|System: X360, PS3||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 11, 2010||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|
Along those lines, this problem is further exacerbated once you head online. That's right; cutscene lag during co-op play is a constant issue. In other words, if you're playing with people with slower connections, you'll have to wait to jump into the action for their cutscenes to end. While these waits are usually quite minimal, the fact that they are there gets tiresome and even breeds a bit of animosity toward your teammates.
This animosity is another major problem for the co-op campaign. For example, mechs (called VS) are strewn throughout the game. Because they're so fun to use compared to standard weaponry, it's inevitably a mad dash to get to them. This makes certain players extremely greedy to play with. Additionally, the game doesn't appropriately reward players for their efforts. It seems that the damage you dish out correlates directly to the score and rank you get at the end of a mission. As such, support tools (such as the powerful riot shield) and supporting roles in general are simply abandoned by the players. This imbalanced co-op assessment makes gameplay too one-dimensional - go balls to the wall or get offline. Rather than establishing a true sense of camaraderie, the game feels more like a free-for-all. This can get especially bad if you're playing with random players online rather than with friends.
The game is also plagued by repetitive mission objectives (raise and protect the data terminals, clear out the enemy stronghold, etc.). If it weren't for the distinct environments and unique foes, the six zones would be essentially filled with much of the same mundane events. Truly, there only a handful of scenarios that do a good job distinguishing themselves from the crowd.
As fun as the Cat-G Akrid can be, they also can make you feel useless. These titans take so much firepower to take down, the fact that they can regenerate their limbs is decidedly unsatisfying. Imagine unleashing fury at a glowing weak spot with a rocket just to have the beast crush you under a newly-sprouted appendage, apparently completely unaffected by your assault. What's worse, the game implements a knockback mechanic that gets particularly annoying. Unfairly, enemies will hit you with their pea-shooters, causing you to stumble awkwardly. Similarly, Akrids will ram into you or swat you or fire off a breath weapon at you that are accompanied by painfully long animations.
There are several other issues that make this game poor that I will only be able to briefly touch on due to space constraints. The eight default control layouts are ponderous at best. The characters' movements are slow, clunky, and deliberate. Item unlocks and customization features cannot be purchased directly, you have to hope you get lucky via an extremely tight slot machine setup (more often than not you're reward with silly emotes and titles rather than weapons and body parts). The sub-menu interface is poor and slow; try changing your control scheme in the options menu - what a joke!
The list of smallish screw-ups could go on forever, but there are a few more problems I consider to be egregious. Worst of all, friendly and enemy AI is terrible. Because computer-controlled comrades are so dumb, taking on the campaign as a single-player is futile; you really shouldn't pick this game up if you don't plan on playing online. Because the human enemy AI is so lacking, assaulting strongholds and the like seems superfluous and boring. Almost as bad, the competitive multiplayer is poorly put together. Playing elimination and CTF variants in an arena simply isn't any fun. I liked the addition of weekly faction battles (players can compete to try and wrest dominance away from other factions in a meta-competition), but there simply isn't enough fun to be found to warrant staying with it. In the end, the competitive online side of LP2 is anemic; other multiplayer games out there (whether in Beta, broken by cheaters, or otherwise) are far superior.
Lost Planet 2 simply doesn't live up to the developer's grandiose plans. Other than the game's beauty, the big, challenging bosses, and the infrequent fun that can be derived from four-player co-op, this is a gaming experience that can easily be passed up. Unless you simply need a four-player co-op shooter to play with friends, you're almost certainly better off going another way.
CCC Editor / News Director