Review: Lost Planet 2
Lost Planet 2 is Capcom’s latest entry in its young and successful third-person shooter series. It sports single-player and multiplayer campaign, online competitive multiplayer, and so much going for it. And considering that the original Lost Planet may not have been the most technically sound game of this generation, one would think surely its sequel will make all of its past wrongs right. Unfortunately, Lost Planet 2 falls short of what could of been and ultimately disappoints in more than one way.
Lost Planet 2 takes place 10 years after the first game, and the snowy environments of E.D.N.III are no more. Instead, E.D.N. III has now become a world of jungle green and arid deserts. It’s nice to see a change in environment. I bet it would have been pretty dull to see the icy terrain return for this second go-around. You can play through the campaign with up to 4-players cooperatively, or run through by yourself with 3 computer controlled partners. I suggest playing with human controlled partners for reasons I’ll explain later on in this review.
Lost Planet 2 is playable, but at times unbearable. Some of the boss battles are epic and the game can be fun at certain points. But after running into issue after issue, eventually you just don’t want to play it anymore. The first and most noticeable issue you will face in the world of E.D.N. III is the awful camera. When you’re in an environment covered in jungle grass and trees, it is understandable that some of this may get in the way of view. However, when playing a third-person game, it is very irritating when things are not in the way of your character’s view but actually in front of the fixed camera angle. This occurs often when looking upwards. I hope I can explain this correctly so that it makes sense. When you look up, naturally the camera goes below your character who is looking upwards. But what else is on the floor? Grass. Grass becomes your worst enemy when looking upwards. The camera issues are an especially sad case, considering Lost Planet 2 is a really beautiful looking game.
Lost Planet 2 plays like most third-person shooters. You have your life gauge, radar, and weapon indicators on screen. There are also plenty of robotic contraptions that can be mounted, which are clunky, but powerful. A dual analog set up controls your view and you have your buttons to carry out various actions. However, there are some control design choices that really have you wondering why the developers decided to do what they did. One of the issues is when you press the B button (or circle button for the PS3 players) rapidly to activate data posts. That same button is also used as the melee button. So, I found myself melee the post after each activation of a data post without fail, and would sometimes lose crucial time because there is so much unnecessary delay after each melee. Another gripe I have with the controls is with the dash button. Usually, games like these have you click the left thumbstick to dash, but in Lost Planet 2 you have to hold down one of the face buttons. You can imagine for yourself how awkward your fingers have to be positioned when you want to run and move your camera around at the same time.
The game is broken down into six episodes. Each episode has several chapters, and each chapter has several missions. The missions are not very difficult to clear, but usually take way longer than they should because half the time you have no idea what to do. I found myself wandering around on more than one occasion for what should be the most simple, and easiest parts. Kill a monster? Not a problem. How do I move on to the next mission? I have to find the arbitrary position to stand at in order to trigger the next cutscene? Not cool. Another factor that will keep you from moving along in the game smoothly are your AI campaign partners. They are unreliable at best, and you should really consider finding four friends to play with online rather than playing the campaign solo.
Multiplayer is where the game somewhat shines. Up to 16 players can go head to head in 5 different modes on 9 different maps. The modes are all the standard multiplayer modes you see in every game today. Although, this sounds like a pretty good aspect of the game, again Lost Planet 2 falls short. The control issues are all here, as well as evident balancing issues. Stun grenades should simply be called paralyze grenades, because there is nothing you can do after being nailed with one of those. Lost Planet 2‘s multiplayer is good fun, don’t get me wrong, but the thought of how much potential this game had bothers me to no end.
What should have been an amazing sequel, simply could not deliver. Lost Planet 2 is a textbook case of disappointment. This game would have probably been decent on or near the launch of the Xbox 360 or PS3. But to have something like this when so many games are pushing the limits of today’s consoles is unacceptable. There is nothing to blame here but laziness. I do not see it any other way. Multiplayer is the only way to go with Lost Planet 2, if at all. Don’t even bother if you’re looking for a good single-player experience.
- Game: Lost Planet 2
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: 5/11/2010
- MSRP: $59.99
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for purposes of this review.