On a frozen wasteland, somewhere in deep space, humanity battles for survival against the extreme weather conditions, themselves and the strange beasts that inhabit the land. In one sentence, Capcom’s new 360 title has been summed up. Not to say that the game is limited in scope, oh no, that would dismiss the time and talent poured into this new Capcom offering.
Keiji Inafune (Onimusha, Dead Rising) along with Producer Jun Takeuchi (Onimusha 3 and Resident Evil 5) have been drafted in to produce this new epic. Carrying on a tradition set out by the Onimusha series, Lost Planet uses a real person as the hero of this tale. In this instance it is Korean Actor Byung Hun Lee, who currently is a rising star in his home country and Japan. Now I will admit, I have never heard of him or any of his work but at the recent unveiling of Lost Planet, Byung Hun Lee did show his admiration for the Resident Evil and Onimusha series. Likewise, Inafune said he was a big fan of Byung Hun Lee’s work. So, looks like Capcom are off to a happy start.
Capcom have never been a development company that shirks away from new ideas and graphical trickery and in Lost Planet this really shows. From the outset, Lost Planet is very white, with huge snow covered tundra’s spanning for miles and miles. Snow drifts in and covers everything, even the bigger cities and towns are snow covered making it a little bland initially. I mean, there is only so much fun you can have freezing your bits off, wandering around waist deep in snow. This is not to say that snow is your only problem. Amidst all of this festive covering, the planets inhabitants battle for survival, not only against themselves but against whatever lurks out in the deep snow.
The battle seems to split three ways with humans, the indigenous planet life and huge beasts that have invaded, all trying to survive/kill everything. Initially you may think this will turn into a very boring mix of white stuff and repetitive shooting of monsters but Capcom have added something else to this game. Big stomping battle suits. The developers are no stranger to the mech world since it was them that produced the fantastic, if overly complicated, Steel Battalion series. So fusing the Resident Evil and Onimusha gameplay styles and throwing in some gun-based mech action, Capcom have crafted something they hope will keep people entertained and immersed for hours and hours.
Graphics wise the game looks very much like most of Capcom‘s next-gen titles. Characters, environment and enemies all have a huge amount of detail, which will add to the immersion factor they are searching for. The title reminds me of a mix between the old Koei Title, Crimson Sea and Capcom’s own Steel Battalion series. Crimson Sea had a great shooting mechanic, an insane amount of monsters on the screen and a story based upon bugs and monsters invading the world, trying to kill everyone. The mech part of Lost Planet does remind me of Steel Battalion but that is understandable since Capcom made the game. Maybe not as epic as Steel Battalion since the scale of the game and the dedication to play the games was huge but the feel of jogging around in a mech suit, trampling things and letting loose with a few rockets, looks perfect. Time will tell if Capcom have managed to nail the on-foot gameplay and the mech action but going by the trailer, things seem to be coming along nicely.
In a slightly odd twist, Capcom have already announced that Lost Planet will be fully Live enabled. Not just some scoreboards or downloadable content, Capcom have said they want to incorporate online teamplay. I am hoping that this includes an online co-op mode as stomping around the snow, wasting aliens, with my friends with me could be a great laugh and an interesting change to the Live community. I am sure Capcom may do a cheeky nod to Microsoft Studio’s MechAssault and throw in some Deathmatch, CTF and Assault modes. Hopefully the title will be able to stand out and add something to the mech genre instead of people saying it was just a blatant rip-off of MechAssault.
Overall, Lost Planet looks to have a good mix of epic single player story, some stunning graphics, strong gun and mech gameplay and online play in one form or another. Going by this short preview, I am sure Capcom will be onto a winner, but in the end, it will be the players that will decide Lost Planet’s fate.
Originally Written By: Barrie Rogers