The original Lost Planet wasn't quite the game I had expected it to be. After eagerly waiting for the PlayStation 3 port, I came to realize that it's hype was mostly that of its initially exclusive status to the Xbox 360. The controls were dull, and the action was tedious and slow. Needless to say, I panned the game in my review. But, Lost Planet was successful enough that it warranted a sequel, and while so far Capcom has only announced it for the Xbox 360, we're still bringing you this preview because in this day and age, virtually no third-party game is a true exclusive, anymore. Good chances are, Lost Planet 2 will arrive for the PS3 soon after the Xbox 360 version hits. ( Arnold's edit: Well, kids, I was right on the money. Sony and Capcom made it official at E3 2009; it's also coming to the PS3 Q1 2010, same as the X360.)
Ten years have passed since the events of the first game, and planet E.D.N. III has changed considerably. A transformation project brought upon the planet was a success, transforming the icy planet into a lush locale. The ice has began to melt, exposing to the greenery that lied beneath, in addition to deserts. The Akrid are still present on the planet, so your ultimate goal will be to secure the planet once and for all. And to do that, you'll be equipped with a variety of technology to make it easier on you.
The game will span six episodes/chapters which will evolve according to how you play the game, and the actions you make. Many games have done this in the past, and that essentially opens up Lost Planet 2 to multiple threads, giving the gamer more than one way to see the story unfold. Furthermore, Lost Planet 2 does not feature a central character, but rather a number of snow pirate factions whom you will take control of, which ties into how the game's storyline evolves, all depending on your actions which each group. In addition to the single-player aspect, you can embark on a co-op campaign with up to four people, allowing you to play through the whole story with your buddies.
In addition to your grappling hook is a wide assortment of weaponry, just like the first game. Machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, lasers, shotguns, grenades, and other larger, more devasting weapons will be spread all throughout the game, waiting for your hands and destruction. The weapons come complete with customization aspects, allowing you to make them your own, and then use them online or offline. Customization also includes other details, with Capcom promising hundreds of ways to make a character your personal creation.
Now, beyond the handheld weapons will be the Vital Suits, the mech suits that your character enters and takes control of. Capcom has completely overhauled the Vital Suits for the sequel, giving players suits that can transform into vehicles, that can carry an entire team, and even suits so complicated that they'll require numerous players to operate. Sounds pretty damn cool.
Teamwork is a highlighted concept for the sequel, as not only will your partners be able to help you operate a V.S., but teamwork will also gain rewards. There will be a number of tactile ways to assist your team in order to succeed against some of the game's bigger and more epic battles, and Capcom encourages the use of said tactics. And of course, when you're not in the mood to play cooperatively, put a bullet in your buddy's head by entering one of the game's numerous competitive multiplayer modes, complete with an online ranking system.
Visually, Lost Planet 2 is looking significantly better than the first, boasting epic environments with a gorgeous color palette that is further brought to life thanks to slick texture work. The bosses will be even larger than before, and feature even more incredible detail, as well. Powered by MT Framework 2.0, the same game engine that makes Resident Evil 5 as beautiful as it is, you can expect nothing but the best from Lost Planet 2's visuals.
Judging from the footage we've seen thus far, it also looks like Capcom has fixed the slow pace of the original game, and has made the action much more intense. We're really excited to get our hands on the game, and hopefully we get to preview the game hands-on before it arrives next February.