Should you return to E.D.N III for a second time?
The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The game will centre on the fictional corporation known as NEVEC (NEo-VEnus Construction) and their ongoing war to gain T-ENG (Thermal-ENerGy). Player(s) will assume control of a group of soldiers battling the Akrid: a race of large insects native to E.D.N. III. The Akrid have expanded their armies and return much more powerful in Lost Planet 2.
The original Lost Planet 2 did well in terms of sales, but was met with mixed reviews. I personally enjoyed parts of it, while the arcade-style nature of it wasn’t to my liking. Not surprisingly, a sequel dawns upon us and teaches us to “Kill the Big”, but should you plan your vacation somewhere other than E.D.N III this time?
The first thing that is different about Lost Planet 2 is that the campaign can be played with 4 players online and offline. If you choose to play the game solo, you will be lumbered with 3 AI characters that will repeatedly get themselves killed and the experience just isn’t as fun as it is with other real players. The campaign is split up into levels with short sections in between; it’s also quite short apart from a few boss battles that will test your patience as they are long and difficult.
Gameplay consists of the usual shooting, grappling and mech suits that you’ve come to expect, while in some cases you have to capture waypoints as an objective. There’s a competitive side to the co-op as each player tries to get a higher score than its buddies. I have to say that although the campaign is fun played online, it is a little disappointing and problems from the first game still arise that should have been improved upon.
Besides the short campaign, there’s competitive multiplayer that isn’t that special. You get the standard Deathmatches, CTF and territory type of modes, but they are pretty forgettable and sadly, none of it can compete with the other competitors in the third-person genre. It’s a shame because I can see the potential that Lost Planet 2 has, but it just never quite manages to capitalise on it. The story is pretty shallow and serves only as a means for you to go and shoot Akrid.
Visually, the game looks better than the first…but there are some noticeable problems with character models, facial animation is pretty much absent. Levels and effects like explosions are pretty decent, but I have seen better. Voice-acting is forgettable, while the music is perhaps the most redeeming part of the audio as a whole.
Lost Planet 2 is a decent sequel, but it fails to push the series forward in terms of gameplay or originality. I wanted to love it, but instead it all felt very samey and was over before I knew it.