Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Lost Planet comes to us from the creator of Mega Man and Phoenix Wright, Keiji Inafune. With such a diverse pedigree it can’t help but be a fun gameplay experience. The graphics shine on the Xbox 360 as they should, with absolutely no slowdown even with uncountable enemies on the screen.

The action of the game takes place throughout the frozen world of E.D.N. III, a world in the midst of colonization in the future. No word is given on why humanity felt the need to abandon their original home, but their determination to colonize is firm, motivated in no small part by the newfound thermal energy within the bodies of the planet’s only inhabitants, the insectile Akrid. You play the role of Wayne, an amnesiac who can only remember two things: his name and the death of his father at the hands of the giant Akrid Green Eye.

This energy source is a vital gameplay element, as it acts as your primary means of health and as the primary energy source for the Vital Suits you pilot for the more strenuous missions. The VS is essentially a small mecha about two to four times the size of Wayne.

Lost Planet employs a traditional, Halo-inspired control scheme. The left trigger throws your grenades and the right trigger fires your weapon. The third-person camera works well but it does take a bit to get used to. The only different feature of the controls is a grapple gun fired with the X button that you can use to get to out-of-reach ledges.

Boss fights are fun and challenging, ranging from enemy VS’s to giant and imposing Akrid, including the Green Eye who is currently the bane of me. Every Akrid boss has at least one weak spot you need to attack if you want to defeat them, and in the case of Green Eye there are about 13 you will need to target. Most boss battles will find you piloting a VS for most of the fight.

Online play is a bit odd. It functions, but not always in the way you expect it to. You have the option to create custom matches or join a quick match. You can customize the weapons, maps and number of characters allowed on the map. My biggest disappointment was with the ranked matches. Although it does an admirable job of tracking your rank, it doesn’t match you with similarly ranked players. So as a noob coming into a ranked game at level 1, it’s a bit intimidating facing players ranked 30 and above—if I wanted to play against a hodgepodge of differently skilled players, I would have joined an unranked game. I also had some odd glitches pop up from time to time, rendering me immobile and invisible.

The game is good, though, despite the lack of co-op play. It controls well, looks pretty and is fun to play. You can’t really ask for much more.