Lost Planet was a pretty neat game, it had guns, it had mechs and it had a frozen ice-ball of a planet called EDN III. It has a pretty dictatorial company called NEVEC (Neo-Venus Construction Company), who were scourging the world and eliminating both the bug-like Akrid and the snow pirates who inhabited it. It was fun, it was buggy and it was kind of niche in a time when games like Lost Planet didn't really exist.
Lost Planet was story driven and it was mission driven, it had interesting online multiplayer as well. Lost Planet 2 swapped the story driven campaign for a grind-heavy MMO-style experience where you rushed from one encounter to the next, where there was a great deal of character customisation and co-op heavy gameplay. None of it really gelled though and for many, including me - Lost Planet 2 didn't quite live up to the former's quirky greatness.
EDN III had also changed; it'd lost much of its unique flavour and turned into a jungle like world.
Lost Planet 3 is set to change all that and from everything we've read, seen from videos it's going to be one rather similar to the first game.
Lost Planet 3 is story driven, it has side missions and areas of EDN III which are gear-gated based on specific equipment that the protagonist's Rig needs. See Lost Planet 3 is a prequel, set many years before the events of the first and second games, Lost Planet 3 sees NEVEC attempting to combat the harsh conditions of EDN III by building thermal posts, before they become the threat they are in Lost Planet.
Enter Rig-driver and family man Jim Peyton. He's just someone who wants to save up enough cash to get back home and quit EDN III for good. As Jim, you'll explore Lost Planet 3's massive EDN III and do side missions for the various characters encountered in/around the NEVEC base which serves as your HQ.
Here you can also upgrade equipment and gear using thermal energy, which is now no longer used to heal your character and keep them alive. CAPCOM hopes that they can foster a deeper sense of exploration in Lost Planet 3 by making T-ENG a commodity rather than a means to survive. There are also items to unlock to allow the player to further modify the Rig and provide benefits in combat and so on.
Part Mech game, third person shooter and survival horror. Lost Planet 3 echoes several gameplay styles already, looks much improved over the previous games and is clearly going to be an interesting story. With many situations where Jim and his Rig are separated providing a clear incentive to get out and explore on foot.
The Akrid make a triumphant return, but the Rig helps to make the bigger fights much more fun since it can be used in a variety of ways. Grabbing an enemy's appendage and then using a drill arm to attack exposed weak points is a nice alternative to just shooting said enemy's glowing bits. Of course there's still a plethora of that, which is a staple of Lost Planet.
CAPCOM promises there's a lot to do with the Rig too, so it's not just a throw-away feature in the game.
As a big fan of mechs, I can't wait to get to grips with some large Akrid and batter them senseless; it'll feel like sweet payback after all the years of on-foot slugging it out.
Lost Planet 3 also riffs of Dead Space with some interesting tricks, Jim's HUD is tied to his Rig, the further away from it you get the worse Jim's HUD connection becomes and the signal drops. Jim will start to lose HUD elements and eventually you'll be underground, stalked by Akrid and in some pretty dark places.
Dead Space fans rejoice!
Taking Lost Planet 3 into a colossal hub-like structure, giving alternate gear-gated paths and side-quests to help the people of the planet EDN III is a huge step away from the arcade style of Lost Planet, but much closer to the original division of Kenji Oguro and that according to us, is a good thing, especially me. I am a big fan of open-world-ish style games and even ones with big hubs ala Darksiders 2.
So count me in.
Lost Planet 3 will also have multiplayer and rather than witter on about it, here's a great video which shows you what to expect from Lost Planet 3's multiplayer and modes.
Lost Planet 3 is out at the end of the month (August 27th), and we're hoping to be able to share a review of it with you as long as the computer thaws out!
EDN III awaits!