Can Spark Unlimited provide a fresh spark for the Lost Planet series? Oh god that was terrible, sorry. We're not even trying. Have a Lost Planet 3 review.
Published on Aug 27, 2013
The first thing that strikes you about Lost Planet 3 is that your main character Jim Peyton is the spitting image of Nic Cage, although strangely enough (especially considering it’s a game) he’s a lot more subtly acted.
While it would be no end of fun to make him run through the game repeatedly screaming ‘I’M A VAMPIRE’ it’d detract from the tale the game’s trying to tell, and it’s one of the things Lost Planet 3 gets dead right.
It’s not anything you haven’t seen before, but the way it’s presented, animated and acted is at times, exceptional.
Apologies for coming across all Daily Mail, but it’s nice to play a third person shooter where people don’t cuss all the time and act like the marines in Aliens.
The bits where a clearly emotional Jim exchanges messages with his wife are a million times more effective than the part in Gears of War 2 where Dom blows his wife’s head off (though he should have just used her as a meat shield).
Jim’s a genuinely likeable working stiff, tootling away on the Lost Planet you’ve seen in the last two games. The game’s a prequel, so it’s all snowy again.
He lumbers around in his mech repairing knackered bits of old machinery, harvesting the natural energy source of the planet and fighting off the akrid, the beasties that run around causing grief. Eventually he cottons on that things aren’t all they should be, and things become increasingly fraught for poor old Jim.
Lost Planet 3’s a totally different beast from its predecessors.
The first was basically Earth Defence Force on ice, and the second was a multiplayer focused monster hunt. Lost Planet 3 will likely disappoint people after the thrills of those games, seeing as it’s ‘gone west.’
It’s sucked pretty bountifully from the decaying teat of Dead Space. Peyton even has the same heads up display system as gloomy old Isaac Clarke, as it pops up on a hologram in-game. It’s much slower paced and tries its hand at horror, and frankly, makes a bit of a balls of it.
The least enjoyable moments of the game come when you’re wandering around abandoned bases, and it tries pulling off all the ‘AAARGH WHAT WAS THAT oh it’s just a steamy vent’ tricks, but they don’t work.
They barely worked in Dead Space either to be honest, but that had all the delicious body horror to fall back on.
Jim’s a bit too happy go lucky for all that. If he was confronted with all the sticky, screeching stuff Isaac goes through he’d probably just say ‘oh my golly gosh that’s a bit grim isn’t it?’
For all that Lost Planet 3 gets right with its character, story and presentation, it stinks up the place a bit with its gameplay.
There’s a hub area that you wander around that’s a bit like the Hoth base from Star Wars, where you upgrade your equipment and talk about the cricket with your workmates, and you go out venturing in the wild with your mech.
It’s superficially an open world but it feels disjointed.
It’s good for the first half, but eventually the formula runs out of steam. Fighting the akrid isn’t that much fun this time around either. It all feels a bit stiff and slow, and one particular Dead Space influenced enemy is a complete ball-ache.
It’s a shame the game itself peters out, because the plot does drive you on, you just have a load of repetitive quests to slog through in order to progress with it.
If they cut out the chaff, made movement a bit freer and made the akrid more fun to fight, it would have been a bit of a cracker. Lost Planet 3 gets the hard stuff right and is ultimately likeable, but its gameplay just isn’t capable of sustaining any warm feelings you might harbour for it.
And as the great Carlito once said, that’s not cool.
Version Tested: Xbox 360
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6.0 / 10
Lost Planet 3 has a lot of heart, but it’s been frozen over by too much chaff and some boring gameplay.