Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Planet 2 | Review

Synopsis: Lost Planet 2, the sequel to the debut Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions which has sold close to two and a half million copies, has recently released and with that came a review copy for us to play through and project our impressions to all you mashers. Whether you’re a diehard fan on the original entry, new to the series, multiplayer junkie, or gaming loner there is a lot to be done to complete this title. The sequel picks up a decade from where the previous ended, terraforming activities have proven successful, and the once frozen land of E.D.N. III is now full of beautiful jaw dropping environments. Rather than playing through as one character, you take over the roles of heroes, each with their own story, showing more than the one perspective. The grappling hook is back, which is strange because the feature didn’t work in Bionic Commander, so it seems a gamble to try again, but with supporting weapons and VS vehicles to also take advantage of to make the huge-ass Akrids slightly less of a challenge. One last thing before I get to my review is the available gameplay options are the classic single player, four player online coop, and up to sixteen person multiplayer.

Praise: I had tried playing through the first Lost Planet game and after about 10 hours, got bored with the game and stopped playing all together, so I am going into this review with a lot more optimism following the press releases regarding changes made to the sequel. Like the original and probably my favorite feature over the multiplayer modes is the large boss battles, taking on enormous Akrids with VS armor and other characters, either coop or AI, is a lot of fun. The change of environment from the bland frozen lands to the new great looking and bright rain forest surroundings is a nice change as most of the first title was a bland white and grey. The character customization is nice and I feel it may be the reason for the increase in the replay value, though it takes a little while before the customization is available, but once you start, it is a never ending battle to have the points to make the next change to your character. The coop is a lot of fun, it was easy to join a game, did not have any problems with lag, and with the right group, one could play for hours and not get bored.

Gripes: I hope you fans are a glutton for punishment because even on easy there are minimal checkpoints per chapter, so you will respawn a ways back having to fight to the point you were killed, hoping to not make the same mistake twice and that there will be a checkpoint or end of the chapter coming up soon. The offline AI does not really help and I definitely suggest going the way of coop if you have the gold membership and an internet connection. The story and the campaign are just south of mediocre and the entertainment value of the game relys strongly on the coop and multiplayer matches, which is a good thing coming from someone that is not a fan of playing online multiplayer. I am unsure if Capcom sent out a batch of bad disks, but it seems that after thirty minutes to a half hour into playing, I get a disk read error, having to reset and start back where I left off. Lastly, the customization of characters and weapons is not very user friendly as it takes some trial and error to get accustomed to the system.

With all the recent and upcoming sandbox and first person shooters, having a fresh third person action title release is a very welcome break from the norm. There is plenty to do after you have completed the story mode, mainly playing on a harder difficulty and playing coop to help others through the story and also help yourself with more character customization. If Capcom keeps this up, then they can expect a very profitable year, as both Super Street Fighter IV and Lost Planet 2 have been good games if not great games, I am hoping Dead Rising 2 follows the pattern of even better than the original sequels.

Mashbuttons.com gives Lost Planet 2 a 7 out of 10.

Lost Planet 2 is available now for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.

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