Capcom's epic sci-fi shooter Lost Planet is the first big release of 2007. Knee deep in a frozen landscape Xbox 360 owners will have the chance to face the dangers of an aggressive enemy in a desolate surrounding. Do you have what it takes to survive?

'Lost Planet' has finally been released after months of positive hype and excitement building on this new I.P.. From the early demo releaseon Xbox Live, and later added multiplayer demo, Lost Planet has already found its place with gamers. Most of you have probably tried the demo, the question is does the rest of the game live up to our gaming expectations?

Following up their success with the zombie infected Dead Rising and Microsoft's big dog, Gears of War, isn't an easy spot to be in, especially with the high amount of hype surrounding Lost Planet. I expect a lot out of Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions, but it might be that my expectations are a little unrealistic. Even from last year I clocked in Lost Planet to be as better, or as good as Gears, judging from the demo and press material. Now that I've explored E.D.N III, Lost Planet falls a few a moments short of epic and it didn't grab me like the two titles mentioned above. I'm not slagging Lost Planet because overall the final product is above average, it's just not the blockbuster I expected.

When you start your game you will be in a time warping situation with a bit of action surrounded by a lot of cut scenes. It takes a few minutes until you get rolling and when you do, you'll find yourself at a place many of you will be familiar with, the Xbox Live released demo. The main difference so far is the focus on story with a number of supporting characters and dialog scenes to help build atmosphere. This backfires and instead of making the gamer more emotionally attached to the experience the plot comes off being dull and confusing. The dialog that builds up the missions seems forced and corny. For what its worth, and if you're not confused, the storyline might help draw you in a little more. I felt like the jibber jabber was a little drawn out and it made Lost Planet feel like an a Hoth extension of Starship Troopers.

One unique aspect to Lost Planet is the planets cold environment that makes living without thermal energy impossible. In game this acts as a secondary health meter of sorts and needs to be constantly refilled. The orange ooze used as energy is thankfully easy to come by either by destroying objects or taking out enemies. Other interesting point to Lost Planet is the enemy Akrid, which are bug creatures. In a twist, it's the humans that are invading and trying to terra form their planet, and the bugs are not happy. In a war for the frozen planet, E.D.N. III, the Akrid and humans do battle across the caverns and barren landscape for ownership.

As you can imagine the Akrid come in many forms and are intelligently designed. Each creature is unique from the last and like any diverse character race they each have their strengths and visible weaknesses. As a lonely revenge starved human you battle the Akrid in the name of your fallen father. It's a tall order to take out these formable and diverse creatures in their natural habituate. It's good that Wayne has found friends because he will need all the help he can get. Besides running around on foot you get the opportunity to pilot small one man mechs called VRs. The VRs even the playing field when dealing with some of the more vicious bugs, although I wish they would of made the mechs a little more diverse and powerful. It is a little disappointing when Wayne can take out these bugs just as good on foot then powering up a killing machine exoskeleton.

Even though I wanted Lost Planet to be a flawless game, it has a few problems that hinder it from game of the year material. The first issue I have with Lost Planet is the games flow, or lack of flow. Each level is broken down into different segments with only a mismatched story piecing it together. For example you will be invading hives and the next mission fighting snow pirates without a solid feeling of progression or realism. It could be that the new batch of games like Gears and Ghost Recon have done a great job of a continues flowing storyline that I'm a little jaded. I feel as Capcom could of did a better job in this area considering their past history of great story driven games that keep a good flow and pace.

Secondly, picking away at Lost Planet is its weak artificial intelligence. For the most part running through Lost Planet feels like you're the terminator, nothing can harm you and you can just plow through the game in at the most eight hours. The human enemies are far worse then the Akrid who benefit from a creative design standpoint. You can literally walk right up to an enemy human and lay some lead into them before they spot you. When they are finally ready for battle the enemy act like drones and basically stand still and shoot at you. The straight ahead approach works pretty good and even if I didn't pick up a massive VR, I found I could deal with the enemies adequately on foot without the extra firepower. The problem with the bad A.I. makes the game easy and it hurts the overall feeling of realism. Lost Planet is settled between average moments on the battle field and some intense and impassive moments. It's a shame they could capture the awesome feeling of the Akrid for the humans as well.

