Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Reader Review
Back In the Day
Ok, who remembers Contra? (Everyone raises hands)..Right, well for those who don't... It was a wonderful, bouncy side scrolling shooter back in the days of 8/16 bit where the basic premise of the game was to annihilate hordes of gun-wielding bad guys, before you got to the half way point of the level, where you would be greeted with a slightly tougher, larger bad guy/robot type creature. Once the afore mentioned mid-level boss has been overcome, its a merry jaunt through some more slightly dim grunts until you reach a Screen-filling end of level boss. Which of course has some obvious weakness/ strategy to take it out. Once completed, repeat, return to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until you have 10 levels of similar format.
Right, Lost Planet follows this format pretty much to the letter.
Now, in my opinion, this is no bad thing. In the day and age of "Tom Clancy's - Advanced Gears of Combat Rainbow Cell" we seem to have lost one important ingredient in the pudding of video games, the one thing that made us all churn 10p after 10p into arcade machines in the 80's.
That Ingredient? MINDLESSNESS
Switch Your Brain To Standby
If you go into the world of Lost Planet, armed with the knowledge that it's going to be nothing but a fun, uncomplicated and rewarding shooter, then you are going to get your moneys worth.... As it does that better than any other 360 title to date.
.... And the Plot Thickens
Capcom have tried to come up with a story line which attempts to explain all this wanton splattering of alien entrails, but to be honest, its as substantial as a bowl of fresh-air soup. So I am not going to waste any time bothering to insult your intelligence with such twaddle.
Thermals and a Flask
Into the game we go. You play "Wayne" a generic looking Capcom good guy with an Energiser battery stuck on his arse. This may sound odd, but all will become clear.
The whole game is set on snow bound planet, which is gloriously rendered. Some of the vistas in this game are truly breath taking. However our sub-zero utopia is infested with alien (The Akrid) and renegade outfits of "Snow Pirates"
You role as "Wayne" is simple. Kill them all!
Wayne has many tricks and pieces of equipment at his disposal. First of which is his "VS" or Vital Suit. This clever lycra type leotard does two things. Keeps our hero from getting the sniffles and replenishes his health when taking a battering from the nasties. The "VS" is powered by Thermal Energy (remember the ass-mounted battery ?)Which is collected from many sources, large tanks in the snow when destroyed, old clapped out bangers half covered in snow when destroyed and most importantly those creepy starship trooper like aliens...when destroyed. A thermal energy gauge is displayed along side your life bar...as the cold environment constantly drains your T-ENG (Thermal Energy) you need to seek out ways of sustaining it throughout the game. Please refer to the "destroying" bit again.
Now all this clever undergarment trickery is not where it ends. Wayne also seems to have stolen the harpoon from Mortal Kombats' Scorpion. Wayne uses this to catapult himself toward hard to reach locations. Mighty handy...especially if you are trying to jump a 20ft gap and you are not Jonathan Edwards.
With these two bits of kit and many types of weapons strewn about the landscape, Wayne is off. Like Domestos down a toilet.... of to kill all known germs dead.
One man and his Mech
Soon enough Wayne gets the chance to hop inside one of the many Mech Robots. These large metal killing machines come in various guises and can also be customised by removing and replacing the side mounted weaponry. Wayne can even carry and use the weapons from the Mech himself. However doing this usually inhibits how he moves and prevents him from carrying as many guns in his inventory. A nice touch.
Each Mech seems to have a special capability from turning into a jet powered snowmobile to being able to jump like the Hulk on a baking tray (that�s quite a distance...trust me)
What the hell is that
Now, the best part of destroying hordes of puss filled aliens is you know that there are more around the corner ready to eat plasma-death. Well you aint wrong there and they sure get big in a hurry! The first OMG moment comes when you come face to face with what is know as a "Green-Eye" in the introduction mission.
This big ugly insect type nasty fills the whole screen and is damn impressive. (Don�t worry you don�t have to kill it...Daddy comes and saves the day)
Throughout the game you come up against increasingly nasty bad guys.... oh and girl. That constitute as the level bosses. The majority of these have a weakness. Raining down shells, grenades and rockets onto these points, deal these monsters significant damage and will lead ultimately to their demise.
What Happens Next?
A curious thing happens now, when u plug your White box of joy into Xbox Live and then play Lost Planet it becomes something wondrous.
Lost Planet has a sexy little secret.... It has to be one of the most frenetic and enjoyable multiplayer experiences since the great Battlefield 1942.
Soon you will be using your skills, mechs and zip line to confuddle and perplex online opponents. You will be bounding about like a lunatic, zipping up walls into rooms looking for frags before you know it.
Cold Hard Facts
Lost Planet is not ground breaking in anyway. It is a solid performer in all aspects of 3rd person Shooters. However with the added freedom and dimensions of play added to the game by being able to hurtle around multiplayer maps using the zip line like never before and the superbly frenetic online experience make Lost Planet a great stop gap until Halo 3 rears its glorious head.
Lost Planet? .... I�m glad I found it!
Mojo Staplegun. Sunderland UK
8 / 10