A Return to EDN’s Frozen Past
Set long before the events of Lost Planet, Lost Planet 3 has players taking on the role of a miner named Jim, who works for NEVEC (the antagonists of the first game, if you recall). NEVEC’s a slightly different bird this time around, however; they’re still trying to help people settle the planet at this point.
While piloting his Utility Rig (a predecessor of the second game’s VS mechs) Jim will explore the deep, dark recesses of the planet, coming to discover the remnants of another civilization, which leads to a rather chilling revelation for the working man. He and his fellows weren’t the first intelligent life to make their way onto EDN III.
The emphasis this time around is going to be on exploration. While there’ll definitely be plenty of Akrid to gun down, Lost Planet 3 is slated to feature an open world, likely one peppered with sidequests and collectibles, and it will feature gameplay that alternates between first-person action in the drill-armed mining mech and third person on-foot gunplay.
While you’re in the machine, you can stab at things with your drill, grab Akrid and crush them in your clamp-like hand, and generally wreak havoc in a slow-moving, high-powered war machine. Granted, the mech isn’t anywhere near as deadly as the VR suit, but it still packs a punch- and, unlike the suits, it can actually block attacks.
On foot, you’re a lot more vulnerable. Weapons won’t always be effective, and you’re going to need to suffer through the occasional quick-time event to avoid being made into a meal by the Akrid, all of whom are more than happy to crush you to pulp at a moment’s notice. After watching one of the gameplay videos, these events honestly remind me a little bit of Starship Troopers, but in a good way.
What’s more, the irritating body temperature system from the first game (where you were required to collect thermal energy in order to stay warm) is dead and gone, though you’ll still die if you spend too much time out on the frozen tundra.
Plus, you’ll still need to pick it up in order to keep your mech from freezing and breaking down. In the event that it does freeze, you’ll need to hop out and shoot the chunks of ice off the machine, all while desperately trying to avoid death at the hands of the Akrid hordes.
The gameplay has, as a whole, received a complete overhaul from previous titles in the franchise. Movement and combat are both noticeably smoother as opposed to the stiff, unnatural looking motion that exemplified the other titles. The camera, too, is noticeably unobtrusive, and combat features far fewer ‘instant death’ scenarios and stuns.
Basically, Capcom took the most frustrating elements of the first two games in the series, and threw them out the window.
Word is that the game’s a lot more terrifying now, as well. The atmosphere’s been turned up in a lot of places, and the increased vulnerability of your character while he’s wandering around on foot- as well as the visual overhaul many of the Akrid have received- make them a much more daunting, frightening foe.
All in all, Lost Planet 3 looks like a step back in the right direction for a franchise that many felt was beginning to lose its way. Come 2013, if you’re hungry for a third-person shooter that’s heavy on the horror, you could do worse.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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