Lost Planet: Extreme Condition was a hidden gem in the 360’s early line-up. The game introduced the planet of EDN III, a planet tagged by humanity as its next home. Playing as snow pirate, you traveled the frozen wastes attempting to thaw the planet out and rid it of the Akrid, giant bugs who appeared on the planet with the sole intent of making sure humanity couldn’t set up shop.
The first game ended with a glimmer of hope for humanity. The Akrid threat was seemingly destroyed and your band of snow pirates was able to kick off a planetary thaw. Lost Planet 2 picks up several years later. The thaw was successful, resulting in a planet-wide environmental shift. The once frozen tundra is now a lush jungle. However, thermal energy – the fuel that makes everything run – is still a hot commodity. On top of that, the Akrid have come out of hiding and are bringing their heavy-hitters.
Lost Planet 2’s scope is much bigger than anything the first game was able to produce. Rather than following one character, you’ll follow several groups as they attempt to make the planet safe. One of the first big changes is the ability to customize your character. The character editor will allow you to build your character from a number of heads, bodies and other armor types. From the start, you’ll have a small selection to choose from, but as you complete mission goals, you’ll earn new parts. You’ll also get the chance to select your character’s weapon type and emote animations.
Another big addition is four-player co-op. Capcom isn’t talking specifics, but up to four players can join missions and defeat bosses in both online and offline multiplayer modes. Based on the bosses on display, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Lost Planet boasted some of the 360’s larger bosses, and the sequel looks to up the ante. One boss on display was a huge six-legged lizard-like Akrid. Even when riding in a mechanized Vital Suit (they’re back too, and feature more weapons options), characters barely come up to his knee. This was one of the game’s smaller bosses. As with the first game, every enemy has an exposed, glowing core that serves as their weak point. During the boss battle, the goal was to attack the glowing point on the creature’s back, pushing it into its body. At this point, a lucky group of troops got to charge into the monster’s open mouth and attack it from the inside before the creature uhm… ejected him out the hole that wasn’t his mouth. Yeah, Lost Planet 2 goes there – but it’s really cool!
Capcom is aiming for a faster play experience with Lost Planet 2. The original was pretty quick, but now you have the option to run. The grappling hook is also back and plays a prominent role in both exploration and boss fights.
Lost Planet 2 is shaping up to be a excellent follow-up to the first game. It takes everything that was great about the original and pumps it up. Look for Lost Planet 2 this winter.