The journey back brings more Akrid and some brutal battles with more rollers, this time though Iíve got the block-stun down to a T and its over pretty quickly. More T-Eng collected on foot Ė Iím back in the Rig and on track to home. After a slog through the areas towards the base, I finally reach the hangar and leave the mech in a parking spot.
A few people want words with me, so I indulge in some talking before I head off to the shop and see what I can buy.
In many ways thatís what Lost Planet 3 feels like. It feels like youíre an Everyman hero, like Isaac Clarke in Dead SpaceÖyouíre not a Space Marine or a Badass Cog soldier Ė youíre Jim Peyton Ė aka Nicholas Cage in Space (seriously Ė he looks like a young bearded Nic Cage). It works for me too, it might not work for everyone and judging by many of the game industry critics its hit far lower scores than it deserves.
Yet the user scores are much higher. So you gamers, like me, must actually quite like the game. Odd that.
So, me and Jim Cage are best friends now. I have cashed in my T-ENG and Iím ridiní high on new weapon mods, new ammo stocks and a few mods for the Rig. I can take more damage in big monster combat now and I can dish out more too.
I havenít had this much fun with a game for a while.
I wonít say much more about it in terms of gameplay, save to say that the game looks nice, it plays well and as you get further into it Ė even though the story is a prequel to Lost Planet it answers a few questions you might have about NEVEC and a bunch of other Lost Planet things you might wonder about. Including why Jimís face doesnít freeze off when he leaves his Rig.
The game has a gear-gating system that locks certain areas off until you get further into the story and there are a few twists and turns along the way. In one section it was a better Aliens game than Aliens Colonial Marines (not hard I grant you), but the analogy works.
The music is also great too. Jack Ward brings the gameís score to life with a mix of strangely compelling tracks fused with a definite Starcraft 2, Starhhawk, Firefly Ė Country vibe. The score is really decent and I bought the soundtrack on the strength of just that. I couldnít resist.
The Akrid are a tricky bunch and they all have varied attack patterns based on their particular type. The rollers are vicious and evil bugger who will charge at you and keep on mercilessly eroding your resources unless youíre by the Rig. If youíre by the Rig then you can get to the weapon lockers on the legs and replenish your non-specialist stocks right away. Special ammo has to be bought from shops.
The deeper you get into the game, the more enemy types and encounters youíll find to keep you on your toes.
Lost Planet 3 has a lot going for it on the strength of the single player and to casually dismiss it as just another dumb shooter is pretty unfair. Yes the developer doesnít have a stellar track record, but this one is far from a turkey at all. It might not be to everyoneís taste but thereís a lot going on here and the graphics are solid when it comes to the character designs, the facial animation (as mentioned previously) is really good and the characters have real depth and feeling.
The voice acting in the game helps to solidify that too. There are some really good performances and Jim is a really excellent character as he communicates his intentions and evolves over the course of the game.
The rest of the cast does an equally good job.
Then thereís the multiplayer side of the game, one which I did get to spend some time with and mentioned in my last article. Iíll refresh it here right nowÖ
It plays like it does on the tin, and Iím not all that into the multiplayer side of the game. It works though and itís relatively lag free. I did have a few initial issues with it and at one point it crashed.
When it works itís really quite fun and I can see a lot of Lost Planet fans enjoying a return to being able to use the old VS mechs from the first couple of games.
With all that said: why is the game only an 8?
The multiplayer crash didnít help and the load times can be a bit on the long side, especially when youíre used to quicker loads on other games. Whilst the game is really well detailed it doesnít push the boundaries of an 8.5 or a 9 title.
Donít discount it just because itís an 8 though, give it a try and see what you think yourselves Ė because at the end of the day Iím just a gamer who loves games and Iím sharing what I think about this one. You might love it, you might hate it Ė if you donít play it though howíre you going to know?
I personally think the gameís superb fun and visually stunning when the big set pieces kick off. Thatís good enough for me when Iím enjoying it for the spectacle and competent shooter / mech game it is.
Catch you out there on EDN-III I hope, just listen for the country music in the distance.