Review: Lost Planet 2 [PC]
Where does one start when trying to write a review? This is quite a strange phenomenon for me, as in all the reviews I’ve done, I’ve never had to battle with writers block. I just start writing, and it comes out pretty decent. However, Lost Planet 2 is different. Not because it’s an amazing game, but because it had so much potential, and somewhat failed to live up to its in-game promises as the game played. And, as one got used to the game failing to deliver, let us say, a smooth game-play experience right off the bat, another disappointment cropped up almost straight away. But, enough with the ramblings, let us get into the actual meat, or so they say.
- Worth The Time?If it’s in the bargain bin, it might not be a bad idea. Or if you own an Xbox controller for the PC
- Things LovedThe graphics, the team play, the AI.
- Things HatedThe control system, and how nothing actually gets explained
- RecommendationIf you have a 4 player LAN, or 3 mates who love playing online with you, it could get interesting/Its a third-person shoot-em-up ported straight to PC.... You’d think this would make it easier to play, but then again you can be wrong too.
- Name: Lost Planet 2
- Genre: Third-person Shooter
- Players: 1-16
- Multiplayer: Online
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Price: R300
- Reviewed On: PC
Well, first impressions were actually very negative. The training missions did very little to help one settle into the game, offered very little explanations, and were made into competition. The biggest downside to this was that it encouraged cheating or exploits, as the first training mission I attempted, took me 3 minutes to complete, outside of the bronze medal time, while the world record was in less than ten seconds. Hardly encouraging for those who like reachable goals.
Onto the actual game however, there are a couple of positive things about this game. The graphics are simply amazing, and considering the size of some of the enemies one faces, giant mech-warriors, or VS machines, and humongous Akrids, the rendering of these beings into a fitting environment, with smooth actions was most pleasing. However, considering how long it actually takes to get the control settings into a playable position, for me the upside of 90 minutes, there are more curses thrown at the game than appreciation.
After sitting down, and giving myself a long break, so I could build up how bad the game seemed to be, I picked it up again, managed to find the right balance of “Aim Sensitivity” and “Mouse Sensitivity”, although I am still unsure about the difference between these two on a PC, and started to enjoy the game. Until my internet connection broke, and I lost all progress. This brings up another issue: the game doesn’t save the progress until you actually quit and select save, or at least that’s how it seems to work. This means, that if you are playing in the “Games for Window’s Live” connection type, there are both offline and System Link, which I assume is LAN, connection types as well, and the internet goes bye-bye, due to a Seacom failure, Mweb’s shinanigans or simply Telkom, the last 50 minutes have just been wasted. Furthermore, since each mission comprises of a seemingly random number of parts, I was never sure when I had actually managed to finish a section, prompting a massive effort to make sure I saved.
The story line is quite pleasing in its simplicity. From what I played, before I gave up in frustration, it was a nice combination of a mindless shoot-em-up third person shooter and a game where actual aim is required, due to most enemies’ weak points that are highly encouraged to be shot at. However, beyond the very generic “Shoot at the glowing part of the Akrid”, not all glowing parts, or cores, actually do damage to the main beasty. This can result in often futile efforts of blowing off arms and legs, an interesting addition to a game, to no real effect on the one monster, while another, upon taking the decimator road, will result in its utter destruction.
What is a nice added feature is the reintroduction of something tried in Unreal Tournament 3, the co-operative campaign mode, where people can seemingly drop in and out as they please to help the host complete his/her campaign that much easier. However, when trying to join a game, I was unable to achieve this successfully, although I did enjoy the company of one or two people in my own games. Staying on the multiplayer side of things, the 20 minute attempts to join a game went unsuccessful, besides having a level 53 Commander rank willing to play against my level 8 Recruit rank character. While levels can be achieved elsewhere besides multiplayer, such as in the campaign, and doesn’t really denote more than what items are unlocked, and how much you’ve played, I decided against the Spawn-and-get-Insta-Gibbed option.
However, the game modes seem to cater for most, ranked ladder games, simple Player games, and even faction wars, which is an interesting addition, where you choose one of the 5 character groups available, and play for that group for the week, with the winning faction receiving some in-game rewards. When I tried this, however, there were no games up.
Which brings me to the last point: There are not enough players involved in this game as of yet to make it an experience that it was designed for. I am sure, if the multiplayer picks up, that this game would be truly epic, as you co-ordinate flanking manoeuvres on the campaign behemoths, however, at the moment, it seems a poorly thought out platform port, where the controls are confusing, the save system frustrating, and being, to quote my single Window’s live friend “The only other South African I’ve found besides me and my 3 friends”, adds up to a disappointing experience.
Once you get past the awkwardness of registering for Windows live, figuring out the controls and finding people who actually help with shooting the big bad bosses, its quite an enjoyable game. But thats a long time in coming. A shoot-em-up should thrive on the PC, not make you wish for a controller and a TV screen.