The immediate thing that separates the two versions is the required 5GB installation
of the game onto your PS3's hard drive. This is the second Capcom title for the PS3 this year to implement this (Devil May Cry 4 being the other). Even though this install takes a lot less time to do, clocking in at roughly 12 minutes over DMC4’s 20 minute wait, this should have been an option and not a necessity.
For those of you who have never played the Xbox 360 version, Lost Planet takes place on the ice world of E.D.N. III, where human colonists fight against deadly creatures called the Akrid, who inhabit the planet. You play as Wayne, a snow pirate who joins forces with the colonist on a mission to find and destroy the massive creature known as the “Green Eye” who killed his father.
The action takes place in the third person perspective, and the control scheme seems to have been translated accurately from the 360 version, so anyone who’s familiar with the PS3's controller will have no problem figuring things out. You can only carry up to two weapons at a time, but you’ll always have your trusty grappling hook to get you to higher ground at the tap of a button. There are a wide variety of weapons for the taking, ranging from the basic machine gun, sniper rifle and shotgun, to cooler toys like exploding disc and gum grenades.
The single player campaign offers 11 missions, and there are two ways to do battle, either on foot or by hopping into a Vital Suit (VS), which acts as a battle mech. The levels are very large, making way for fast paced battles that are right out of flicks like Starship Troopers and The Thing. The explosions that highlighted the Xbox 360 version still shine on the PS3, and in my opinion Lost Planet still has the best explosions you’re going to find in a game.
The creatures in Lost Planet also provide a means of survival for humans because when they are killed they leave behind a liquid form of thermal energy that can be stored via a device attached to your body. If your HUD indicates that you’re too low and you run out of this thermal fluid, you will instantly freeze to death.
Each mission ends with a huge boss battle that requires you to basically find the massive creature’s weak spot and then blast it with everything in your arsenal until it comes down. Though not innovative in any way, these boss battles are an old school delight that will keep your adrenaline flowing.
Graphically both versions look equal, which is a letdown because after almost a year’s time you would expect some type of graphical upgrade, but instead if you look at them both side by side nothing gives one the edge over the other. The only real upgrade for the PS3 version is the added features already on the disc, which includes the downloadable content that Xbox owners could only get via Xbox Live. These map packs include, Island 902, Trial Point, Ruins, Ice Drop, Lost Technology, Radar Field, Hive Complex and Battleground. You can also unlock and play as multiple characters in both the campaign and online modes, like Luka, a female colonist who is seen in the various cut scenes. Other playables include characters not even associated with the game, such as Mega Man and Frank West from another Capcom title, Dead Rising. It’s odd, but a nice perk.
At a lower price of $40, PS3 owners seem to be getting a pretty good deal here, because no matter what you play it on, Lost Planet is still a good game. And could it be that adding Frank West as a playable character is a hint from Capcom that a version of Dead Rising is in the works for the PS3? Hmmmm.
Lost Planet is a good speaker blaster game because there’s so much action going on that bullets and explosions will fill your room. Even during the few quiet moments, you can hear the ambience of the wind beating across the snow and your characters boot’s pounding across the terrain. The voice work is pretty lame with bad dialogue and acting, but it fits in the context of this game, which is on the level of your basic Japanime flick.
It’ll take you about 8 hours to knock out the single player mode, but there are three difficulty settings to increase the challenge and new characters become unlocked. There are also hidden coins in each mission with a single letter stenciled on them that can be collected to spell out words that are displayed on the ending stat screens of each level to earn points. Logging on to the PSN network, up to 16 players can shoot it out in various multiplayer matches, and with the new maps included there should be quite a lot of online activity to keep you going for a while.
Lost Planet will make a great addition to your PS3 library, and the $40 price is right, especially for those who have never played the game at all, this is a must have. The 5GB required install
is still a black cloud hovering over the game, because there are plenty larger-sized PS3 games like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, which are just pop in and play, so there’s no excuse for Lost Planet, which ran fine on a regular DVD on the Xbox 360. Plus, 5GB is a lot to ask for when most gamers only have a 40GB PS3. Are certain developers making us erase our games off of our drives to install new ones? Let’s hope this is just a phase.
Check out our Xbox 360 review of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition