Lost Planet 3 is another attempt from Capcom at letting an external developer handle one of its key franchises. The title has been delayed until the end of August, but how is Spark Unlimited’s effort shaping up?
Simply put, the multi-player side of Lost Planet 3 is an epic battle between the Nevec group and Snow Pirates. It was possible to witness this whilst playing a few matches in two of the modes available.
One of these modes required one team to escort a vehicle. It’s then required to protect this vehicle.
Obviously, it meant that the other team needed to ensure that the vehicle.
Interestingly enough, it’s never possible to destroy the vehicle. Instead, the vehicle is temporarily stopped whenever it receives a significant amount of damage. The whole point is for either one team to get it to plough through the final enemy gate or for the other team to slow it down so it cannot complete its goal.
It’s certainly an interesting idea and proves that there is still much to do in terms of objectives for online matches. However, it felt like it went on for too long. This is perhaps a side effect of the vehicle being incredibly slow. It’s certainly one mode that is best for those that have the patience to grin and bear it. There is a certain emphasis on being strategic due to the fact that those that rush in might end up regretting it.
The other mode is appropriately named Attack Akrid and is perhaps the better of the two modes experienced so far. The idea is that both teams have to get a certain number of T-ENG canisters. The winner is the team that manages to get the specified number of canisters first.
This sound easy doesn’t it? But the twist is that an Akrid must be defeated first before getting a canister. Each one of these ferocious beasts has gobbled up one of these canisters and only death will set them apart.
It’s quite the adrenaline rush to try and kill it whilst not being defeated by the enemy team, If anything, this is a good twist on the classic Capture the Flag online mode. The enemy team can be sneaky and just stand back. Perhaps allow the other team to go ahead and defeat the deadly Akrid. Then swoop in to forcibly take the canister from the weakened enemy team members.
It was possible to play in a variety of maps whilst playing the two modes. What is certain is that there are plenty of routes to discover within each map. It never ceased to impress that there were so many opportunities to sneak up on enemies.
This is mainly due to the fact that maps are surprisingly large in size and varied. Maps like Stronghold, Outpost and Research Lab are designed to ensure players can make the most of all the abilities. Specially when it comes to climbing with grapple ability that Lost Planet has become known for.
There are lots of characters(even from main story) to choose from like Jim, Gale and Roman. Surprisingly there are no character specific special abilities. Instead it focuses on giving players the opportunity to have custom load-outs puts and so on.
Some of these abilities become quite useful. One of these abilities for example makes it possible to kill an opponent from beyond the grave by releasing a special toxic gas.
There are also more destructive destructive support weapons like a turret that is deployed in battle.
Initially it’s overwhelming and may prove challenging for newcomers. However, if feels like natural progression from the multi-player section in previous Lost Planet video-games. It’s enjoyable and the idea of playing online for hours isn’t so far fetched..
It was also possible to play through what seemed like the beginning of the story. If so, then it all begins in a crash site. This may bear a slight resemblance to a section in Dead Space 3. However, it it makes for a better attempt at introducing the character, Jim.
It was impossible not to feel isolated in this sinister and hostile world/ This is a Lost Planet with a bigger focus on story. It doesn’t hold back with plenty of cut-scenes that did wonders for the story. What was observed managed to immerse the player in this alien world.
Which is particularly difficult since this is s prequel to the previous two entries. However, there is still much to discover. There are more characters to interact with than before. The dialogue is snappy. It seems more relevant to what is going on and actually makes the player care.
It makes sense that there is this much focus on the story since this is a Western effort. The characters were introduced properly during the portion that was played.
It seems like there is a main hub where character prepares for missions. The size of this area is so big that it’s possible to get lost.
Overall, there were two very distinct ways to play through the single player demonstration.
One consisted of using the mighty rig to complete tasks a human couldn’t possibly handle. Controlling the rig made it apparent that it is a real power house.
But fortunately there seems like there is a bigger focus on putting Jim on foot. It made for some interesting sections where the player explored the mysterious world. Still, the harsh environment and vicious creatures will keep players on their toes.
It’s this freedom to explore that gives off a better insight into just how big the world of Lost Planet truly is. To the point that it could possibly make players feel insignificant.
The controls worked like a charm throughout the demonstration. Dodging ensured that the player could observe enemies and figure out the best way to attack.
Mini-game introduced to fix a drill felt like a distraction from the combat going on. It’s a good attempt to make player feel overwhelmed.
This brief glimpse showed a lot of small improvements since playing it for a preview last year.
This Western take is certainly different from the previous efforts. But it seems like this change in direction is turning into a wise decision. This trip back to the harsh cold weather of planet E.D.N III could prove like a nice Summer cool-down. Spark Unlimited is certainly taking some risks with Lost Planet 3, but Capcom may yet reap the rewards, if the final version is anything like this demonstration.