Failure To Engage: Lost Planet sequel never finds its way | Film Events | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Screen » Film Events

Failure To Engage: Lost Planet sequel never finds its way

Lost Planet was a straight-ahead shooter that distinguished itself with its large, harsh landscape. Set on the snow-covered planet of E.D.N. III, the game made survival precarious.

by

comment

Lost Planet was a straight-ahead shooter that distinguished itself with its large, harsh landscape. Set on the snow-covered planet of E.D.N. III, the game made survival precarious. It was only by battling the native life forms and dominant government that I was able to scrape together the energy required to keep myself from freezing.

The sequel, however, has migrated to warmer climates. E.D.N. III has accumulated deserts and sprouted jungles, making it much more like a generic videogame planet instead of, well, Lost Planet. It also makes it possible for me to walk through water and sand with as little effect as when I passed through snow.

In the first game, the flat, bland world made some sense. The emphasis was on the shooting and surviving. I wasn't supposed to worry that I wasn't leaving tracks or having a tough time slogging through snowdrifts. But as E.D.N. III's environment has diversified, the detail of my character's actions in it should also expand. Instead, I pass through ponds without sending so much as a ripple.

After Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, where the environment was deadly and active, this feels lazy. Without the snow, I now need to kill monsters just because it's a videogame and I have a gun in my hand. The jungle environment is just a jungle, and the monster juice is merely health for when I get hurt.

Instead of a unified environment and scenario, Lost Planet 2 seems to be geared towards confrontations with large alien monsters. Towering with all of the power of current-generation game consoles, the big bad guys are usually fixed in space, emerging from the ground or water, and they only share space with me when they reach out to smash me or send a gob of toxic goo flying my way. For the most part it feels like I'm standing in front of a wraparound movie screen battling a hi-res rear projection.

I'm sure they'd love to get out and lumber around Lost Planet 2 a little more. I know I would. I'm even equipped with a grappling hook. But instead of using it to ascend towering architectural features or zoom across vast expanses (like I did in Just Cause 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum), I barely use it to scale obstacles and rappel down steep slopes. Most of the action remains on a single plane - straight ahead shooting. At least that hasn't changed.

THE GOOD: Like the first game, Lost Planet 2 occasionally allows me to climb into a mechanized suit of armor and attack my foes in the form of a walking, stalking machine gun. During these sequences the game takes on the heightened sensations of being big and powerful. Too bad it doesn't last.

THE BAD: My enemies act like numbskulls. When guarding a room with two doors and three windows, they stay facing the same corner and don't seem to mind when I walk in and shoot them. They like to stand together in grenade-friendly clusters, and they often refuse to shoot me until I haul out my own gun and engage them.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Lost Planet 2 lost it.

Lost Planet 2
★★✩✩✩
Rated Teen; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

About The Author

Speaking of Game On

Add a comment

More by Source Weekly

Latest in Film Events