The first two Lost Planet games, despite not finding much critical success, were enjoyed by many, and the series keeps going along, albeit with a new dev team. The new installment makes some efforts to change things up, though we can’t be sure they’re the right ones.
What it is: Lost Planet 3, developed by Spark Unlimited (known for Legendary and Turning Point), is a prequel to the first title and follows a rig-operating colonist as he survives and works in the icy environment of E.D.N. III. The game’s set before the series’ villainous corporation, NEVEC, took its dark turn.
Why we’re excited: Regular mech combat is a bit played out, so the idea of non-militarized rigs with drills and claws alone is one that has some potential. Also, it seems the story has taken more of a focus, and we’d love a nuanced tale set on the harsh, cold planet. The on-foot combat has you shooting enemies, often with shining weak spots but evasive tactics. The enemies look fun to take on, as long as there’s some variety.
What we’re wondering: Is the whole game just a big quick-time event? There are a lot of moments in the opening half-hour that are unnecessary strings of button prompts, and the rig’s claw and drill functions are super-scripted and have you rotating your analog sticks to turn arms for more than just a few seconds. Also of note: despite some nice camera angles and such, the game’s not very slick-looking, with low-res textures and rough ice effects. It feels like the game is designed as if it looks better, because it tries to showcase these elements whenever possible.
Lost Planet 3 is slated for release on 360, PS3 and PC in 2013.