Lost Planet 3 Review for PC

Lost Planet 3 Review for PC

Lost Planet Stays a Little Lost

Lost Planet 3 is a bit of an enigma. When firing on all cylinders, the game is a story-driven experience broken up by diverse gameplay. But, unfortunately, it rarely fires on all cylinders.

It starts off pretty strong. After a brief cutscene with an elderly Jim Peyton and his granddaughter, a flashback begins the story of Jim’s rocky arrival on E.D.N. III fifty years earlier. Crash-landing in the frozen wastes of the planet, Jim is immediately required to exit his craft to find the rescue transponder that was separated from the ship during impact. It is here we are first introduced to the Akrid, the indigenous race of overgrown baddies that populates the wilds of the planet. Finding the transponder links you up with the local colonists, and one battle sequence later, you are safely back at the base camp of NEVEC.

Once reaching the base camp, the game switches gears considerably. While story is still delivered via traditional cutscenes, the experience is downgraded to a basic mission-oriented structure that pays you in the local currency, T-Energy. With few exceptions, this is where the game takes a turn for the worst. Accepting contracts gives you something to do, putting you in harm’s way out in the hostile world of E.D.N. III, but this mission-based system never really gets the game going. However, heading out into the world does bring with it one of the games strongest points–the Utility Rig.

This mech-like utility vehicle isn’t fitted with weapons of any type, aside from the arms of the Rig, which are used for melee combat. You can hop out at almost any time, so switching between third-person shooting mechanics and the lumbering, mechanical combat of the Rig was a welcome change that gave me the opportunity to fight my way. Or at least, that’s what I thought, because the level design of the game pretty much dictates whether you need to be in your mech or on foot. Well, at least the illusion is there.

And so it went for hours. I accepted contracts, completed them, got paid, upgraded, etc. While the story in this section is delivered in small, bite-sized increments via surprisingly well-acted cutscenes, the gameplay stagnates. I kept wanting something major to happen, and it kept not happening. There are good moments in the gameplay, where you learn how to use your Rig to kill larger Akrid, or when messages are being swapped between Jim and his wife back on Earth, but this stretch is bland overall.

Lost Planet 3 Screenshot

But as I thought all was lost for Lost Planet 3 , something finally happened! What that is, exactly, I’m not going to tell you, because the story that transpires from this point is the whole reason to play this game, and the continuous anticipation of a coming plot point is part of the charm. The story of Lost Planet 3 does a good job of setting itself apart from its predecessor’s story in this way, and it’s easily one of its strongest points.

But where the story enjoys some degree of success, gameplay suffers in its wake. The third-person, cover-shooter gameplay is so bland that I question its necessity. The same could be said about the mech gameplay, but the two styles combined seem to keep the adventures of Jim Peyton from becoming completely stale. Other oddities plagued my time with Lost Planet 3 as well. Any task that took me back to the NEVEC main base, such as upgrading my weapons or Rig, or turning in some critter samples to the less than socially acceptable Dr. Kovac, was a chore that I avoided at all costs. Returning to base carries with it the penalty of traversing several levels of the uninteresting and bland camp (not to mention the load screens that have to be endured) to simply turn in a contract or upgrade something. I found myself groaning any time this was a requirement, so I saved up turn-ins until the mission rotation hastened my return.

Lost Planet 3 Screenshot

Additionally, the map is broken up into small areas that begin to feel eerily similar as time passes. Lost Planet 3 attempts to have an open-world feel, but it falls short due to the load times between sections and linear contract progression. Moving between these areas manually is an option, but you will breathe a sigh of relief when the fast-travel option becomes available in the game. You will miss out on some Rig combat by doing so, but it is no major loss considering any time you enter an area, the enemies will reset for another go-‘round. So if you feel that you missed something, simply return to any area at your convenience to get your mech-stomp on.

Sadly, these annoyances take away from what could have been an engrossing experience if the story had taken over the gameplay, but it never does entirely, which is a shame.

What puzzles me further about Lost Planet 3 is the fact that, with the exception of some janky minor animations, the visuals are quite good. The desolate landscape is littered with convincing weather effects, character models are detailed, and the camera appropriately positions itself as Jim makes his way through the wastes of E.D.N. III. Even the cockpit of the Rig is surprisingly detailed; a picture of Jim’s wife attached to the window and hula-girl figure bouncing around as you defend yourself from the Akrid, among the other mechanical bells and whistles of this futuristic machine, bestows a sense of life upon the space. Cutscenes are especially well done, lending a little more credibility to the story of the game.

Lost Planet 3 Screenshot

Also adding to the overall narrative experience is some pretty solid voice acting, at least from the main characters. Although there are a few minor characters that give laughable performances, for the most part, this section of the story formula is very well done. However, I did encounter one sound issue that was off-putting. During any fully rendered cutscene, the sound is weirdly grainy and thin, something that is not present in the rest of the game. The sound of any character in a cutscene is totally different from what they sound like in-game. It kind of took me out of the whole experience. But, outside of that, that audio of Lost Planet 3 is capable and does its job well.

The truly bewildering conundrum of Lost Planet 3 is that it could have easily been so much more. Aside from the borrowed gameplay mechanics, the story is solid and well acted, Visuals are above average, sound is mostly well done, and the switch between first-person mech and third-person keeps gameplay fairly fresh. Add to that boss fights with giant crab-like creatures in your mech, Pacific Rim style, and you would think that you would be playing a great game. But, alas, the adept portions of Lost Planet 3 never truly come together to deliver the experience that was so clearly intended, thus never achieving greatness. But, it ends up being a good experience if you have the patience to put up with the hindrances, which are many.

So, should you rush out and buy this game today? Probably not. But it does offer a fair amount of gameplay and a pretty well-rounded story that may be worth your time between other, more polished titles. However, you might want to wait for the price to drop, which it is sure to do.

Characters, environments, and effects are all executed well. 3.8 Control
Typical third-person controls function well, with a few minor annoyances. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Audio is sufficient for the most part, except for the annoyingly unbalanced sound in some cutscenes. 3.0 Play Value
The game can be enjoyable, but design flaws keep Lost Planet 3 from reaching its full potential. 3.2 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Return to extreme conditions – Taking the series back to its roots, Lost Planet 3 returns to E.D.N. III, delivering a dynamic game world that’s more dangerous than ever before.
  • Brave the terrifying – Play as blue-collar worker Jim, risking assignments in treacherous conditions to earn his hazard pay and return home to his family.
  • Home away from home – Protect yourself from hostile Akrid and the unpredictable ice storms on E.D.N. III with your Utility Rig. Equipped with an assortment of tools, including the new winch that can grab your enemies at range and the drill that can destroy creatures of any size, players will need to learn to use the Rig to their advantage in order to survive.
  • Gameplay Variety – Take to the extreme conditions on foot or utilize the safety of the Rig for first-person combat sequences.
  • Stormy weather – The ever-changing weather system of E.D.N. III affects the way you play with conditions that create an imposing environment players will need to adapt to.
  • Intense, cinematic experience – Developed with the Unreal Engine 3, Lost Planet 3 presents a visually stunning and unique terrain that impacts the gameplay.
  • Reveal the hidden truths of E.D.N. III – The uncharted world has many secrets locked away. What is E.D.N. III hiding? All will be revealed in Lost Planet 3 .

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