|System: PC, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The suits offer considerable protection, but there's nothing like taking advantage of the natural cover found throughout the environments. Various ruins, caves, hills, and machinery offer natural protection and help to save your precious thermal energy. Much of the environment is destructible, so your cover is only temporary. This forces you to keep moving.
Since there is a linear direction to the game, you can actually move past enemies and on to your destination. Most won't follow you. But as I mentioned, you're required to replenish your thermal energy, so you can't totally avoid combat. You are not restricted to the suits, as many battles will take place on foot.
Enemies come at you in various numbers from one to an entire horde. You can take your time when battling one enemy and experiment with different killing tactics. You won't have that luxury when attacked by a swarm. I found the control system to be awkward for running-and-gunning. Even standing in one spot, the targeting system is slow to respond. Stock animations of your character taking hits and being knocked down are almost in slow motion. Precious time is wasted, allowing the enemy to move in on you and take you out.
The suits, weapons, and alien bugs are varied and well detailed. The bugs range from small flying insects to huge Dune-style worms. The bosses are huge, powerful, and incredibly imaginative with different attack patterns. Each has vulnerable areas you have to locate and target. All the animations are smooth and natural looking. The environments range from open frozen wastelands to tight, confining caves. Textures are clean and realistic. Concrete looks like concrete and flesh looks like flesh. Particle effects such as smoke, explosions, and water are second to none. There are some framerate issues when too many enemies and explosions appear onscreen. Overall, it's a great looking game.
There are plenty of modes, both single and multiplayer. Unfortunately there is not a co-op mode, but you won't really miss it. Variations of Deathmatch and Capture the Flag can be played online. Instead of flags, you will try to capture the other team's Akrid eggs, or defend your eggs from capture. In Akrid Hunter, a player assumes the role of a huge Akrid while the others try to kill him. The beast is slow but is able to move quickly by rolling up into a ball and literally crushing the opposition. Players can expect four new maps in the multiplayer mode which include a city, industrial complex, a battle arena, and a spaceship. Up to 16 players can take part in the online multiplayer modes utilizing both the PC and the X360 systems.
Despite a few design flaws, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition is a great game. There are plenty of new features that will entice fans back to the fold including new maps, characters, and single-player and online modes. My only complaint is the control system is sluggish to respond and can cause you to take a lot of unnecessary hits. But then again, nobody ever said war on hostile planets would be fair.
CCC Senior Writer