Lost Planet 2 for PC Review

Check out our video review:

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition takes players on an action-packed adventure across a frigid and hostile world. Players get to engage alien creatures known as the Akrid and snow pirates using a variety of weapons and mechanized suits known as Vital Suits. The mix of on-foot and mech combat proves to be a lot of fun and for its time, the ice-cold setting helped make the game stand out. Lost Planet was a successful game for Capcom and it was followed up by Lost Planet 2 which would emphasize cooperative play. Developed and published by Capcom, Lost Planet 2 was released for BlackBerry in April, 2010, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May, 2010 and PC in October, 2010. For this review, I played the PC version. Lost Planet 2 does come with Games for Windows – LIVE. I installed it before playing through the first game and it continued to function without issue during my time with Lost Planet 2.

Lost Planet 2 feels very different than its predecessor. Set on the planet E.D.N. III, years after the events of the first game, the story plays out in episodes and bounces between different factions. Each squad has their own objectives and goals and they all work their way towards the giant Akrid dubbed “Over-G” which is capable of triggering another ice age. All the bouncing around kind of made it hard for me to care about any of the squads and the characters aren’t very interesting. There’s a lot going on here and the story takes players on quite the adventure. It’s just a shame the plot isn’t very compelling.

Lost Planet 2 allows up to four players to team up and blast their way through the campaign and it just might be the best way to play to experience the campaign, although I was only able to go at it alone. That said, when playing alone, you can have AI teammates accompany you. They’re not the greatest but they’re more competent than I predicted they would be. They will shoot at and kill enemies and complete certain objectives. Other than that, they seem to just wander around. You can acquire credits throughout the campaign which are spent at the Slot Machine to unlock customization options for your multiplayer character. In addition to the campaign are several online multiplayer modes and a Training mode where you can take on various challenges for high scores and fight AI opponents in simulated multiplayer battles.

As you progress through the campaign, you’ll gain experience and level up. You are rewarded for reaching certain levels and the rewards are customization options for your multiplayer character including weapons, weapon upgrades and variants, character parts, and other cosmetic items. Most of the weapons from the previous game return along with new firepower. The campaign has you going from area to area and there’s always a primary objective to complete in each area and you can complete secondary objectives for additional experience. Before jumping into the campaign, you can decide on the difficulty, how many AI players will accompany you and even enable or disable friendly fire. It’s very obvious from the start that the campaign was designed with cooperative play in mind.

The gameplay is very similar to that of its predecessor except a bit faster-paced and less clunky. The controls can be a little cumbersome and it’s easy to miss and/or forget how to perform certain actions. I had no idea you could roll until I after I completed the campaign. When you take damage, you lose health which will slowly replenish over time if you have any Thermal Energy in reserve and you can activate your Harmonizer to refill your health more rapidly. Thermal Energy doesn’t drain as fast as it did in the previous game. It’s consumed when using certain weapons and Vital Suits and it can be acquired from fallen enemies, by destroying certain things in the environments and by activating Data Posts. You can fire Thermal Energy at your teammates if they’re running low and at certain boxes to open them.

Each episode consists of multiple chapters and/or areas and there are no checkpoints. If you decide to stop during a chapter and exit the game, you’ll have to start that chapter or area over from the beginning. You die when all your health is drained and you can respawn as long as you have Battle Gauge points. The Battle Gauge is like a life system in the form of points. You can acquire points for activating Data Posts and you lose points for dying and if you lose all your points, you have to start the entire chapter or area over again and that can sometimes be frustrating.

A lot of the gameplay is simply running around and shooting enemies. Vital Suits can be found throughout the environments and are like mechs and moving, jumping, flying and blasting away enemies with deadly firepower while in a mechanized suit is always a good time. Although, they seem to be a little less prevalent then they were in the previous game and I would be lying if I said Lost Planet 2 wasn’t a repetitive game. There’s only about a handful of objectives and the most common are go from point A to B, defend an area or protect something and activate Data Posts. Each mission will have you doing at least one of these things as you engage hordes of enemies so many missions feel the same.

