Capcom and Spark Unlimited's Lost Planet 3 is currently going through an exercise of what happens when you take an established concept and then try to neutralize it with the most generic AAA tropes a marketing team can muster for a product. This game, that no one asked for and no one will remember, is launching tomorrow on August 27th for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC... and no one will be there.
PC Gamer rolled out a brief article, working as a historical reminder about a game that has fallen so far off the radar that you would need Russian, American and Chinese satellites to try to pick it up... and even then, you would get less than anything remotely resembling a noticeable blip.
So what makes this game so worthless? So forgettable? So unimportant in the realm of video games? Well, it wasn't designed with love... that's for one. Second, it's a cash-in and not a progressive expansion to what was already established in the first two games.
While Capcom's E.X. Troopers actually takes the paradigm established within the lore and universe of the Lost Planet franchise and expands on it with a completely different take, both visually and gameplay wise, it still manages to include a lot of what gamers loved about Lost Planet 2, especially involving the cooperative modes, the various weapon unlocks and the character customization.
Lost Planet 3 practically got rid of everything that made Lost Planet 2 so memorable, from the amazing variety of mechs and vehicles to pilot (limiting players to just one moderately customizable mech instead) to getting rid of the deep character unlock and customization system, which at least allowed players to create an identity for themselves in Lost Planet 2. The newest title takes monumental steps backward in ways that becomes mind-boggling to anyone who played through the first two games.
And while Lost Planet 2 wasn't big on a coherent story, it was at least steeped in some of the most fun and enjoyable gameplay mechanics present in a third-person shooter. Grappling around that small desert town that was being royally destroyed by those giant bugs was intense. Working with a few friends to file-in and load up the bullets for that giant cannon while taking on that massive sand worm on the train stage was unforgettable. Those were moments in which nostalgia could be crafted.
Limiting the story and mechanics to a linear path following a family man named Jim Peyton, just feels like such a typical, forgettable, third-person Unreal Engine-based shooter that will collect dust once gamers finish the proverbial eight-hour single-player campaign.
It would have been such an excellent swan song for this generation had Capcom closed out the trilogy with a bigger, more expansive version of Lost Planet 2 – if the third game featured more mechs, more guns, more customization, more baddies and overall, more of everything from the second game (even if it was supposed to be a prequel) I think they could have had a moderate winner on their hands.
Going the desperate, QTE-style AAA route with your typical all-American hero fighting against the odds to get back to his family will leave Lost Planet 3 on the large shelf of mostly forgotten AAA sequels that core gamers were pelted with this generation.
What's that? ... Is that an OUYA commercial calling?