Reviews// Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Posted 26 Feb 2008 18:30 by
Capcom must surely hate me. Here I am in late February at the end of the dirge of grey misery that is the arse end of British winter - and for the second time in two years it releases a game based on being freezing. It's called Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and his time it's for the PS3.

So, before we go any further, what goes on on a lost planet? Well, 'tis cold indeed in a 'don't expect to ever see your testicles again' kind of way. It's this sub-zero climate that drives the look, storyline and core gameplay hook.

In Lost Planet it's going to take everything you've got to keep warm and stay alive - let alone kill other entities. You'll have to deal with freezing conditions, giant monsters and pirates with flying mech-suits. To stay alive, you'll need to collect red gooey stuff that oozes forth from the above-mentioned monsters to keep your body heat up.

You play as Wayne Holden, a chap who's been discovered by other characters (a token purple haired chick for one) in a mech suit ('Vital Suit', or VS) not remembering a whole lot. We've all been there, right? What is clear from the fog of your memories is the fact that your father has not long since been killed. So, off you trot to shoot monsters and snow pirates, collecting the gooey stuff as you goes.

Any mention of Fallout 3 in the cold is to be disparaged at this point.

Capcom has certainly taken its time releasing the game across its various platforms. Lost Planet's first iteration saw release on the Xbox 360 on January 12, 2007 on British shores, while the PC version made its way here on June 29th the same year. Now, over a year after the initial release, the game has hit the PS3. The question is, therefore, how has it fared in a transition that it has taken 13 and a half months to make?

Much fuss has been made about the perils of developing for the PS3. Rockstar has claimed it as one of the factors causing the delay of Grand Theft Auto IV. Ubisoft had problems with the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed that didn't occur on the 360. John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, has said of the console, “It’s a little bit more of a challenging development environment for us".

Capcom, for its part, claimed no other reason for going with the 360 initially than development tools. “We got the tools the quickest”, said Keiji Inafune, head of research and development at Capcom. “They gave us the kits first and there you go. I can have tons of different ideas. I can say I want to make different kinds of cakes, different soufflés, whatever. If they don't give me the pans, the pots, the knives the forks to make it, then I can't make it.”

So, we come back to the initial question: given a year to port Lost Planet to the PS3, how well has it travelled? Having reviewed the 360 version last January, I saddled up the PS3 to find out.

The answer, in a nutshell, is 'reasonably'.

The team has done a solid job of bringing a solid game to the PS3. It's still good fun. It still looks fairly purdy. It still has a serviceable storyline.

But... well, there are a couple of gripes to be had.
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