VG Review: Lost Planet 3

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After finally getting around to reviewing Lost Planet 3, I was eager to plunge into the unforgiving and harsh environment of E. D. N. III. And it certainly is that. Blizzards howl across the surface while you eek out a living in the bowels of an icy, frozen hell.

Lost Planet 3 is a prequel set around fifty years before the original Lost Planet game, and starts off with the central protagonist, a man named Jim Peyton, trapped with his granddaughter Diana. He reflects upon their predicament and tells her of the events leading to his arrival on E.D.N. III. You then start off with a much younger Peyton as he arrives, somewhat unceremoniously, on the planet. After that you get top meet and greet all of the important characters within the game who will aid or hinder your experience on the planet, all while trying to find out what’s afoot on the bitterly cold colony.

As is custom with games featuring a hostile environment, you have the indigenous population to deal with. In this case it’s the hostile Akrid – a variety of large, aggressive, bug-like creatures of varying sizes, each of which wants to chew your face off just for the fun of it. Killing them culminates in thermal energy pick-ups that act as currency on E.D.N. III, useful for upgrading or purchasing weapons. However, most of the weapons are fairly generic in design and don’t really stand out enough to make you want to buy them, especially when your pistol ammunition is unlimited. That being said, the shotgun is probably the most useful and diverse. Though the Akrid and the weapons don’t really stand out quite as much as I would prefer, the voice acting within the game does. The characters are well defined and provide you with backstory, advice and just plain old good entertainment throughout. And you can get fairly attached to one or two.

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Hi, I’m Bob!

Beyond the standard run of combat you have your rig: a forty-foot-tall mech capable of inflicting damage to the much larger Akrid that populate the planet. And the mix of combat on foot and in the mech is an interesting combination, and tasks also involve some manual labour that only the mech can perform, often in the midst of an Akrid attack.

Multiplayer is also included and provides you with both competitive and cooperative play that add some interesting scenarios to the mix, but ultimately it’s not quite as long lived as some other titles. Lost Planet 3 is a pleasant outing, with some impressive visuals in most cases and superb voice acting as well. But the generic nature of some encounters and the weapons you utilise doesn’t do enough to separate it from some more prominent, competitive titles out there. That being said, the mix of combat and the sheer sense of isolation almost gives you a sense of playing something akin to John Carpenter’s The Thing. And that’s never a bad thing.

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