Who: Developed and Published by Capcom

What: Lost Planet 2: Third-person shooter, action, RPG

Where: The future, on the same planet, but this time it’s THAWING so beware of avalanches and water.

When: Demo is available now and full release is supposedly in December of this year. Merry Christmas!

Why: Now let’s get into the guts of this thing. Why this game?

I know this game isn’t out yet, but the title caught your attention didn’t it? This is actually a review of the demo. Why review the demo some might ask? Game publishers have gotten very good at providing demos of many many games, from AAA to indie. I find it hard to purchase a game these days if I haven’t already played the demo. I like to try things about before I throw my $60 at it. Damn inflation…

First off this game is pretty. No doubt about that. If you enjoyed the aesthetics of the first, you will enjoy these even more. They seem to have broadened their color pallet a bit, and the models look great. This is a bit surprising considering the level of customization players will have for their online persona; helmet, body, back, legs and even gestures. You will also be able to edit weapon models and the color of all this stuff, so that’s pretty cool. I guess we can thank MMORPGs for the flux of character customization options in other genres.

The demo is basically this. Group up with up to 3 other people online, and take down a big insect looking thing. The old weaknesses apply. Shoot the reddest part of your enemy. This sounds simple, but taking this thing down is quite complex. I think I failed the mission 3 times before me and 2 others were able to take it down, causing an eruption of “magic boxes”. (‘m not sure what those are for) I couldn’t help but think of Shadow of the Colossus while we were doing this, but it was coop style! What made it even better was that it wasn’t completely obvious how to kill this thing, apparently there are several. One of them involves letting it eat you, and then you fight your way through it’s intestines. Reminded me a bit of the Riftworm in Gears of War 2. This uncertainty added a whole puzzle aspect to the fun. Figuring out how to kill a huge enemy with a few friends is a load of fun. I suppose this mystery will be lost to some degree over XboxLIVE where you inevitably will run into the type of guy that knows how to do it, and can’t shut-up about how cool it makes him feel to tell you how to play the game.

The only Issue I had with the game was with the controls. It feels a bit like they tried mapping too many actions to the controller, because they used everything to it’s full potential. Although once I got the hang of the controls I enjoyed trying to perform more maneuvers at one time to increase my skill within this unique layout.

If you haven’t checked out the demo yet I suggest you view the E3 trailer below. It even has a Diamond Weapon vs Sister Ray shot in it! A surprising nod to FFVII I thought. Not exactly, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it.

Lost Planet 2 Trailer at E3

Quantitative Review:

  • Gameplay: 9.0 — A lot of things that have been done before, but they are beautifully combined. If I get into the multi-player of it I can see myself playing for quite a while, and the co-op campaign experience should be fun at least a few times through.
  • Visuals: 9.0 — Right up there with the recent greats. ie GoW2, RE 5. Though the environment in the demo was fairly simple, the trailer shows many more worlds to explore.
  • Sound: 8.5 — Nothing stood out, which means it must have been pretty accurate or believable. That must also mean it wasn’t too special, but good none the less.
  • Presentation: 8.0 — The interface seemed nice, and I liked seeing the character models of your party members in the lobby screen. Game help was displayed on in-game screens, which helped maintain some immersion, so I hope they do this in the full game as well. My only slight beef was with the controls, and my party members expressed the same discomfort. It should only take about an hour to get a grasp of the button layout and then you will be shooting red body parts like a pro.
  • Immediate Purchase Potential: 7.5 — By immediate I mean within the week. This title caught me off guard a bit and I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. This isn’t reflected in the score but a shifter on my bike broke today over a mile from my house, so this may take priority over the purchase of the game. I have quite a bit of time before this game comes out so I should be able to set aside some Hamiltons. I’ll be swayed if a few friends pick it up right away, because the strength of this game seems to be the 4-player c0-op.
  • Overall: 8.5: — Looks to be a very fun game. I love a good 3rd-person shooter with co-op and RPG elements added. There just aren’t enough fun co-op experiences out there anymore. It seems like playing it single player and then competing  online against people is all the rage with the kids these days. The objective seeker in me screams for satisfaction, and the social side of me, be it fairly small at times, whines for someone to come out and play.

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