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Lost Planet 3 depresses me. It's one of those games that looks like a lot of other games. I'm sure the marketers will do their fair bit to encourage gamers that it's not just another cash-in sequel, but it's such a far cry from Lost Planet 2 that it makes you wonder: What were you thinking Capcom?
Well, Capcom producer and project leader for Lost Planet 3, Andrew Szymanski, had a few things to say about Lost Planet 3 and made some comparisons of what the game was like and what the game was not like...and it's not like Lost Planet 2.
In an interview with Sebastian Haley from GamesBeat, Szymanski stated that...
Basically, we went in and we said that LP2 was great as sort of a party shooter. If you got people all together online, you could enjoy all this great stuff in both the campaign mode and the dedicated multiplayer as well. But you didn’t have the grounding in the characters. You never knew who the character was. He was kind of a faceless guy.
In this way, Lost Planet 3 is a more personal story about Jim Peyton and his adventures on E.D.N 3. If you keep up with some of the trailers, you'll note that the game's story looks awfully similar to Tom Cruise's Oblivion. Nevertheless, the move was to help give new players a grounding in the world of Lost Planet 3, something that Szymanski felt was missing from Lost Planet 2.
Now here's where we completely disagree: I loved Lost Planet 2. I loved the customization, I absolutely loved, loved, loved the replayability factors; I loved the non-linear boss battles; I loved hopping into the different shoes of each faction so it didn't feel like some nationalistic propaganda bull-crap that we're force-fed in every other shooter *cough*Call of Duty, Gears of War*cough*. The ability to level-up and modify your character, unlock new equipment and deck out your male or female soldier the way you wanted was marvelous. After beating the game a few times I went back and just played through various levels and fought various bosses. Lost Planet 2 is a rare gem that – 10 years from now – people will go back and play and enjoy for being so steeped in fun-factors.
The problem with a game like Lost Planet 3 is that after beating the main campaign one would have to question why would you go back to play it again? The last I played of Lost Planet 2 I was trying to gain some extra money after unlocking and playing as Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. Will Lost Planet 3 have the same replay factors? Will gamers be able to beat the game, unlock skins or weapons and do it all over again? The four-player co-op also made Lost Planet 2 such a great experience and with that vital feature missing, what does Lost Planet 3 have to compensate?
According to Szymanski, there are additional side-missions and quests to flesh out the story...
You’re constantly expanding the world. Then, as soon as you’ve entered an area for the first time, you can go back there at any time. You’re literally and thematically exploring the planet. You’re introducing new areas as you go along.
I'm not really impressed with any of the slow-motion QTEs or the one-man-army style of play anymore, especially when you're supposed to be an “average guy (or gal)” in games like this or Tomb Raider or I Am Alive. It sort of worked in the first two Dead Space games because they were (mostly with the first game) minimalist experiences like the first Alien or John Carpenter's The Thing.
Hopefully I'm wrong. Hopefully my instincts to point out a blockbuster stinker are way off base and this game is nothing like the trailers portray and nothing like the mainstream shooter snooze-fests that other companies have been churning out lately. However, I hold out on this hope based on my love for Lost Planet 2. With a minor delay towards the end of this summer, I guess we'll find out if Lost Planet 3 is as good a game as its predecessor.