Capcom’s aim to create games that can be enjoyed by all markets — Japanese, European, and American — has yet again paid off! For a period Capcom was having problems reaching mass audience appeal, but ever since Resident Evil 4 Capcom has created several huge titles. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition can be added to this ever growing AAA game list.
The aspect that will take your breath away is the graphics. Right off the bat they are extremely solid. When explosions after explosions makes you look away from the screen you know that the game has intense graphics. Running at a smooth 30+ frames per second in high definition in expansive worlds is no small task and Lost Planet abuses the power of the Xbox 360.
The story has an anime style feel. Both in the way the cutscenes are presented and that the voice actors are the average anime characters. The macho man voice, the squeaky girl, etc. are all here. If you don’t like anime, which I personally don’t, the cutscenes will be the worst part about the game. What saves them from being a bad experience is the graphics and the story. The story itself is about humans trying to colonize this planet, but of course there are vicious bugs that attack everyone. It’s up to you to destroy as many of these bugs as possible so that humans can terriform the planet into something humans can leave peacefully on. Sure the story isn’t spectacular but it’s at least decent.
The missions consist of killing either bugs, snow pirates, or mechs, with the occasional boss battle. While this may seem like a simple formula that would get old overtime, it’s far from it. There’s plenty of variety in weapon types and enemies. The boss fights are outstanding. They require both strategy and quick reflexives. While overall the mission types are very linear, it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment that comes with completing each one.
The gameplay is from the third person perspective. You play as Wayne whom can navigate mechs. Whether you’re playing as Wayne or as a mech the controls feel solid. With quick 90 degree turn action buttons and easy aiming the action never stops. The twist that separates Lost Planet from other games is that there is a limited amount the the player can survive in the outside world. Because the world is in frozen over in snow, the player has to stay warm by collecting energy from the enemies that he kills. If the countdown of energy runs out the player begins to slowly lose life up until their death. This life meter puts an urgency on every action that the player takes. Thankfully gaining a ton of energy isn’t that difficult.
There is a pretty good multiplayer side to the game as well. It has all the basic modes that gamers expect out of such action games: team, deathmatch, etc. 16 player matches with eight maps definitely adds a good amount of replay value.
And above all else, the music is absolutely fantastic. While it isn’t memorable, during gameplay it certainly intensifies the combat.
I’ve had hard times justifying $60 game purchases, but Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is one of the few games that is worth the money. The downside is that it only has 11 single player missions, but overall the game is an intense thrill ride that will make one want to complete it as fast as possible.