Saturday, September 14, 2013

Definitely Worth Freezing Your Ass Off

Game Mechanics - 1.5/2
Story-line - 1.5/2
Graphics - 1.5/2
Soundtrack - 2/2
Replay Value - 1/2
Total Score - 7.5/10

Hope you wrapped up in layers of warm clothing because this week we are headed off to the frozen tundra of E.D.N. III as we take on the elements and creatures of the world. Equipped with our trusty RIG and handy dandy tools of combat we will overcome all odds on our quest to provide for our family back home on earth. Come along for the epic boss fights and stay for the heartwarming story of Jim Peyton. Lets kick things off as we review Lost Planet 3.

Lost Planet 3 is a third-person shooter video game developed by Spark Unlimited and published by Capcom for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game is the prequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and Lost Planet 2 and takes place on the same planet of E.D.N. III. The game takes a more story-driven narrative approach to the campaign similar to the first game. The game takes place long before the events of the first game, and hence the planet of E.D.N. III is still in an ice-age like environment rather than the tropical environment of the second game that occurs after the events of the first game. It takes place during the time of the first few human colonists on E.D.N. III sent there by the Neo-Venus Construction company or NEVEC, who later become the main antagonists for the series.

The game follows the story of Jim Peyton, a colonist who is working for a company called NEVEC and helping mine the planet of E.D.N. III and sending minerals back to Earth, where his family awaits him. Though as the story progresses Jim begins to unravel the dark secrets of the NEVEC organization. The game's gameplay will be more similar to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition with a story-driven adventure rather than Lost Planet 2 which replaced the plot focused narrative with a simple co-op campaign. Using the game's mission-based setup, players can choose to take on core quests that progress the story arc, or side-quests which will grant you additional rewards to improve your character and overall gameplay experience. The game will allow players to openly explore areas in a style similar to your average RPG (Role-playing Game) with the ability to talk to non-player characters, obtain side-quests, upgrade equipment and improve on your RIG using items gathered throughout the campaign. Much to the delight of myself and others like me Thermal energy will no longer be tied to the characters life support, and instead will primarily be used as a form of currency, giving the player a slight reprieve from worrying about such things while battling.

What’s Good:
Game Mechanics -  Minor things here and there make this aspect polished such as the ability to have custom music play in game while in your RIG, the dodge system mechanic is balanced enough that you can't abuse it and be overpowered in fights, and finally having the player be able to spend money to buy special components that can only otherwise be randomly found out in the world help make it feel like less of a grind or chore to seek these out. All in all nothing groundbreaking but they hit all the proper aspects to deliver an enjoyable and well executed gameplay experience.

Story-line - Thankfully they made this game somewhat of a prequel to the original game. So this gives the developer/publisher the leeway to reboot the series if needed after the mixed reviews that Lost Planet 2 got. As well it opens up the market appeal of the game to newcomers that may not have played the first two by eliminating the awkwardness of not knowing the backstory of the series and being able to dive right in and connect with the characters.

Graphics -  Yet again nothing groundbreaking here but still manages to deliver a solid presentation. Utilizing the Unreal Engine 3 this time around instead of the MT Framework graphics engine that was used for the two previous titles.

Soundtrack - Music is appropriate for all the exciting and somber moments throughout the game, considering the lack of press  and advertising this game got you would think the soundtrack was a big budget orchestra production. As I also mentioned you can put your own music into the game as well to be played while you are in your RIG. Granted I played on PC but I would imagine all versions of the game have access to this feature as it is a simple feature but one that will always improve the quality of a game.

What’s Bad:
Game Mechanics - Certain aspects of the fighting system feel sluggish on a whole, especially movement which tend to detract from the intense fast paced action sequences you find yourself in at times.

What Should Have Been Added:
Even though this game has been seen as a Dead Space 3 clone I feel they could have gone the route of Mass Effect 3 and made the story something truly epic and engaging. This would have capitalized on the potential for rebooting the series and have the choices you make shape the future releases of the game. Since the game is already so story driven and dialogue is well executed, I think having an interactive story where you base progression on choices as well as relationships and missions would have been amazing.

Final Thoughts:
This game really should have come out during the usual summer drought of games that occurs so it could get the exposure it deserves. Sadly it came out towards the end and was quickly swept under the hype of other games such as the upcoming GTA V as well as Saints Row IV, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Killer Is Dead, and Madden NFL 25. This game is a solid release and if you are a fan of the series or third person shooters then you should definitely give this game a shot. Granted its nothing revolutionary to change the gaming industry but it is a very solid game and without a doubt worth your time and attention. If you still have doubts you can pick it up at a reduced price currently for $49.99 on Steam. Sorry console players but you still got to pay full price at $60 for the time being which by no means should deter you from enjoying the game. At the very least if that isn't feasible you can checkout my gameplay with commentary footage...

Thanks For Stopping By