Lost Planet

by Eden
author awarded score: 60/100

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition PC Review
Publisher: Capcom
Format Reviewed: PC
Review By: Eden

Having played this title on the Xbox 360 some months ago, one can’t help but compare and by compare one means, be console biased, but here goes. Just for you guys I am strapping on my PC boots…

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is essentially a third person blast em up. You’re cast in the role of the usual male protagonist (yawn, where’s the choice!) name of Wayne, yes Wayne. The guy with the overly regular name is out for revenge (aren’t they usually) and it’s your job to help Wayne through various ‘extreme condition’ environments so he can exact this revenge over the death of his daddy.

Story sounds familiar? Yes it does, not to worry, a fairly shoddy and overdone story does not necessarily a bad game make and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition has some very nice touches. Not least of all are the graphics, which at times are stunning. Snowy tundra’s never looked so good, so huge, creatures are full of glorious detail. Visually speaking this game is just gorgeous, at times truly jaw dropping, with explosions and areas sometimes taking on a life of their own. Sadly graphics alone do not a perfect game make and it should be pointed out that the first PC I tried this on could not cope and my PC is fairly new and specced to the max.

Although Lost Planet looks gorgeous, it is lacking in a few key areas, mainly control. As you may be aware this title is an Xbox 360 port and strangely the developers seem to have assumed you may be using a 360 gamepad to play it, given there are even menus that show the device. Now, although I have with certain titles, I tend to play PC games in the way the PC Gods intended, with keyboard and mouse and this is where the game suffers, with things feeling stodgy to say the least. Gameplay too is linear and samey, with a shoot run, shoot run to end of level--kill boss mentality, some of which can be more than a little frustrating and leave you feeling empty on dispatch. Some of these levels also show off the graphics a little too well, with smoke effects, explosions and other graphical feats taking up too much of the screen until visibility is so minimal it’s more a matter of luck than skill that will see you through to the next ‘level’.
It’s not that the gameplay is bad as such, using the mech styled suit can yield a lot of enjoyment, as can fighting in such snowy conditions, but this is clearly a console port and suffers in the PC because of it. The fact this appeared on the Xbox 360 numerous months ago and was better is one reason you should probably avoid this on the PC and stick to its console roots.

Music to my pointy ears… As with the graphics, capcom have clearly worked their butts off in the sound department, with all the usual clatter bang hum drum of a shooter, added to the screeching howls of ‘Starship Trooper’ style Akrid aliens. Deaf and hard of hearing gamers won’t have any trouble playing Lost Planet condition Zero, well no more than any other gamer.

Yo girls… Female gamers are once again left with no choice but to play the male ‘hero’, this time in the form of the dubiously named ‘Wayne’. It would be nice just once to have the pissed off child, out for revenge being the daughter. Game developers take heed. If not a game that solely devotes itself to a lone female protagonist, at least add in the choice at the beginning, will you play Wayne, son out for revenge, or Brenda, daughter out for revenge. There are plenty of vengeful women in the world, so why not take a different tack and keep this in mind when developing a game. Oh and for those developers who assume female gamers don’t play FPS, 3rd person, shooters etc, bite me. We’re out here in droves and it is annoying as hell to have to play yet another stubbled up man on a mission. Oh lastly I mention that you do see a female character—in the overall background story, her name is Luka and she’s the ‘leader’ of a group of snow pirates. They find Wayne and rescue him, thus making it all ok that the main protagonist is yet again aguy. Don’t all throw up at once as you realise you’ve once again been lambasted with the role of crappy peripheral female character, thrown in so the hero has someone pretty to talk to. Pass me the bucket.

Low down... Lost Planet Extreme Condition is a mixed bag. Capcom have done an astounding job on the visuals, with some truly gorgeous moments that will leave the average gamers jaw loose. Sadly however it’s lacking in other key areas and visuals alone do not a great game make, if they did Lost Planet Extreme Condition would be getting a 9 or 10. Most notable of these key areas is control as mentioned and the fact that it somehow starts off with such a resounding bang that it reaches its crescendo far too soon and has little space to move. As just mentioned, playing yet another ‘man on a mission’ is a little yawny (for me at least). I want to be able to play a snow bound ass kicking female character on a revenge mission. I at least want the choice to be given to me when I begin a game. That’s not to say this one factor makes Lost Planet a bad game, but for me personally it always and I mean always irks me when it’s all grunt, no choice. Call me a female games character whore, but I like to play female characters when I’m gaming. Overall if you want a little blizzard sweeping shooter action, you could do worse than Lost Planet Extreme Condition. It isn’t going to win any plaudits for gameplay innovation, but it is one hell of a nice looking title. My advice, still give the developers your cash, but buy the Xbox 360 version which had I been given the opportunity to review, would have scored a lot higher due to a far better control system and overall feel.