Aside from those two issues, Lost Planet delivers a solid action experience. The sense of scale is impressive from on foot, to VR, to the massive size of some of the alien Akrids. You can easily loose yourself in Lost Planet during certain sequences. I found Lost Planet to be most effective when the odds turn against you and you're fighting an enemy as big as a skyscraper, with the added creep factor of never knowing what is lurking below your feet. It's obvious that the environment is the most important factor in Lost Planet and I'm glad Capcom exploited it to its fullest.

If you've had enough of the single player game a great deal of time has been spent on refining the online experience. Over Xbox Live, Lost Planet becomes a welcomed and wild battlefield with support for 16 players. Although, Lost Planet's multiplayer section is not playable split screen the Xbox Live only aspect does quiet well. The battles are a lot of fun with the ability to use mechs or battle on foot with a variety of weapons. The only real problem with the online play is the maps are a little large if you don't have the fill limit entered into a game. I can see Lost Planet sticking around on the Live leader boards for a while, simply because it's easy to get into and a lot of fun.

Graphically, Lost Planet looks great with a good level of contrast between bright and dark colours. Snow covered environments haven't really been done on this scale before in an action game, excluding the excellent job in Splinter Cell last year. One area that excels is the look of the planet, its creatures and "extreme" situation, which even seem realistic under these conditions. Even more than the great job in graphics is a wonderful amount of detail in the characters, monster design and weapon creation. From the concept of thermal energy to the detail and realistic design of the VRs, E.D.N. III is an interesting virtual world. The sound also connects with atmosphere using strong sound effects with a lightly layered soundtrack. It seems like audio and design team worked closely because the made up sounds of the Akrid creatures really have some validity and weight.

Unfortunately its not all sun beams and we see some spots of concern that hurt its overall production score. First would have to be the boring and dated look to the navigation menus system. It could be the high level of design of the entire game that makes the menus look as drab making the game feel like a little budget title. The other area that freezes Lost Planet is the so-so voice acting during the game. Lost Planet sounds like an average "b" sci-fi movie that you would find in a barging bin. Compared to Capcom's standards Lost Planet seems to have lost a little momentum and certainly doesn't capture the emotion like their last 360 game, Dead Rising.

I had high expectations for Lost Planet: Extreme Condition ever since Capcom graciously put the demo online, unfortunately Lost Planet didn't exactly turn out how I expected. Lost Planet isn't a bad game, but it's seems a few areas like the voice acting, game flow, and enemy A.I. really put a damper on the its overall potential. If you're looking for a fun ride to kill a few hours and maybe a few more online, Lost Planet can deliver. If you're looking for a deep, challenging, action game, you might be left in the cold.

Even though I'm a little hard on Lost Planet, I still feel this could be a strong franchise for Capcom with a little re-tooling. What Lost Planet does right, it excels, even John Carpenter would be proud of the cold, desolate, setting Capcom has created. If you're looking for a buy, make sure you're an avid online gamer, and then you will find enough value in Capcom arctic shooter.

  • Akrid enemies are HUGE!
  • Graphics (for the most part) are impressive
  • Jumping in giant sized mechs are cool
  • Cool sci-fi theme, Starship Troopers in snow
  • Interesting snow/heat game mechanic
  • Didn't live up to the hype
  • Camera angels often get caught up
  • Controls are a little too loose
  • You call that acting, ouch!
  • Lack of game-flow, too broken up
  • A.I. is weak
Quote: "If you're looking for a fun ride to kill a few hours and maybe a few more online, Lost Planet can deliver. If you're looking for a deep, challenging, action game, you might be left in the cold. "
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 01.16.07

Similar Games: Lost Planet 3 (6.6) | Red Faction: Guerrilla (8.2) | Gears of War (9.5) | Vanquish (9.6)

Lost Planet
Extreme Conditions




Jan 2007



Players 1
HDTV 720p
Players 2-16