Lost Planet 2 - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Lost Planet 2
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

To paraphrase a popular developer, sequels have to be “bigger, better and more badass.” With more enemies and a larger scale, Capcom’s Lost Planet 2, the sequel to one of the Xbox 360’s first big break out hits is definitely bigger. You could also make the argument that the game’s high end production values and big budget effects make it more badass, but unfortunately –it’s far from better. In fact, Lost Planet 2 is somehow a step backwards for the franchise.

Lost Planet 2 absolutely nails everything that makes it “next-gen;” it looks gorgeous, it’s got fantastic explosions and high powered artillery, it’s just the basics that the folks at Capcom got so very wrong.  The AI is terrible, the missions have no structure and perhaps the worst sin of all for an action game like this – the game relies too heavily on showing players what’s happening, rather than having them as active participants.

Taking place ten years after the events of the first game, Lost Planet 2 places players on a far different E.D.N III than players of the first game will remember. Much of the icy areas are now completely melted away to reveal lush jungles and intricate hideaways. I like the fact that we’re seeing a different side of the locale, but I was a big fan of the way Capcom used the wintery effects in gameplay – how enemies would be hard to see when the snow got too bad. Spoilers aside, there’s a bit of that here (especially in the later levels), but it just doesn’t feel the same.

"...one of the most uneven games of this generation"

 
   

As in the first game, you’re cast in the role of multiple factions amid a civil war for Thermal Energy (or T-ENG as the game refers to it). The levels featuring a heavy dose of human VS human combat tend to be the most boring, as the game really hits its stride when you’re battling against the game’s real enemies, The Akrids. Think of the Akrids as the bugs from Starship Troopers except just more pissed off.  The times I found myself enjoying Lost Planet 2 the most was when I was surrounded by giant Akrids, blowing them to bits, rather than just playing a sub-par third person shooter.

Unfortunately, Lost Planet 2 is one of the most uneven games of this generation. In a good portion of the levels, there’s no rhyme or reason for the layouts and you often feel like you’re wandering around a maze. This is due largely to the fact that the game’s map feature is all but broken. It’s a pretty modern convenience that in game maps let you know when your objective is either above or below you oh no, not in Lost Planet. Regardless of whether you need to go up or down, the map stays the same, causing you to play a guessing game and getting very frustrated.

"...the game doesn’t play by any sort of consistent rule set."

 
   

Too often throughout Lost Planet 2’s main campaign you’ll find yourself engrossed in the action, feeling like you’re racing towards a climactic moment, only to have control stripped from you at the last possible second. There are two things that ruin games for me – invisible walls and when developers insist on showing players things rather than letting them do it. Yes, I would love to take out that giant Akrid, this is a video game, why would I just want to watch it? Combine this with the fact that the game doesn’t play by any sort of consistent rule set. One of your most trusted tools is your grappling hook, which can apparently hook onto the particles in the air because you won’t need a structure to latch on to in order to use it. Also, why does falling in water represent instant death in some levels but other take place entirely submerged?

As a whole, Lost Planet 2 becomes much more enjoyable when you play Co-op with real live people, instead of the completely brain dead AI.  When playing over Xbox Live, I couldn’t help but be reminded of classic arcade style shooters like Contra. The Co-op mode isn’t without its fair share of flaws. My main gripe is that rather than featuring a drop-in, drop-out system, you can only play with players that have made it to where you are in the game. Want to play with your buddy who just got the game? Sorry, you’ll have to wait until they play through. Also, if you’re playing a team based game, the entire squad’s health is tied to a single bar that depletes whenever someone dies so if you have a complete idiot on your team, be prepared to suffer.

Lost Planet 2 truly hits its stride when you can lose yourself in its B-Movie style action plot. It’s only when you start to notice the fine details (and the not so fine) that you really notice how much of a mess Lost Planet 2 is. Most sequels are steps in the right direction, Lost Planet 2 feels like three backwards. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Unlockables, Achievements List, Trophies List

There’s a few cheats available already for Lost Planet 2, some that are helpful and some that are novel.  Capcom loves to whore out their properties, and by performing certain tasks you can unlock characters like Frank West from Dead Rising and Albert Wesker from Resident evil.

Looking for something a bit more helpful? There are a few other tasks that allow you to open up exclusive weapons for use in game.

 

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