PS3 Review – Lost Planet 2

May 17, 2010 Written by Zak Islam

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition didn’t exactly revolutionize the shooter genre, but it still brought something new to the table. What distinguished Lost Planet from other shooters were the monsters – not just your typical monsters, but freakishly gargantuan monsters. Lost Planet 2 brings back the hostile alien creatures known as the Akrid, but this time much bigger and and more badass. With an extensive online multiplayer component and an action-filled single-player campaign, Lost Planet 2 is undoubtedly aiming to amaze us all.

The story of Lost Planet 2 takes place 10 years after the events of the first game. Terraforming EDN III has been successful, resulting in the snow being melted and the development of jungles and tropical areas. What’s really compelling about Lost Planet 2’s story mode is that players experience stories from the perspectives of multiple characters in the shooter, ultimately resulting in an immersive and interactive experience. The main campaign is broken down into 6 separate episodes, each telling a unique story of a different set of pirates who inhabit the planet EDN III. The episodes are further divided into missions.

The campaign is well done by Capcom, but does the gripping story translate into solid gameplay elements for players? Unfortunately no, not really. The original Lost Planet was known for gigantic enemies the size multi-story structures. Lost Planet 2 has taken the the size of the monsters to the 10th degree of extreme. Encountering the awesome giant alien Akrids throughout the game is fun, as is teaming up with a few buddies to face off against the huge beasts in the game, but ultimately, the countless minor problems get in the way and detract from the overall experience. The clear indication that Lost Planet 2 is an arcade shooter will be noticed by a majority of players, which becomes evident when the ‘Get Ready, Set, Go’ countdown begins at the start of every level.

Lost Planet 2 is an incredibly frustrating single-player experience, so playing on your own is certainly not encouraged. The fact that the game is plagued with problems, albeit simple problems which clearly haven’t been fixed from its predecessor, will make it more all the more frustrating to play by yourself. Something which will get on your nerves a lot is the game’s save system. There are no checkpoints between missions, so you’ll need to complete a full chapter save your progress. Adding insult to injury is that it can often take up to an hour to play through one chapter. At the beginning, you’ll only be given the option to play as the standard Lost Planet characters. However, once you’ve completed all six episodes, you’ll be given the opportunity to play with a variety of custom characters, such as Albert Wesker from Resident Evil and Frank West from the original Dead Rising. As you progress through Lost Planet 2, earning credits allows you to upgrade abilities, weapons, name tags and more.

Missions are pretty linear, with not much depth. You go from one place to another, slaughtering everything in your way and repeat in every mission. Players are equipped with a fairly decent amount of weapons and accessories. Many enemies have weaknesses with certain weapons, so it’s a good idea to master all the weapons. Another major factor in the game is the Vital Suits. Ranging from the small battle armor size to the large multiple-player type, these mechanical gems bring in some useful firepower, although the larger suits are as slow as a dead turtle.

As you progress through the game, you’ll probably become more and more frustrated. No better example is a train level you’ll encounter. The level design is one of the worst in recent memory, as you’ll be constantly knocked off the train. And the worst part is that the mission doesn’t even tell you what you’re supposed to be doing. Once you do figure what to do, there is absolutely no fun involved at all, although playing with friends may make the gameplay less tedious. Overall, missions are littered with bugs (as in glitches, not creatures) and lacking in quality. The only bright spot is the rewarding feeling that comes from fighting and defeating the enormous Akrids.

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