It’s always fun jumping into a Vital Suit but these sequences are not enough to make up for the campaign’s lack of variety. There’s a few moments that stand out like when you have to storm an occupied ship in the desert, engage enemies underwater and jump around a space station. And the only reason these moments stand out are because of the environmental variables. The campaign does keep things moving and is consistently action-packed and I will say the gameplay is an improvement over that of the first game but the on-foot gameplay is nothing special compared to many other games in the genre so without variety, things get boring pretty quickly. At least if you’re playing solo.

Lost Planet 2 pits you against a lot of human foes and some Akrid and features large and awesome bosses. The Akrid come in different forms and have glowing weak points and the human enemies you encounter throughout the game are from different factions and areas are often filled with them. They’ll run around and shoot at you, fire rockets, and pilot Vital Suits but they don’t do anything super sophisticated. Despite the different enemy factions, I felt like was constantly engaging the same enemy type over and over again and with very few moments or set pieces to mix things up, many encounters end up feeling like repetitive shooting galleries.

Compared to the first game, Lost Planet 2 features more diverse environments. You’ll engage enemies in snowy areas, a desert, jungle, city and even in space. One minute I’m shooting enemies on my way through a city and the next thing I knew I was in the desert engaging foes on a moving train. I like the environmental variety and it is one of the reasons why Lost Planet 2 feels very different than its predecessor. It’s a complete shift in atmosphere and tone. However, the variety of environments is really the only thing that kept me engaged. The gameplay loop throughout most of the game is shoot a bunch of pirates, maybe some Akrid, take down a boss, rinse and repeat. Some areas are open with branching rooms and paths but the game kind funnels you where you need to go and several areas are small and contained. In general, Lost Planet 2 feels more linear than its predecessor. I think if more Vital Suits were lying around along with a better variety of enemies, that could have helped mixing things up a little more. Scattered around the environments are Data Posts and once activated they become respawn points and also reveal the surrounding area on your PDA and information on your radar.

Lost Planet 2 looked great for its time. The environments are detailed and it’s definitely a more colorful game than its predecessor. The character and Akrid models look good and the animations are solid. The lighting and texture work are excellent as are the visual effects. Unlike the first game, explosions don’t result in smoke engulfing the area so I was always able to see what was going on. As for the audio, the soundtrack is decent with a lot of dramatic-sounding tunes that compliment the action and the sound effects are excellent. Weapons-fire is loud and satisfying, explosions are booming, human enemies will grunt, groan and shout during combat and the Akrid make all kinds of noises. On the technical side, the game did run smooth for me but it crashed on me twice upon completing areas forcing me to replay through them.

I think Lost Planet 2 is a decent action game and I was immediately impressed with the more fluid gameplay compared to its predecessor. Despite the sometimes cumbersome controls, getting around and engaging enemies is a lot more enjoyable this time around. However, Lost Planet 2’s lack of enemy variety and repetitive mission design seriously bring it down. The Akrid are often more interesting to battle than the human foes which make up a good chunk of encounters. A lot of missions feel like shooting galleries and running from to Data Post to Data Post, mashing a button to activate each one gets old pretty quick. I think playing cooperatively is the ideal way to experience the game and there are certain sequences that will require players to work together. But when playing solo, much of the experience feels very underwhelming. After episode two, I would only play in short bursts because I simply got tired of doing the same things over and over again for long stretches. On the plus side, piloting a Vital Suit is always a good time, the bosses are awesome and the unlockable character customization options are an incentive to play through the campaign multiple times.

I would only recommend Lost Planet 2 if you can find a copy for cheap and/or have some buddies to play with. It carries over and refines some mechanics from the first game, but unless you have people to play with, it doesn’t really go beyond that. It’s the kind of game that leaves a good first impression, but quickly exposes its flaws. Ultimately, Lost Planet 2 is a decent game but there are better action games, better sci-fi games and better shooters out there.

Similar posts

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.