The Lost Planet series is one of the earliest releases from Capcom on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It showed the power of next-generation hardware through impressive snow effects and creative shooting action, but after the original, the series went in interesting directions. Turning into a multiplayer action game with Lost Planet 2 and taking a more colorful take present within E.X. Troopers, it was a franchise that lost focus.
Getting western developer Spark Unlimited to develop this title, Capcom tries to bring the series back to it’s roots. Does this snow-covered romp take out some Akrids? Or does it get covered with frost?
Despite having a three in the title, Lost Planet 3 is a prequel to the entire franchise. Visiting E.D.N. III, we are in the shoes of Jim Peyton who went to the planet to support his family. As he takes on jobs, Jim learns more about not only the planet but his fellow crew mates too. The story as a whole is the strongest aspect to Lost Planet 3, as Jim is a great main character. He bounces off his crew mates frequently, his dialog is well written and his reaction to the Akrids he encounters are enjoyable.
The story gets more in-depth and complex as you play through the adventure, with it’s ending setting up later games in the series. I enjoyed the story overall and how it ties into the gameplay & design effectively. Jim’s interactions with his crew allows him to talk and upgrade his Rig and various weapons in addition to taking on side-missions/quests. As you play through the game, you are able to earn upgrades to your guns as well, giving you a fighting chance against more powerful Akrid.
Gunplay is responsive and faster than in previous games; inputs have instant reaction and aiming mirrors that of other shooters. This is important to point out, as Lost Planet 3 on a gameplay level feels very different compared to previous games in the series. Another major change is how your Rig functions; instead of third person combat, your Rig in Lost Planet 3 is in first person.
You can even see the buttons and various visual HUD elements while moving around the machine. The change in perspective and focus on melee combat ensures fights with giant Arkids feel personal, which is a nice shift from previous games. The general level design feels like a horror game, as you explore in-closed locations like caves and tunnels. It makes things more linear, but that works with the style of game Lost Planet 3 set out to be; a more personal adventure that focuses on story telling.
This does affect gameplay to a degree because of the more linear design some elements from previous games are toned down a notch. One key element is the grabbing hook, which would let you hook on to anything in previous games. In Lost Planet 3, you cannot launch your hook onto everything but due to the shift in level design, locations are built to where the tool is used effectively but it never feels underused.
So while elements of the gameplay feel like a step down from previous games, the action and story ensure the experience not only feels true to previous instalments but does it’s own thing with great success. Presentation wise, Lost Planet 3 is a very interesting title. The snow and elements like frost are present across the entire adventure; the walls are covered in frost, every character’s breathing has smoke appear near their face, and they leave footprints in the snow as they walk.
I loved how snow is used across the game and it’s bright colors help set up a feeling of isolation at specific points in the game, adding to atmosphere in the game world. Voice acting should be noted as well, due to how strong the English Voice Cast is. Everyone has a unique personality and I grew attached to the crew throughout my adventure just from the voice acting alone. Jim’s voice actor in particular has a great tone and the way he reads his lines feels very natural. Music is also well composed as it matches what happens in the game world quite well.
The games performance on the PlayStation 3 is okay, as it targets a 30FPS but doesn’t always hit it. Various dips happen throughout the game and load times are a bit long, but outside of those minor issues the game plays well on the PS3. If you are wondering how long this adventure lasts, you can blast through the story within seven to eight hours but fully completing every side mission/quest and getting all the trophies will take sometime. Lost Planet 3 also contains an online multiplayer mode that uses the gameplay mechanics from the single player campaign.
Lost Planet 3 is an overall enjoyable third person shooter that has a strong story with an enjoyable main character, it’s fun gameplay mechanics make use of previous innovations from the Lost Planet series and offers a good deal of content. I recommend this game to any fans of shooters and action/adventure games alike.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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