Lost Planet 3 announced/ Why you should care
Lost Planet 3 is lighting up every gaming website for a good reason. It might just be the next big thing in the survival horror genre.
Sure, the first two entries into the series weren’t all that amazing. The after buying and playing the first Lost Planet I decided to give it a personal rating of, “Meh.” The second game received pretty bad reviews and I avoided it at all costs. All logic would dictate that no one should care about Lost Planet 3. Heck, I didn’t expect the series to ever get another sequel. Everyone should pay attention to Lost Planet 3 because…
The first two Lost Planet games were third person, squad-based shooters. Lost Planet 3 is a game that is supposed to place just as much emphasis on survival horror and exploration as it does combat. Oh, yeah and the game’s protagonist is essentially a blue collar mechwarrior. That got your attention, didn’t it?
The game has all the elements that it needs for greatness (according to Gameinformer and ign sources).
- Detailed graphics to whisk you away into the world and amazing character models and faces to bring you into the game emotionally through visuals.
- A mysterious and dangerous icy world setting that requires exploration of dark and dangerous locations to unravel its conspiracy filled past.
- Unique aliens that can be absolutely enormous and require unique ways to destroy just like in the previous Lost Planets.
- A fun protagonist that is just the right amount of badass, snarky, and vulnerable to make a Tony Stark in space with a much bigger Iron Man suite.
- Mech suite combat against massive enemies.
- To top it off, survival horror elements like tight, eerie corridors and an environment that could kill you at any time.
The setting is a the foreboding, ice-swept E.D.N-III. This is the same planet that the other two Lost Planets take place on, but Lost Planet 3’s events take place before those in the first two games. (They just blew our minds.) The unforgiving planet is home to frequent ice storms and nasty aliens called Akrids.
The game stars a construction mech worker named Jim. Jim is no action hero, he’s just a guy that signed up for a crappy job on a scary planet to save up money for his wife and kid off-world. Jim communicates with his family through videos sent to him. This establishes a real sense of empathy and motivation for the character. Jim is tasked with moving equipment around with his mech and scouting the planet. He is told that he is one of the first explores of the planet, but he keeps discovering old frozen bases that seem to be part of a dark conspiracy by the company that he is working for.
The Survival, The Horror
Sections of the game where Jim is on foot can be downright terrifying. Indoors, Jim walks through dark, tight corridors of eerily abandoned settlements that shouldn’t exist. These sections are already being compared to Dead Space. That’s a good thing in my book. Outdoor sections on foot are just as dangerous. Jim has no compass or map on foot and can freeze to death if he is out in the elements for too long. Radio transmissions also become increasingly faint as Jim moves away from his mech. At any moment a snowstorm could annihilate Jim or Akrids could burst from the ground or frozen walls. You must always be on edge.
The parts of the game spent inside a mech are no cup of tea either. The combat is faster and more powerful, as Jim can kill some massive enemies in his mech and wade through Jim-sized enemies like they aren’t even there. The combat still feel dangerous, as the mech is no combat mech; it’s built for moving things and drilling. As such, your mech has no guns. It only has melee moves and its giant drill to kill enemies with. Even more terrifying, the mech rig slowly freezes outside. Jim must leave the mech to melt the ice periodically or the rig will freeze to the point where it can no longer be used for the rest of the mission. Finally, the mech portions of the game are in first person. This severely limits your view and can disorient you in the huge machine.
The Naysayers Point
Let’s just get this out of the way. The game is published by Capcom but developed by Spark Unlimited. Spark has only ever made three games. None of them were good. I think that this promising reimagining of a mediocre series is a chance to equally reimagine a less than stellar development company. (But that might just be the PR training in me.)
Why You Should Really Care
Lost Planet 3 seems to have great graphics and promises to have a strong story. Most importantly, it features fun, tight, and varied gameplay. The horror situations indoors are very different from the still terrifying survival situations outside in the cold, which are in turn, very different from the mech portions of the game.
What’s won me over most is the promise that the title will indeed be a survival horror game. I love survival horror games for the heart-pounding and unique situations that the great ones put you through. The game wouldn’t be scary if it was just the same as the last survival horror game. It’s very rare to see a new survival horror series in a world where we have Resident Evil 6 to look forward to (and even then it’s an argument if it even is a survival horror title.) I’m thrilled at the opportunity to be frightened and awed in a new setting with completely new characters to me. We really don’t know what to expect, which makes the horror all the more real.
I’m excited about the announcement of Lost Planet 3 and you should be too.