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Jeremy Jastrzab
08 Jan, 2007

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Review

360 Review | Extremely conditioned. Extremely intense.
Capcom are one of the most influential and admired developer/publishers in the world, with great games spanning across all platforms. When they make a new game, people sit up and take notice. Fresh from their efforts in the unashamed slaughter-fest, Dead Rising, two of the producers of Onimusha, Mega Man and Resident Evil, (Keiji Inafune and Jun Takeuchi) are back with the only Xbox 360 game of note in the January of 2007. This game being Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. Interestingly, Lost Planet follows Onimusha lead, by including the likeness of a real-life actor to play the main character. Not many of our readers probably know of Korean-born Byung Hun Lee but he’s a real hit with the Japanese ladies, apparently.

Lost Planet takes place in an alternate future, where humans have abandoned an overpolluted Earth in search of a new planet for habitation. They stumble an icy, desolate but liveable planet, only to be chased away again by a mysterious and vicious alien form known as the Akrid, but not before leaving behind an number of disgruntled survivors (who eventually become Snow Pirates). They return with bigger guns and the will to harvest the vital thermal energy that the creatures hold. You and Mr. Lee are given the role of Wayne, a young man who has lost his father to one of the larger Akrid known as Green-eye and along the way you come across a rather insidious plot to “terraform” the plant and some rather shocking secrets about your past. The overall story has an anime/action feel to it and a few holes that are deepened by some disjointed cutscenes. Most of it comes together by the end of the game but not before a couple of puzzling moments and omission of details.

Houston... we're screwed

Houston... we're screwed
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As is the case with these kinds of games, the story is merely an excuse to go and destroy things and cause havoc. Thankfully, there is plenty of action in the game through out the game’s eleven levels. For those who don’t already know, Lost Planet is a 3rd person shooter but not your run-of-the-mill shooter. Not only is it one of the tightest and polished experiences on the Xbox 360, but puts together an number of elements from other types of games to make this game unique enough to stand on it’s own. That, and you’re a one-man army up against a slew of Snow Pirates and massive insectoid aliens.

You are on an icy and desolate planet, so your character has been fitted with a device that keeps him alive. However, that device needs to constantly be filled with “Thermal Energy”. It can be attained by killing enemies and destroying fixtures. It’s a good little system because it will heal you when you’re damaged but it also needs you to be on your toes. Furthermore, it gives something of an arcadey feel to the game. Throughout the game, there are data points that give you an energy boost, as well as open up the map of the area and point to your next objective. You also have an anchor that allows you to hook onto and pull yourself towards surfaces. It’s quite useful for climbing up structures and hanging off large drops, but it’s a little short and not flexible enough to be used as an escape measure.

The core of the game lies in the action between you and the Snow Pirates, the Akrid and sometimes, both at once. You start off by invading an Akrid hive and are quickly introduced to the large and aggressive bestiary that you’ll be dealing with. Though there are some small, annoying ones, the Akrid only get bigger and meaner as you play through the game, especially the bosses. All of them have weak spots that need to be targeted, sometimes in hard to reach areas. It adds an extra dimension to the game, as you often need to have a bit of skill, precision and thought to get through these beasts. Not to be outdone, the Snow Pirates band together behind a huge artillery (to compensate for their lack of brains) and will hack away at the one-man army with everything that they have. Even though they can be a bit cheeky with their distance hits, its very satisfying to wipe through their bases.

Wayne can carry two weapons at a time and there are a standard number of big and explosive weapons at your disposal. Throughout the game, you’ll be leaving massive stages in ruin and enemies in your wake. Still, there is method behind the madness, as the explosions aren’t always as encompassing or damaging as you’d like, so you need to be accurate. The best addition to the game is that of the mech units known as the Vital Suits (VS). There are a great variety of these mountable robots, ranging from walking gattling-gun totters, to transforming speeders and spider/tank units. Once you’re out of ammo, you can pick up more weapons on the go. Not only are they durable and great for taking down enemy VS and large akrid, the controls are sublime in their execution, making movement and long battles a pleasure, where other games would have made it a chore.

Use everything at your disposal to destroy every frickin' thing that moves!

