By Paul Iuzzolino 09/05/13
Lost Planet 3 unveils some new truths about the planet and the colonial history of E.D.N. III by returning players to the harsh conditions that made the Lost Planet series what it is, but now the conditions are even harsher then before. In this game, you follow the character of Jim, a pilot who has come from Earth to take on a contract on E.D.N III created by Neo-Venus Construction (NEVEC). NEVEC's needs more Thermal Energy, and the fate of the planet solely relies on the location of a natural source of energy. Jim sees the big cut in this contract, as well as being able to return home early; so he decides to take on this contract. Now Jim has to brave this hostile environment and the Akrid. As you play this game, you will use a utility rig that will give you safety from the creatures of this environment, as well as the changing climate. This game is a prequel to the first Lost Planet, and while you see frustration from the first game disappear, the game still loses attributes that make the series so appealing. Mostly you get a love and hate relationship with this game. You do find big insect type enemies, but you never encounter monstrous enemies. Lost Planet 3 does well with the storytelling, as we see Jim doing his best to secure a better financial future for his family. Jim is a good father, as you see him doing video messages with his wife and son.
The video messages are very natural and are delivered in a very graceful manner. Jim's characteristics are show in the video by his love and adoration for his family. Lost Planet 3 doesn't really do too much melodrama, but instead it allows the characters to find their way through difficult circumstances. A french accent from one character and an overeager engineer make the story hit a sour note, but it makes you invest in the characters more after a slow start. There is a lot of repetition in this game; mostly in every mission you have to go into the icy environment to perform various tasks. Some of the repetitious tasks involve flipping switches and riding many elevators. The character of Jim himself even states in a dialogue how predictable his missions are. As you do these missions, you fight the Akrid, an alien race that gets their power from the thermal energy of the planet. In the previous games when you fought the Akrid, you would get thrown around, and it was both frustrating and compelling. Now in Lost Planet 3, you could fight the biggest Akrid without having to worry about being tossed around and paralyzed.
Even though this game has greater playability, there is still of a lot of great predictability. It doesn't matter which creature you face, the tactics remain the same. The creature charges at you and when you move out of the way the creature gets stuck, and you shoot at the glowing sections of the creature's body. The smaller creatures can be easily be taken out with just one or two shots from a shotgun. All of the gameplay mostly takes place in gray corridors and snowy areas. There is joy in watching orange thermal energy burst from an Arkid when you kill it. This game does away with the vital suits and replaces it with a mining mechanism called The Rig. The Rig does have enormous power to it, as well as a claw that you could use to grab smaller Arkid with. You could also use a drill on The Rig to kill the Arkid. The Rig's claw and drill comes in handy when you face a big Akrid; you could grab one of the Arkid's limbs and drill into its joints. Even though there isn't much variety in facing the big Arkid creatures, it's pretty fun to watch the thermal energy come out of them. The thermal energy in this game is now used as currency to buy and upgrade weapons.
On the PC, the graphics are not as stunning as they were with the previous games. The animations are not that clean and are rather clumsy, and the cut scenes are blurry. These defects are even more noticeable if you turn up the resolution on the graphics. Other defects you will find in the game are invisible walls and trouble with frame rates on consoles. Also some of the bosses get stuck in places in the environment. The grapple hook works better in the online multiplayer then in the other modes in the game. Some modes you won't see in this game are cold fugitive mode and persistent faction battles. The most predominate modes in multiplayer are team deathmatch, objective based scenario, and extraction mode. Even though these modes are pretty standard, they do offer a fun factor to them. Akrid survival mode is by far the most intriguing mode to play; in this mode you have several teams that are facing Akrids, and then you are brought together to take control of a central structure. Even though the missions don't feel like they are very urgent, the story itself pulls you through the game. This game does have some fun aspects to it, but the identity of Lost Planet gets lost in the gameplay.
Urban Gamerz 411 Gives Lost Planet 3