Eurogamer Expo: Hands on with Lost Planet 3
It was great to see Lost Planet 3 on the Eurogamer floor, a title that after its first announcement seemed to go quiet, I’d expected big changes ahead and really wasn’t disappointed moving on from previous titles. Lost Planet 3 has learnt a lot from other titles on the market, but none more that Dead Space.
The moment I had my hands on the controller I felt at home, Dead Spaces home that is, with the same style spread across Lost Planet. An over your shoulder camera has been adopted adding a much more realistic scaling to both your character and the world around you, anyone who have played earlier Lost Planet games will agree is a very wise move taking the arcade style back down to earth. Both your HUD and pause/equipment menus are again taken from the Dead Space cannon, using floating holographic screens to keep you tied into the fight should you try to escape into your inventory management.
This again is a great idea, as these core concepts fight so neatly into the Lost Planet world, we always knew Lost Planet was a survival horror trying to step out of Earth Defence Force’s hectic arcade rooted shadow. The game takes place long before the events of the first game, and hence the planet of E.D.N. III is still in an ice-age environment and not the tropical paradise of the previous title. It takes place during the time of the first few human colonists on E.D.N. III sent there by NEVEC. You follow Jim, a colonist who is working for NEVEC and helping mine the planet and sending minerals back to Earth where his family awaits him.
Enemies are just as big, and on many occasions bigger, than every Lost Planet before it, still with weak points consisting of glowing orange explosive patches ready for you to sink clip after clip into and while the combat system feels familiar, I was happily surprised to see they’ve been beefed up. While strafing around a thousand foot crab in an effort to stay alive I couldn’t help but notice that you run a lot slower and can’t jump ridiculous cartoon heights at will like in previous games, although this may seem like a step back for it helped build on its clear homage to Dead Space, turning Lost Planet 3 into a serious survival horror title with crazy action still beating in its heart.
Mech suits are back, bigger and much more menacing however these Rigs aren’t weaponised like in previous titles, instead being just mining machines you rely on Drills and claw arms to pull apart your enemies, which again for me builds on the serious shift in nature for Lost Planet 3, who needs unlimited rockets when you can drill an Akrid in the head? the third-person camera has also been shoved to one side and a nice first-person view has been adopted, making your time inside the suit feel much more heavy-duty, think Steel Battalion only no Kinect needed, just all the joys of a drill attached to your arm!
Controls for the suits remain the same, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, right? They’re lifespan however is much improved, on the realism scale the suits make much more sense, take two or three heavy swipes from a giant crab then prepare for a challenge on foot, while a large number of smaller swipes wont completely knock your mech out of action. However for those that remember clearing levels by hiding in an almost indestructible suit then hard luck this time around!
Lost Planet 3 is on its way to not only becoming a serious contender for game of the year, but I think this will rejuvenate the series for many more titles to come, after all Dead Space and Lost planet mashed together? Who could say no! Dead Planet please!