Friday, May 14, 2010
Review: Lost Planet 2
Lost Planet 2 is finally released and does it live up to expectations? The answer is unfortunately very mixed. The controls still feel unimproved and remain clunky from the original. The story of Lost Planet 2 takes place ten years later as the formerly frozen EDN III has begun to thaw while more pirate factions are fighting for territory. Meanwhile, military organization NEVEC has plans to exploit the massive Cat-G Akrid that have begun to appear for their valuable thermal energy, even if their goals destroy the planet in the process. The campaign is around 10-15 hrs. in length depending on difficulty and puts you in the role of several different factions throughout the story. The game does despite it's shortcomings have some great qualities. The graphics utilizing the MT Framework 2.0 engine look amazing with many new environments in the jungle and desert along with snow from the original. The scale of the bosses in this game are incredible and very detailed.
Some of the problems I had with the story were gameplay issues such as no checkpoints between missions. This means you'll need to complete a full chapter to save your progress in Lost Planet 2 which can often take more than an hour to play through. This means that should you die near the end of a chapter trying to figure out what the game wants you to do, which it never really tells you, you'll have to play the whole thing over again. There's also no jump-in co-op, as new players will be forced to wait in a lobby until the other players in the game reach the next mission in a chapter before they can join the session. Campaign levels feel like multiplayer maps populated by enemy soldiers and akrid, and little attention to balance difficulty or fairness is apparent. You will die over and over at certain points as enemy akrid or vital suits camp your spawn points. There is some satisfaction to be found from conquering these enormous monsters, but it's always grim, the kind of satisfaction that comes from an end to frustration rather than a sense of accomplishment.
The co-op multiplayer is very mixed. I have had no issues so far with lag. The various modes are here with elimination, team elimination, and post grab. There are five factions to choose from in multiplayer including: Femmes Fatales, Rounders, Fight Junkies, Snow Pirate Elites, and NEVEC Black Ops. You can also customize various aspects of your character with different weapons, clothes, etc. I had the most enjoyment playing Lost Planet 2 in multiplayer by far.
-Graphics look great with various new environments in the jungle, desert, snow
-Boss battles are epic in scale
-Co-op multiplayer is fun
-Campaign story not as compelling as original
-Controls still feel unimproved
Overall, it is hard to recommend Lost Planet 2 with it's faults. The co-op and multiplayer are great but story felt not as strong as the original. If you are a fan of Lost Planet and like the multiplayer component then you would still enjoy it. For everyone else I would recommend a rent at the most.