question.
Aside from when I was unable to play online, it was good when I actually was online. The community is great, and everyone was wonderful enough to help with what I didn’t understand, or was unable to figure out. I met a few new friends through Lost Planet 2; I’d have to say that over all, this is probably one of the nicest communities I have been around. If you are looking for a co-op experience with people who are very team oriented this is one of the few titles that actually achieves that. From what I got out of it, everyone was willing to teach, learn, and play to the teams speed. It was a great experience and I hope that this is something that I can look forward to for many other online co-op titles.
One of the other big faults I had was with the games overall story. Some how though, Lost Planet 2 manages to keep you interested in all of the different factions without ever giving you a single character name. It recently dawned on me that this might be because of the multi-player co-op experience, it is actually supposed to be you but, I still feel like I could just give a lot less care about who dies or lives or any of that. There is nothing keeping me drawn to the characters in the story. Might I add that some of the characters have that obvious cliché Asian art influence. If you want an example it would be something like, a character wearing a coat, but not have his arms through the sleeves, which a lot of people are into. The only names you will hear are the names of the factions, NEVEC which is basically like an evil futuristic version of NASA, and the Acrid, which are the Thermal Energy or T-ENG holders of the Lost Planet world.
T-ENG is the main loot for all factions. Everyone wants to have the most thermal energy at the end of the day. There are those who steal it, kill for it, and go hunting for it. It is primarily used to keep the planet at a stable temperature to avoid an ice age. The creatures that possess and keep the planet stable are known as the Acrid. The secondary use is that of the soldiers, they have developed a way to inject the T-ENG into themselves to make them strong and essentially be able to regenerate health with the use of a Harmonizer. In the story the Acrid are rated based on size, class A through G or higher, the bigger the creature, the higher the rank. While playing online with a few players I heard multiple comments about the similarities to Star Ship Troopers. I for one, have my own theory. The opening scene to the game after the snow chapter is when you will reach the jungle for the first time. To me flying into a lush green environment on futuristic choppers would be déjà vu for anyone who has seen James Cameron’s AVATAR movie.
The game itself is very cool, there has never been an issue with the grappling hook, it works very well and is still fun to play with. The mech’s or VS’s are a fantastic addition to warfare and can be combined to make an even bigger duel controlled VS. All of the base infantry weapons are great; the sounds for them are wonderful and give you a great feeling of power when firing them. You can remove the guns from any VS mech and use them; they are like super high powered chain guns, shotguns, lasers, rockets, and grenade launchers. Over all there is nothing lacking in the weapons department. As if it wasn’t enough to have all of the options, many of the weapons are upgradable. Using the credits from the boxes you collect in single player you can spend them on the Lost Planet 2 slot machine feature to unlock upgraded weapons and grenades. There are also character parts, and nick names you can unlock through this feature.
Although there are no problems in the weapons department, there are problems in the games story. One that I have grown very sick of is the checkpoint system. They are very important for spawning, and are used more strategically in multi-player co-op. My issue is that they are integrated into the games story for nearly every chapter of every faction. In an attempt to make it seem like it’s a secondary mission by saying things like, “make it to the shuttle launch pad, activate all of the checkpoints on the way there to send the data you discover” Now, if your not thinking in terms of repetition it seems like a legitimate mission. The only problem is that it’s the exact same thing you had to do the last 40 missions, only they tell you it’s for a different reason, but in the end, you are still just doing the same thing you have been doing the entire game, and that is erecting checkpoints.
With those faults the story has some good, and keeps the player going. I like how some of the separate factions tie into each other at certain points of the story. In one of the chapters, you play as what feels like Navy Seals, where you have to infiltrate the city. I though that they would do something cool for the whole set up that was going on but instead was crushed by reality when we had no intentions of being sneaky. Instead we were a four man wrecking crew that pushed our way from point A to point B devastating anything or anyone that got in the way. I found it as a way to give the story and game play a little something extra, but Capcom decided to go with the checkpoint system here as well.
The dialog is arguably very bad, it has some good moments yet I can’t shake the less than par voice acting and dialog. Everyone knows about the atrocities of Asian screen play. They have the ability to make things very cheesy in an attempt to get that ‘bad boy’ feel in American culture. Saying things like “what the!!” or using profanity that just doesn’t quite feel organic. In fact most of the dialog in Lost Planet 2 feels a little unnatural, its does have its good moments, but more commonly I can’t help but cringe at what is going to be said next.
Running around is a bit slow, and sometimes linear, especially if you have yet to get a checkpoint closer to where you died. You actually have to go all the way back to where ever your last checkpoint was, which can be a huge pain. Sometimes the checkpoints are so close together that it doesn’t really matter either way. The train level is a good example of this, if you fall off of the locomotive, it is obvious instant death, and back to the beginning you go, only bad part is that it’s hard to stay on a train when you constantly have rockets being fired at your face. If you want you can try the sprint feature, which is almost the most useless feature in the game. Sprinting will take you from about five miles per hour to about six.
It is pretty good to look at; the graphics are the least to complain about. I think there was a large amount of work that went into the models and textures. The explosions are done pretty good, and blowing stuff up is still satisfying towards the end of the game. I don’t really have a lot to say negatively about the visuals, some of the models are a little bumpy in areas, which is just technology and zbrush not being perfect yet. Other than that, it’s a pretty amazing looking game. With the exception of mildly bad looking water and rain there are no complaints here.
Overall there is a certain satisfaction that comes with completing any game, and Lost Planet is no exception. I still couldn’t stop playing until it was finished and it’s a game that I think you should give a try if you are into science fiction games. I would say rent this before you buy it, it’s not a game that you are guaranteed to enjoy. I think that with a few improvements, if and or when Lost Planet 3 hits stores, we should have a very nice title to play.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
The Akrid are humongous and very fun to figure out how to kill. The visuals are crisp and great looking. The voice acting has its moments but for the most part is tacky.
The online service from Capcom can be very unsatisfying. The voice acting at time is overly profane and cheesy. The character customization is somewhat useless.
Lost Planet 2 is a decent title for the third person shooter genre. If you liked the original you will most indefinably like this. If you are expecting the best story or gameplay of the year, this is far from it. Yet if you just looking to burn some time then a rent would be more suitable for this title.