Short Version: Lost Planet 2 gives you: tons of different locales; a wide array of unlockable weapons; a ton of characters; awesome vehicles; and huge monsters. Unfortunately, it somehow loses the premise that made the original game so appealing with a complex control scheme and lackluster online play.
Game Rant’s Riley Little reviews Lost Planet 2
Lost Planet 2 has been one of my most anticipated games since I first got my hands on it at Comic-Con ’09. The second I walked up that giant hill in the demo and saw this giant Akrid rise from the water I knew this game was for me. You had to climb on the monster and shoot all the glowing orange areas of his body, but what really put the demo over for me was the ability to be swallowed whole by the beast only to destroy him from the inside before he would eventually dismiss you from his bowels. The demo was great, but does the final product lose the simplicity that made the demo so fun?
Story and Sound
The story in Lost Planet 2 is nothing special, but that being said I wasn’t really expecting an epic story line and so I wasn’t too concerned when there wasn’t one. The story line follows a bunch of different factions as they wage war against each other. The first mission puts you in the shoes of a mercenary that must infiltrate a jungle pirate mining area and blow the whole thing to hell. After this mission, and eventual boss fight, you then jump into a group of NEVAC soldiers who are on a mission to capture a giant gun mounted on two trains. The story progresses in this matter and it can be a bit tricky to follow, but it all comes together in the end where some key characters stop fighting each other and team up to defeat a greater evil, NEVAC. It’s a decent final chapter, but the last boss is a bigger let down than Fable 2’s — well, maybe not that big.
The music in this game is pretty well done and is for the most part an orchestral soundtrack. The generic main menu theme that plays in the (you guessed it) main menu can be changed to any other piece of music in the game at anytime by simply hitting the ‘RB’ and selecting something else. The music is by no means as epic as Halo, but it suits the game just fine.
The gameplay in Lost Planet 2 is fun, but made extremely complicated by the controls. Grasping the basic play mechanics is easy, but it feels like there were so many different things that the creators of the game wanted to fit in that they over-crowded the button layout. I honestly couldn’t figure out how (and still don’t know how) to roll, which is a pretty crucial element of the game.
Overlooking the complexity of the controls you still have solid core mechanics, which is really what it’s all about. The grappling hook is easily used and quickly becomes a key component in fighting monsters and bad guys. The ability to grab onto a nearby ledge and propel yourself upwards to a higher vantage point always makes you feel bad ass, but you also have the ability to simply hang on the ledge of a cliff or a ceiling and drop down on your enemy to catch him completely off guard. The hook is great, but you realize quickly that it can only be shot once your player has landed on his feet. So you can’t pull a Tarzan and swing from area to area, which is a little bit of a downer.
One of the most hyped features of Lost Planet 2 is the cooperative play. The game promised to deliver an experience like no other, unfortunately it only partially delivered on that promise. The coop is tons of fun, but if you are playing with an inexperienced friend then you are going to be failing missions pretty quickly due to the Battle Gauge located at the top left-hand side of the screen. The Battle Gauge works in increments of 500 points so every time you capture a data post you gain 500, but every time you die you lose 500. Die enough times and it’s “MISSION FAILED”, something that is severely irritating if you have put 30 minutes into a level. Once you have some skilled players to work with though you need to constantly communicate and strategize in order to distract VSs or a monster Akrid.
The split-screen coop that was promised is brought down in awesomeness because of the tiny screens that each player is given. Unlike Halo’s split-screen multiplayer, Lost Planet 2 follows more of a Call of Duty: World at War multiplayer screen layout. This means that each one of the two players gets about a fourth of your television screen. This makes the split-screen gaming feel like a last minute addition that really should have been tweaked before launch.
All of this being said the coop is fun. Once you get into the experience there is a ton of fun to be had by teaming up with a group of friends and taking down giant monsters. Cooperative play becomes especially essential on the third world’s boss when you have to work together to load a huge cannon, energize bombs, put out fires, and get on the cannon to shoot the monster before he swallows your train whole. It’s a rewarding experience with some bosses that you and your friends are going to want to revisit over and over again.