Returning to E.D.N. III, new developer Spark Unlimited tries to light a fire to the cold format of 'Lost Planet'.

Capcom hands the developmental helm over to 'Spark Unlimited' for the latest ‘Lost Planet’ entry. Following in the “DMC” movement, ‘Lost Planet 3’ has an obvious “Western” approach that almost feels like a re-boot of sorts. Labeled a prequel to the original ’08 release, ‘Lost Planet 3’ is a more complete experience, although it is only marginally better than the original opus.

The biggest adjustment would have to be a more narrative driven story that mixes the drama of a big-budget role-playing action game with the same style bug killing action you’ve played in the past. This makes you more invested in the tale by deepening the experience and your emotional pull to the characters. The game is noticeable slower because of this which is contrasts the “arcade” driven original. Questionable in its decision, most fans will agree that 'Lost Planet' needed a new stimulus, but more “drama” instead of action, is a gamble that doesn't ultimately pay off.


The tale origins on E.D.N. III when it looked like a snow globe and not the tropical vacation seen in 'Lost Planet 2'. Your character is Jim Peyton, a NEVEC hired mechanic/soldier who is looking to cash out with big money by mining this mysterious planet. Aided by his colossal drilling Rig (basically a giant mech), Jim goes well above his pay scale as this adventure ramps up. While the tale has it merits, it takes awhile for it ramp up and when it finally does, you will probably already be getting tired of its repetitive objectives and uninspiring antagonists.

The gameplay is much the same when dealing with the Akrid vermin, and later on the human element. The mechanics are still a little loose and the action very predictable. Surprisingly, battles on foot are more rousing when compared to clashing in the ominous drilling rig – even if you’re essentially shooting, rolling and tossing grandees, in that exact order. The one interesting dynamic to this is the balance between using both the rig and on-foot set-pieces. While predictable at times, some scenarios are exciting to battle between.

Repetitive is apparent not only in the combat, but in objectives and missions without too many surprises throughout the narrative. Additionally, the HUB “home base” is totally unnecessary adding even more down-time to the already exhausting in-between drama. In one respect it deepens the lore and relationship with the characters and human life on an alien planet, but it could have been more effectively processed then wandering home-base Hoth.


Even with its issues, ‘Lost Planet 3’ or more so, “Jim”, is a delightful character to play. This “everyman”, family driven character is a wonderful deviant from the average macho protagonists we normal see. Jim and he overly optimistic outlook and heartfelt messages to his wife back home, makes the character instantly likeable. After Jim, the rest of cast plays their stereotypical roles, which works even if it can get a little campy. Emotionally ‘Lost Planet 3’ refreshing charged to make the best of the ‘Red Faction’ world they live in.

Secondly, the world and its iced over aspects also help to portray a sense of isolation and at times wonder. It’s not the overall story-arch or the enemies that really fill this in, but the extraordinary attention to detail, and heck why not, pretty graphics. “Lost Planet” as a series has always stood out in certain aspects and those grown even stronger with the third entry. Again, it’s not perfect, however the graphicial (and sound) production is sharp.

Multiplayer is also included for no additional charge (bonus for those buying used). Online you will find another outlet for battling bug, or even better, real people. Although one that is likely less populated then other action shooters, four modes are presented, supporting up to 10 players. The modes are you’re basic ‘survival’ modes and co-operative team play battles. Really, there is not much to carry on about. It’s all standard series multiplayer with 'Lost Planet' branding.

'Lost Planet 3' is by far Spark Unlimited’s best work. Although conceptually the idea of killing bugs on an ice planet turned into a hybrid drama action game is an odd one, on some levels it works. Not to downplay the effort in the cast, production and writing, but a game is only as good as its gameplay, and this is where ‘Lost Planet 3’ suffers. It’s not bad, per say, but it is clumsy, loose and predictable - three traits that weigh down the experience and ultimately make it tiresome. Still fans of the series will enjoy this alternative voyage at E.D.N. III and for those who want to try something new, it’s worth checking out, just don’t expect perfection. [6.6]

  • new lead emotionally has some weight
  • great production with some exceptional effects
  • on-foot and mech (rig) action
  • different approach to the series
  • uncessary HUB-like base station
  • pacing is uneven and slow at times
  • combat and camera control is sloppy
  • enemies become dull
  • missions and objects become repetitive
Quote: "'Lost Planet 3' is by far Spark Unlimited’s best work. Although conceptually the idea of killing bugs on an ice planet turned into a hybrid drama action game is an odd one, on some levels it works."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 09.22.13 | Platform Reviewed:Xbox 360

Similar Games: Lost Planet (7.5) | Red Faction: Guerrilla (8.2)


Lost Planet 3


Spark Unlimited


US Release
September '13


X360, PS3

Players 1
Online MP 2-10
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content