Use everything at your disposal to destroy every frickin' thing that moves!
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Even though it is somewhat obvious that there are going to moments where you are walking through nothingness, simply because of the landscape, it is good to see that the developers have actually sat down and though about the design of their landscapes. The battles with the Snow Pirates in particular, have a number of handy features to help give you the upper hand. The boss battles are massive and epic, which helps make them satisfying. The game controls a little differently than most other 3rd person shooters and there are a number of little intricacies that will be discovered as you play but for the most part, they’re intuitive, solid and easy enough to learn. We still would have liked a dodge or roll button though.

Apart from our minor disappointments, there are two things that stand out in the game for the wrong reasons. For the most part, the game is at a fair difficulty but there are a handful of occasions where you will be thrown around like a rag-doll by explosions, unable to move around or get to cover and on top of that, you’ll be hit while you’re on the ground. This leads to some cheap deaths and hard parts but these can be sometimes attributed to poor execution. Also, the single player is VERY short. There are eleven, reasonably sized levels but our game clocked in at six hours. That’s including restarts from checkpoints – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even though previous Capcom efforts have been good with unlockables, it seems that most of that effort has been put into making the achievements. Still, for those achievement hunters, there are two in particular that relate to two of the biggest, meanest optional bosses that you’ll ever come across. They make some of the colossi from Shadow of the Colossus look unimpressive and are hard as heck to defeat.

In the substantial multiplayer mode you can play with up to sixteen players over Xbox Live over several different Icy and indoor maps and four modes. The game has very limited customization options but a few are unlocked as you play and there is the chance to “level-up” but neither feature is as detailed as a game like Rainbow Six Vegas. The modes that you can play through are Team Elimination, Elimination, Post Grab and Fugitive. The first two are points-based derivative of Deathmatch while the third is essentially “capture several flags”.

Lost Planet is more action than tactics, so while the multiplayer isn’t revelation or any better than other Live offerings, its still enjoyable and somewhat unique. It’s not hectic action thanks to large maps but you still need to be sharp. It helps that a lot of the good aspects of the single player have come through, in particular the controls and a level of design that make up for the other deficiencies. The level design makes for a lot of minor intricacies and secret places for variety. Unfortunately a few aspects, such as the anchor are relegated to almost being redundant and close combat can be less effective than ranged. It can be annoying when you're hit and you have no idea where i came from though. Technically, the multiplayer is rock-solid, even if we experienced some minor lag but we attributed it to the fact that we were playing off foreign servers. Again, while not as substantial as other offerings, the multiplayer here is unique and enjoyable enough to warrant a look in.

Multiplayer can bring up some very curly situations

Multiplayer can bring up some very curly situations
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Graphically, it is a little difficult at the start to distinguish this game. However, as you play you’ll find that the game is full of vivid details and effects that elevate it to great levels. The smoke effects are some of the best that we’ve seen, the explosions need to be seen to be believed, almost anything can be destroyed and its particularly endearing to see how the fog will sometimes affect the multiplayer proceedings. On top of that, when you’re not looking at snow or rocks, you’re looking at incredibly detailed fixtures. The animations and details of the Akrid are unsurpassed and the VS are the most superbly detailed and fluidly animated mechs ever created in a game. Not to mention, the game has an excellent art direction. A few little things don’t always fit and once you get past the fact that there is a lot of snow covering most things, you’ll see a brilliant looking game.

Sound-wise, the effects of the Akrid, the VS, the weaponry and the explosions is all spot-on and sound great. The voicing for the characters is reasonable as well. Surprisingly, there isn’t much music throughout the game, as it’s saved for the big moments and menu interludes. These big moments come off as attempting to relive moments that you had in Shadow of the Colossus but it doesn’t really compare. The music isn’t bad, it’s been put too far into the background.

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is an intense and enjoyable shooter from the reliable Capcom stables. The single player, while a little too short by modern standards is an absolute blast. The multiplayer is a little different, fun and likely to be popular until the next big Live game is released. In particular, the VS are some of the best additions as they don’t hinder the game, they make it better. A few things didn’t come through and a few little aspects are disappointing but overall, the good far outweighs the bad. All Xbox 360 owners ought to check this out, at the least as a rent. Unlike with other consoles, this is one game that is worth playing during this dead period.

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The Score
Despite its length, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is an intense and enjoyable shooter with enough new and unique to set itself apart and to keep you busy in January. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Content

More Lost Planet maps on the way
16 Jun, 2007 We have a feeling this planet has been well and truly found.
Free Lost Planet map coming this week
04 Jun, 2007 Take to the Battleground.
New Lost Planet maps released
10 Mar, 2007 They're not free though.
18 Comments
7 years ago
Yeah i've been waiting ages for this, gamebrink and ign had some great reviews of it. Now to read...

