Lost Planet is a successful foray into the traditionally Western dominated world of first & third person shooters with stylish snowy wasteland setting, and very traditional Japanese combat balancing.
The story follows the incredibly original concept of a man with amnesia, Wayne Holden, who goes on an epic journey to fight a great evil while at the same time regaining parts of his memory to reveal
a tragic back story full of heartbreak and betrayal. He eventually has to fight an evil oppressive corporation and the man responsible for his backstabbing/memory loss.
The combat in Lost Planet is much more complex than your average shooter, with a heavy focus on invincibility windows in animations and carefully timed evasive maneuvers. This gives it much more of a traditional Japanese action game feel than your circle-strafe heavy shooters that are commonplace in the Western market.
The game has different types of attacks, depending on weapon selection, impact distance, evasive timing, and type of weapon used.
Defensive maneuvering in this game is tantamount to survival. It's important to learn the invincibility windows for all animations in the game, as well as perfectly timing evasive dodges. This is really what sets this game apart from other shooters.
The evasive dodge can be done by crouching and pressing the jump button. Your character will dive into a roll that will place them out of the range of most enemy attacks. There is also a very brief invincibility window during the animation. The roll can be successfully used in the following ways:
Mobility is an important thing to take into account while playing, as well. There a trade off in picking up a VS weapon as a human considering it will lead to slower movement, and a long reloading animation that will leave the player vulnerable & stationary. Small exploits can be used to cancel certain reload animations, such as doing a dive roll in the middle of a machine gun reload, or jumping before pressing the reload button when using a regular rocket launcher.
Facing human enemies in the game is a lot how you would imagine it to be based on shooters in the past. They mainly try to stay back and take shots at you with long range weapons, occasionally moving behind cover. They don't particularly try to flank, flush you out with grenades, or any kind of advanced maneuvers like that. The challenge in the human enemies comes not from their AI, but from the sheer numbers of them the game throws at you at all times, both in & out of VS's. In later levels, it's commonplace to encounter sections with over 30 human enemies in and out of VS's and stationary turrets.
The on-foot human enemies will typically be equipped with machine guns in the first few levels, while in the later levels having rifles, rocket launchers, energy guns, and plasma guns. While in VS's, the enemies' mobility and weapon power is significantly increased, and they have a tendency to try to quickly circle-strafe you while unloading on you with a barrage of power weapons. Some quick evasive moves and strong weapons are best in these scenarios...or just a shotgun, some quick twitch skills, and a lot of balls.
Akrid opponents, on the other hand, are tackled in an entirely different fashion. The Akrid close the distance on you as fast as possible, and all have 3 or 4 attacks they cycle between which have very specific methods to avoid. In addition to this, they all have bright orange weak points that must be shot to do damage, as opposed the the humans which can be shot anywhere. This makes the Akrid essentially feel like mini boss battles in themselves, and mixed with human enemies at the same time, add a lot of different variety & tactics to each encounter. The Akrid will also constantly ambush you from busting out from beneath the snow when you least expect it.
The game contains several different types of Akrid, but also 2 or 3 size variations on each time. For example, one type, dubbed the "rolly poly" by the online community, appears in a small form throughout the first few levels. A much larger version is also the boss of the first level. However, by the 7th or 8th level, the player is facing several instances of the level 1 boss version, thrown at the player in the same number & patterns as the smaller ones were at the beginning, only with more powerful VS's and weapons at their disposal. This happens will all the different types of Akrid, until the last few levels are a chaotic combination of boss rushes and mech battles in an explosive particle-effect drenched battlefield.
There are also a few single instance Akrid that only appear in particular scenarios in the game and are better off avoided (unless you're going for the achievements for killing them). Those are the worms in level 3, and the moth in level 5.
In an interesting design choice, not a single enemy encounter outside of the boss fights needs to be completed in order to progress. This means that if you're good enough at avoiding enemies and their attacks, you can simply run past every fight in the game that's not a boss battle. On Extreme difficulty, this becomes a necessity to beat certain parts, as stopping to kill the ridiculously tough enemies will often end in you either dying or running out of thermal energy. It should be noted that doing this on Normal difficulty, though, makes you a sissy.
Vital Suits (VS's for short) are mechs that the player & enemies can pilot throughout the game. They have their own lifebar, and drain thermal energy at a much faster rate than if the player were on foot. The benefit is that they can move while reloading the VS weapons, and can dual wield them.
The PTX-40A also appears in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom series as a playable character.
Note that all grenades of any kind can be detonated at any point (midair or otherwise) by being shot.
The mutiplayer in Lost Planet was quite the sleeper hit. Not even Capcom was expecting it to be as well received as it was. A combination of the human & vehicular combat, creative game modes like Post Grab, a unique take on the scoring system in standard deathmatch, all in combination with the aforementioned combat focus on evasive maneuvering and invincibility animations, led to an experience unlike anything else on the market.
Lost Planet sold so many copies that Capcom continued to support it by adding several cheap map packs (which later became free), and an update that allowed hosts to choose from 3 different types of netcode.
A year later, Capcom re-released the game as Colonies Edition, with several significant new additions. While it had a few new single player modes, Colonies Edition was largely a multiplayer expansion pack in response to the level of enthusiasm players had for the original. It includes several new multiplayer modes, maps, weapons, playable characters, level caps, and adds new level layouts & host options to keep things fresh. Capcom's level of support for the multiplayer rivals that of any top tier Western developer.
NOTICE: Active Steam account required. You muse accept the Steam Subscriber Agreement ( www.steampowered.com/agreement) prior to use of the Software.
*Operation not assured if VRAM is shared w/main memory.
**NVIDIA GeForce 7300 is not supported
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition requires 6.8GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions gained pretty good reviews. It got a 79/100 on Metacritic. Critics commented on the stunning visuals. Which was something most critics all agreed on.