Why Capcom’s latest foray into the Lost Planet series deserves your attention.
I think that it’s a unanimous vote when I say that 2013 has had the release of some of the greatest modern day games to hit the market. To name a few, there’s been Dead Space 3, DMC: Devil May Cry, Gears of War: Judgment, Final Fantasy XIV, the very recently released Saints Row IV and many many others. With that being said, 2013 is going to be closing with a few strong titles (and consoles as well) such as Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, Metro: Last Light and the almighty fan favorite GTA V.
However, there’s one release that I feel has been severely overlooked. Fear no more, I shall introduce you to the wonderful world that is Lost Planet 3.
The Lost Planet series has always been one of my favorite series of games, for many reasons. Whenever I first got my Xbox 360, I picked up Gears of War and Lost Planet and I’ve been in love with both of the series ever since. Whenever I first saw the Lost Planet case in GameStop, the thing that drew me to the game were the rigs featured on the back of the case. I decided to pick it up, not knowing that I would pick up what would become one of my favorite game series of all time.
What then, sets apart Lost Planet 3, from every shooter that’s out on the market right now? The story. Lost Planet 3 is a prequel to the Lost Planet series, shining light on the events that occurred on E.D.N. III and the Nevec corporation. Lost Planet 3 stars protagonist Jim Peyton, who’s an ordinary construction worker on the newly discovered E.D.N III. Like many other people on the planet, Peyton is there to make a living and return to his family on earth. Sounds typical, right? Think again.
Not only do Peyton and the other crew members on E.D.N III have to deal with the harsh conditions of the weather, there’s another threat that’s what’s known as the Akrid. The Akrid are a race of reptilian insectoids indigenous to E.D.N. III, and were found shortly after colonization of the planet began. Peyton and the other workers there are there to harvest the energy source there known as T-Eng (which is short for Thermal Energy) and the Akrid are full of it.
So, between having -100 degree temperatures and tons of Akrid spewing attacks at you, what could be more fun?
I picked up Lost Planet 3 at the midnight launch for those of us who pre-purchased the game on Steam, and I have to say that it’s been worth every single penny that I’ve spent on the game so far. The first thing that impressed me, were the cinematics. The game opens up with Peyton on his deathbed, being comforted by his granddaughter and he begins telling the story of what happened on E.D.N. III (which I can only presume lead up to the events of Lost Planet 1) with himself and the Nevec corporation. From the very beginning, you can tell that the story feels very… personal.
From the very first cutscene that exposes you to Peyton and his granddaughter, you can tell how deep the story is and you can feel the emotion that the writers tried so hard to portray inside of Peyton.
The game starts off with Peyton and another member’s crew ship being blown out of the sky on the way down to the planet. As soon as Peyton comes to, you can see just how harsh the planet actually is with snow flaring all around you in every direction and you being sent out to look for a transponder that came off during the crash. At that point, you get your first taste at the game play.
I couldn’t help but thinking that the game plays very similar to Dead Space, but in all of the best ways possible. The game feels very slow paced, with the focus being on the actual story and the action, and not just a run and gun scenario like most every other shooter that’s currently available.
As you progress further in the game, you meet some characters that become core story member’s such as Laroche, a burly Frenchman and he saves you from a vicious Akrid attack. The further that you get into the game, you see the base that the workers live at and the harsh conditions in which they survive. Peyton and everyone else there work from customized rigs that are able to complete the daily tasks and contracts associated with being on E.D.N. III.
As soon as you get your rig, Peyton starts receiving messages from his wife that he plays in his rig, one of them including the game’s soundtrack. Normally I don’t like to try and show attention to a game’s soundtrack, but Lost Planet 3 really did a number for the soundtrack. The entire playlist is filled with songs that almost feel like they were written especially for the game itself.
Whenever I was playing the game, I had half of me focusing on the game and half of me enjoying the beautiful tracks on your rig’s player, as they invoked that feeling of an escape from the harsh conditions through music which is a real world thing that most everybody can relate to in some shape or form.
Overall I think that Lost Planet 3 put its focus in all of the right places, those being the storytelling and the cinematics. With every positive, comes a negative. The one thing that I have to say that I don’t enjoy, is the clunky player models and the physics engine. The player model in game just looks and feels clunky, with every step that Peyton taking resembling a half jump with it.
Whenever you use your grappling hook that you obtain later in the game, you can only use it in certain places (as opposed to the original Lost Planet, where you could use it anywhere) and whenever you do use it, you zoom straight across in the span of .25 seconds and for people like me, that’s a little annoying because we all know that physics just doesn’t work like that.
With every thing that I’ve experienced about the game so far, I would say that Lost Planet 3 deserves all of the praise and attention that it has gotten, and much much more. If you’re looking for a great single player RPG, I recommend picking up Lost Planet 3 as many times as you can afford.