Thanks doods!

Anywayz i've read now....it's a bummer the single player is so short....it's really the only reason I buy games. Regadless i'll be buying this, it's funny with capcom games....they always seem to bring out games where the features really seem to appeal to me. It's like with Resident Evil....I used to call it 'The 3 G's - Girls, Guns and Gore"....they basically kept this formula all the way upto part 4 but in the Ps2 port they had Ada as a playable character so in a way they have lived up to the 3 G's. It's like they put together a formula where they know the basic content of the game will attract gamers who are into action games. I think a large focus of it would be the fact that they always make sure the graphics in their games are always of the highest quality/unique in some way (my fave technical aspect) and they always seem to pay lots of attention to the bosses (my fave gameplay aspect).

It sucks that Capcom have jumped on the multiplayer bandwagon as I could always count on their single player experiences....but it looks like they have sacrificed some of that for the multiplayer aspect which leaves me quite disappointed really but it's only gonna help their games sell better which inturn means more capcom games which makes me happy.

I honestly never thought I would play a videogame version of Starship Troopers....trust Capcom to deliver! Now all I need is for them to tackle some sort of underwater settings (what I really want is something like Maximo but with an underwater theme....maybe a dude like Piranha Man from Wonderboy III) or something heavily based on Greek Mythology (I doubt it since God of War).
7 years ago
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
7 years ago
Haha good review.. still think I will pick this up... haha PALGN got another mention at GAF for this review good times.
7 years ago
leonmc wrote
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
You do realise this game was supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008? I think you're maybe consufing this with Zelda or something? icon_confused.gif And the review actually says it's good...I don't know where you got 'rubbish' from? Ah well each to their own....I know i'll be having an absolute blast!
7 years ago
Of course you will, you're a huge Capcom fan. I have no doubt that Lost Planet is good - the reviews say it alone, but my problem is that I'm generally crap at Capcom games, Dead Rising being an example.
7 years ago
ugh the boot wrote
leonmc wrote
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
You do realise this game was supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008? I think you're maybe consufing this with Zelda or something? icon_confused.gif And the review actually says it's good...I don't know where you got 'rubbish' from? Ah well each to their own....I know i'll be having an absolute blast!
Pretty sure it was delayed, they went back and quoted "adding multiplayer". Yeah, I was super excited for this game (when first getting my 360) but over time it has died, mainly because other games with great quality have come out. I will no doubt play this and give it a go, but it's certainly not a run to the shops and buy it game for me anymore.
7 years ago
ugh the boot wrote
leonmc wrote
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
You do realise this game was supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008? I think you're maybe consufing this with Zelda or something? icon_confused.gif And the review actually says it's good...I don't know where you got 'rubbish' from? Ah well each to their own....I know i'll be having an absolute blast!
I was thinking the same thing, didn't Dead Rising also score an 8.0 here ? If I remember correctly that game was awesome......
7 years ago
Jim Dash wrote
my problem is that I'm generally crap at Capcom games, Dead Rising being an example.
Me too icon_sad.gif (apart from RE4)
7 years ago
That's one of the things I like about their games but Dead Rising got me so frustrated (stupid survivor AI) I can't remember being that angry ever at a video game (only because I was enjoying it so much and that stupid AI was a huge contrast and stuff like that sh!ts me hard).....but I see this 'bouncing around from explosions' thing being a real problem for me. I get frustrated really badly when cheap crap like that happens.....as long as it's not a game breaker i'll be alright....hehe.....but expect a rant from me shortly after getting it about getting knocked around from explosions.....it's inevitable! Yea i agree....Capcom games can be unfairly cheap/overly difficult at times.

I honestly don't know which looks better....Gears of War or Lost Planet.....the Akrid monsters (especially the bigger ones) imo sh!t all over the corpser in GOW....just seeing that huge one that comes out of the snow all animated had my jaw on the floor more than anything I experienced in GOW. No doubt GOW has better graphics....but I really think there are gonna be way more 'WOW" moments in Lost Planet for me (love 'dem huge creatures). Also I can't go past capcom art direction. Also I noticed the particle effects in Lost Planet are easily the best i've seen.....just shoot heaps of different surfaces with different calibur guns to see what I mean.
7 years ago
Yeah I can see that rant coming too! icon_wink.gif But like you said, I can definately see you loving Lost Planet.

