Capcom continues its streak of making difficult games with the sequel to 2007’s stellar title, Lost Planet. Hoping to capitalize on LP’s success, Capcom made a couple of improvements in Lost Planet 2 that made the game a little less difficult but still a little frustrating.
Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the lack of a Single Player campaign option. Obviously this time around, Capcom decided to focus on multiplayer and co-op so it’s understandable that there is no option to pick Single Player. If you choose to go it alone, you can set to appear offline and, if you want, set the number of private slots to three. When I sat down and played it for the first time, I went it alone and really enjoyed it. As I said before, Lost Planet 2 is a hard game but the biggest problem that I had with the first game was the T-ENG.
For those that didn’t play the first one, your life (T-ENG) would constantly drain even if you didn’t get hit and you would need to refill it to stay alive. Granted this wasn’t a hard feat to do, it just became a huge pain especially if you were fighting a big Akrid. Well, that is gone in LP2, sort of. You still have T-ENG and will die if it gets depleted, but it no longer drains constantly. Only when you get hit does it go down. But the twist that makes this game hard (besides the huge bosses) is that, this time around, there is a battle gauge. Every time you or one of you teammates dies, the battle gauge meter shrinks and when the meter is fully drained, that’s game over.
The way LP2 is set up is by chapters and episodes. LP2 is split into 6 episodes of multiple chapters each and each chapter has several missions. The thing that sucks about this is that there are no checkpoints between missions which means that you will need to complete a full chapter before you can save. This is a pretty big problem because some missions will have you scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. The game does a nice job of pointing you where to go but doesn’t always tell you what you need to do. And if you are playing by yourself, don’t count on your AI teammates to help you all that much. The majority of the time they are following you and only shooting when you shoot. On the other hand, they sometimes just leave you to fend of waves of Akrids by yourself.
Lost Planet 2 is made for co-op. Once you play the game with friends, you find it hard to run through this game by yourself. Having three other live players helps out greatly, but this too has some problems. The biggest one being that if you are already playing in a mission and one of your friends wants to join in, they will have to wait until that mission is complete. And, if you are on say, Chapter 5 and your buddy is on Chapter 1, you will have to play their game. This can be a pain but I can see why Capcom did this; so no one misses out on the story. Honestly though, the story is less than compelling.
The competitive multiplayer is fun and lag free. If you played LP’s multiplayer, then you are familiar with LP2’s set up. There are six modes that are pretty basic. There’s Elimination which is every man for himself, Team Elimination, Data Post Battle which has players trying to activate as many data posts as they can, and Akrid Egg Battle which is LP2’s capture the flag. Fugitive in which a team of hunters battles a team of fugitives, and Battle Series which has players engaging in battles with various rules and compete for the highest ranking.
While there aren’t a lot of options to play with, the six that are available are pretty fun, but may not be enough to hold some players attention. However, if you like unlockables, LP2 has a ton of stuff for you to discover. You can earn credits and in the campaign and spend them on your multiplayer character. There are even different skins you can unlock. If you have a game save from Resident Evil 5, you can play as Wesker. If you have a game save from Dead Rising, you can play as Frank. In terms of unlockables, Lost Planet 2 really can’t be beat.
The controls, like the first game, are kind of clunky but don’t take too long to figure out and get used to. The biggest thing you have to adjust to is that a few buttons do multiple things but that really isn’t a huge deal. Graphically, the game is stunning. LP2 doesn’t just take place in snow covered levels, but various places like jungles and deserts all of which are beautiful. The sound is decent from the roars of the huge Akrids and gunfire but there is hardly any level music. This makes the battles seem less exciting. I mean, we are fighting these ugly horrible creatures, I would expect some kind of music to help intensify the struggle. One thing that really stands out to me about Lost Planet 2 are the “Holy sh*t” moments it has when you see some of the bosses you have to face. You will also throw in a few other choice four-letter words when you actually fight them.
With all its flaws, I must say that I had a blast playing Lost Planet 2. The multiplayer is fun and the campaign is a blast. But if you really want to get the most out of this game, do yourself a favor and grab three of your buddies and go kill some Akrids together. That’s where this game really shines. I had a blast playing through this game with friends; even if it was just dying trying to figure out what we were supposed to do.
Review copy provided by publisher.