Game: Lost Planet 3
Publisher/Developer: Spark Unlimited/Capcom
Genre: Action Adventure
Describe This Game in Three Words: Better Than DS3 (Dead Space 3)
Plot: This entry in the series is a prequel, set in a time when E.D.N. III was still a frozen wasteland. Our hero is Jim Peyton, a colonist and mercenary who comes to E.D.N. III to make his fortune and set his family up for life. It's his job to keep the colony stabilized and repaired through taking out hostile indigenous life and repairing the facility in his giant mech.
Up, Up: Somewhere between Dead Space 3 and Metroid: Other M is Lost Planet 3... and it's by far superior to both. Though the game is of slightly less quality in terms of storytelling and cinematic execution, feeling slightly more like a Sy fy film than a feature one, it's a lot more fun to play. It lacks DS3's increasingly cliché jump scares and certainly tops Metroid: Other M by not having a horribly contrived difficulty curb.
And of course, you get to pilot a giant mech and punch things with it! There's really not anything quite like that, and it's still a strangely under-represented thing in gaming.
You get dropped right into the action, and it feels very organic. Peyton is a believable protagonist, and he's got a fantastic supporting cast. Taking out enemies is a bit more difficult than in games like Tomb Raider where proper stealth and shot set-up count for so much. Peyton is more of a grunt, and he takes out aliens with hip shots and nonchalance. Things get deeper pretty soon though, but the game never quite loses its fun factor. It's just a pleasure to play.
Down, Down: The writing for the game could really use some tweaking. Capcom had never been known for its solid storytelling, always getting by on style in the end. As much as I prefer to play as Peyton over other similar heroes, his journey isn't very literary.
It's a staple of a lot of modern gaming to give you an arrow and make you walk toward it and there's nothing really wrong with that. However, I found the trail of breadcrumbs that made up your markers to be a little bit silly. It honestly felt like the game didn't trust us enough to make it more than a few feet in any direction before we'd get lost. This is sort of in keeping with the Arctic environment, but it still did get on my nerves.
Left, Right, Left, Right: Well, it uses the Unreal engine, so pretty much everyone is going to feel right at home. You'll live for the moment you get the grappling hook because you basically become Batman on Hoth. If there is anything more fun than that, I don't know what it is.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Considering how many times in the game that you're served perfectly well by running from the enemies that swarm after you, it would be nice if running was activated by just tilting the stick rather than L3, but at least the dodging function works pretty well.
B, A: Something I thought was going to be really stupid turned out to be kind of sweet and fun. Peyton and his wife communicate with saved video messages, and she's included playlists for him to listen to. I reached for the mute button, but honestly, it feels very real and adds another dimension to the play. It was the first time I felt connected to the characters.
Start?: Lost Planet 3 is in an odd place. It's not scary enough to court the survival horror crowd, and it's not really action enough for the first person shooters. Nathan Drake in space is probably the best comparison, but it never specializes quite enough to meet extraordinary. That said, it's fun. It's just plain fun to play, and that should be enough.