Spancs, RE4 is a much better example for me actually - I turned it off after about an hour and a half. I saved minimal survivors in Dead Rising - I didn't even manage to kill the Cons in that 4WD outside.

Capcom has always been a struggle for me for some reason. I'll give this a hire and see how I go.
7 years ago
Spanca wrote
Jim Dash wrote
my problem is that I'm generally crap at Capcom games, Dead Rising being an example.
Me too icon_sad.gif (apart from RE4)
Man, I wish I didn't suck so bad at RE4, I still have never got past the mine cart section with the bag head chainsaw dudes.

Dead Rising was hard but not too hard. I dont mind hard games just as long as they're not 'f**k-this-game-is-too-f**king-hard' hard icon_razz.gif Lost Planet better not be like that or I'll cry.
7 years ago
The thing is with so many of their games I manage to get through areas/bosses on my first go but with like the minimum of ammo and the minimum of health left....and you know very well that when you're low on supplies you get real g'd up...and in their games i'll just barely scrape through....so it just seems to me like their balancing is so perfect....i'm scared yet pumped all at the same time (it's quite a rush)....but I don't know if it's the balancing or just my play style/preference....but their games really sit well with my skill level.

I've paid for the whole game via pre-order now (LE edition).
7 years ago
slapshakle wrote
ugh the boot wrote
leonmc wrote
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
You do realise this game was supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008? I think you're maybe consufing this with Zelda or something? icon_confused.gif And the review actually says it's good...I don't know where you got 'rubbish' from? Ah well each to their own....I know i'll be having an absolute blast!
I was thinking the same thing, didn't Dead Rising also score an 8.0 here ? If I remember correctly that game was awesome......
Actually your dead right. I would have given DR 9 easily, as it was in my top 5 games of the year.
7 years ago
Jim Dash wrote
I saved minimal survivors in Dead Rising - I didn't even manage to kill the Cons in that 4WD outside.
I saved 7 out of the 50 or 100 that there are icon_neutral.gif

And for the cons, I shot them with the sniper rifle from the other side of the park, where they couldn't get me icon_razz.gif

As for RE4, you guys are soft! It had some tough moments, but it wasn't that hard!
7 years ago
ugh the boot wrote
leonmc wrote
Think this might be a EB buy and returner. I knew this game would end up a bit rubbish. When a game is delayed and reworked, you know something is up and not clicking.

The review was strikingly similar to IGNs numbers.
You do realise this game was supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008? I think you're maybe consufing this with Zelda or something? icon_confused.gif And the review actually says it's good...I don't know where you got 'rubbish' from? Ah well each to their own....I know i'll be having an absolute blast!
There you go again. No, he's not confusing this with Zelda. I think he meant "buy and returner" because of the short single player which could definitely be done easily in under a week (Zelda not so much, unless you have too much time on your hands).

I've played the demo of this one, it was pretty damn hard but showed a lot of promise. Will look into this one when I get my 360.
7 years ago
Quote
We still would have liked a dodge or roll button though.
There is one, just press the left thumbstick in and A button.


Any way I played it till Mission 5, the bosses get challenging especially when I hate using VS. I didnt find it hard on normal so far, it was kinda easy only occasionally bosses fights you're challenged several times.
7 years ago
Great review as always, the fact that I won't be getting this game upon release just hit hard after reading this review. But then that's my fault for not budgeting too well lately. icon_neutral.gif
7 years ago
theory wrote
There you go again. No, he's not confusing this with Zelda. I think he meant "buy and returner" because of the short single player which could definitely be done easily in under a week (Zelda not so much, unless you have too much time on your hands).

I've played the demo of this one, it was pretty damn hard but showed a lot of promise. Will look into this one when I get my 360.
Well if you'd read his whole post you'd see he mentioned that the game had delays (like Zelda) when infact it didn't. So it's got nothing to do with 'buying and returning' or the short single player campaign.

From a preview article on IGN:

Quote
Capcom has yet to reveal a precise release date, though the Japanese publisher admitted it's aiming for early 2007 time frame.
Link:
http://au.xbox360.ign.com/articles/703/703256p1.html
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  Capcom Entertainment
Developer:
  Capcom Entertainment
Players:
  1-16

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