Lost Planet 2
Environment researchers are divided into two camps: those that claim the Earth is getting warmer and those that believe we’re heading towards a new Ice Age. If we can believe Capcom and Lost Planet 2, our future looks quite warm and subtropical. Let’s see how things will look in the next 100 years.
Lost Planet 2 is set ten years after its predecessor. The ice cold planet EDN III has undergone a mysterious transformation by changing in the white landscapes and numerous icecaps for giant forests and huge waterfalls. Of course the “fauna” evolved alongside this phenomenon in a biologically responsible – read: aggressive – way. The Akrids are harder, better, faster, stronger!
Contrary to the first part Lost Planet 2 has jumped onto the multiplayer bandwagon, more specifically in the co-op department. The campaign is completely built with co-op in mind and it goes even so far that before starting you need to create a game (even when playing alone), choose a character and even have to wait until the ten second counter has finished. Lost Planet 2 therefore believes you’ll play the campaign in co-op. No, even worse, it forces you to play this way.
Now, I don’t have anything against co-op aimed games, but when the AI of your colleagues is so bad that it hurts the gameplay then that’s a big “no-no” for me. Capcom was so “friendly” to send us a review version (not retail) which results in the fact that we had to do with the offline part. The game therefore will be judged by us based on the version received with all flaws and “consequences” as such. And those consequences aren’t the lightest as Lost Planet 2 contains a lot of missions where cooperation is central.
The story has six pretty large missions which you get to play with up to four players. Each chapter introduces new characters which makes that you can’t really speak of a clear and cohesive story. Between missions the devs try to explain the story through cut-scenes but these didn’t really make the bigger picture clearer.
In the first Lost Planet the extreme weather conditions resulted in a second enemy. The bitter cold would decrease your health bit by bit and by collecting thermal energy from defeated enemies you could stay alive. As the planet has undergone quite the climate change the energy is now mostly used to control mechs and regenerate your health in a lesser manner.
Next to the weak story Lost Planet 2 does have some stuff to offer. Especially the aggressive Akrids make for some fun scenes. The sometimes gigantic monsters look very detailed again and each fight requires you to remain concentrated. Especially searching for weak spots with the end bosses can be quite the challenge.
Graphically the game looks really good, just like the original. Atmospheric jungles varied with rugged deserts and swamps. The game uses the same engine as that of Resident Evil 5 and you notice it. Not that this is a negative point, on the contrary! The beautiful lighting effects when going through the jungle and the sand storms you face are very convincing and do a lot of good to the game experience.
On paper Lost Planet 2 seems a beautiful and complete game but while playing it unfortunately becomes painfully clear that there are quite a number of flaws in its core that don’t really help the gameplay experience. You’ll often have to replay a mission because you didn’t make it to a checkpoint, frustrate yourself on activating battle gauges or throw your controller towards your TV when one of your AI buddies makes you start all over again.
If you get over the fact that the game purely functions as multiplayer then you get quite the package. A lot of co-op levels with quite the amount of boss monsters in between, new environments and characters, a polished and slightly more fun multiplayer mode and quite some extras like familiar characters from Gears of War and Monster Hunter in different versions. If you don’t have an internet connection for your console, however, then you better keep this one laying on store shelves.