Published on August 27th, 2013 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Lost Planet 3
Release date: 29th August 2013
Available on: XBox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC
Summary: The problem with making a sequel to an average game is nobody gives a shit. But let’s forget the previous games here, ‘cos this third-person, sc-fi shooter is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, and totally unlike either game before it.
Concept: Set long before the events of the first game, Jim Peyton (your Nicholas Cage clone) is a rookie colonist looking for work on a frosty snow planet called E.D.N. III to harvest materials to send back to Earth. He can set out on foot or drive Rigs, which are giant, snow-marching mechs armed with a claw and drill (before guns were added in the previous games). The story and vibe is genuinely gripping and locks you in for the ride.
Graphics: As tempting as it would be to shortcut this scenery with plain white walls and “snow fog” to hide distance, the icy world around you has fascinating detail, from the glossy sheen on the ice caves to the frost that sprawls across your Rig’s cockpit window. Any chance of dull nothingness is thwarted with something interesting to observe. Great use of lighting and darkness captures the intense vision the game designers intended to achieve, with soft flashlight effects and various area scales to suit the mood. The key characters look nice and unique, but nothing amazing.
Gameplay: Having clearly taken notes from the Dead Space games, there’s a lot of “borrowed” material here, like the menu interface and general gameplay, which is disappointing. This aside, the execution is spot on. Shooting on foot is action-packed, genuinely intense and with unpredictable enemies. Crunching through the snow in your rig changes your view to first-person and feels like you’re really driving this big, clanky machine.
Sound: Voice-acting achieves high points, though there’s issues when cutscenes roll to gameplay as the recordings don’t match, making them sound different. Sound effects are brilliant however, as the howling winds of a snow storm will have you gritting your teeth and scuttling alien Akrid’s can be heard all around you. The music sends a chillingly-eerie shiver down your spine, with subtle mood-setting tunes reminiscent of the film, Aliens.
Multiplayer: Anyone who missed the more “arcade” style of the previous game should find a happy home here. There’s a variety of Survival and Versus modes for colonists to shoot each other, but it doesn’t look, sound or feel anywhere as good as the campaign. There’s no atmosphere, just a bunch of guys shooting at each other. Stick to one of your military shooters here.
Awesomeness: The best thing about this game is how unlike the previous games it is. This linear story method ties in well as a prequel, presenting the true scariness of dealing with unknown life forms in terrible blizzards. No longer is it just “piew!” “piew!” “piew!” gunfire in the snow – we get a clear back-story featuring a bit of heart and adrenaline.
Final Word: What a pleasant surprise. This sequel is the real deal and by far the “coolest” game of the series. Fear, animosity and jaw-dropping intensity are finally captured for an eye-opening experience we loved from start to finish.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing