Lost Planet 2

After the moderate success of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition in 2006 for the Xbox 360. Capcom followed it up with a sequel. Lost Planet 2 was released in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Developed and published by Capcom, Lost Planet 2 completely erased the plot and characters of the first game and reset the gameplay into a much more focused multiplayer co-op experience. Would the changes pay off, or was Capcom silly to make the changes?

Story:

WHERE THE HELL IS BRUCE?

Seriously. This was the first thought that came into my head when I started playing Lost Planet 2. You begin in a group of mercenaries that are about to ravage a mining facility that’s controlled by snow pirates. I’m already ahead of myself in the story, but I was thinking that this mission would somehow lead to Bruce and his friends. The more I played Lost Planet 2, the more I realized that this entire story was just a compilation of intertwining stories that wound together every fabric of the planet except for Bruce! I was disappointed, to say the least because I genuinely liked the plot of the first game. I was instantly intrigued by Bruce, his father, and his band of pirates who were fighting for their survival. In the final moments of the previous game, Bruce lost his memory and slowly began regaining it as the snow melted on the frozen planet. It set up perfectly for a sequel to continue Bruce’s path in whatever direction Capcom wanted, but they completely axed him from the story!

We are treated to various short missions that lead up to a major event at the end of Lost Planet 2. The game breaks up the story into six episodes. In the first, you are mercenaries that are sent to destroy a snow pirate mining facility. If you aren’t familiar with the setting of Lost Planet, here’s a brief rundown. The planet is called E.D.N. III and has a similar weather pattern to Hoth from Star Wars. Giant bug-like monsters called Akrid infest the planet while sustaining their life with a type of thermal energy that is extremely valuable.

NEVEC is a mega-corporation that once tried to colonize the planet over 150 years ago after Earth became inhabitable. After most of NEVEC was annihilated by the Akrids, the planet becomes abandoned except for a few NEVEC soldiers who remained on the planet and became snow pirates. Lost Planet 2 combines stories from both the viewpoint of NEVEC and snow pirates and puts you in the shoes of these regular soldiers. Anyway, back to the first episode. You along with other mercenaries storm a mining facility and defeat snow pirates. There are pockets of the planet that have started to unthaw and become tropical jungles due to the technology that Bruce helped launch in the first game. It turns out that you and the mercenaries were set up by central command to fight a giant Akrid classified as a Category G Akrid.

In episode II, you are put into a group of NEVEC soldiers tasked with wiping out a rebel city and capturing a mega weapon in the form of a railgun. After securing the city, an Akrid from space that has the ability to regrow limbs appears and attacks your group. The railgun escapes on train tracks as you are left to defeat the space Akrid on your own.

Moving to episode III, you are now snow pirates who have been living in a desert. You and your pals are returning to your settlement until you are attacked by other pirates. These pirates are the same ones that escaped from the city with the railgun in the previous episode. After defeating them, you take control of the railgun and fight off yet another giant Akrid.

NEVEC begins to split into factions in episode IV. There are soldiers on the planet who are being sacrificed in suicide missions all for the prized possession of thermal energy. Central command finds a giant source of thermal energy in an orb and direct soldiers to go after it. The plan is to have the soldiers harvest it but in the aftermath of the thermal energy harvest, a new ice age will be triggered. This puts you into the shoes of NEVEC soldiers who have defected and plan to storm the NEVEC base in order to stop central command from destroying the planet.

In episode V, you take control of sand pirates. These guys are very “cholo” complete with terrible Mexican accents, and stupid traits. I’m not one to be sensitive about race or characters, I’m just saying these guys were complete idiots. They reminded me a lot of “psychos” from Borderlands with their armor and lack of smarts. It wasn’t fun to play as them as they continued to banter back in forth in terrible accents. Again, I’m not politically correct at all, these guys were just an attempt at inserting humor into the game that missed. They felt very out of place. Anyway, with them, you highjack a huge NEVEC airship and take control of a railgun onboard.

The final episode of Lost Planet 2 has the player take control of the NEVEC defects as they invade central command in space. They highjack a laser weapon from the space station capable of causing mass destruction when fired onto the planet. They plan to kill the Akrid known as “Over-G” which is causing all the chaos on the planet. The soldiers descend onto the planet with robotic suits and with the help of snow pirates fight their way to the core of the Akrid. They tag the GPS onto the Akrid and the laser fires onto it killing it.

Lost Planet 2 ends with the mercenaries and pirates together as off in the distance they can spot a few Akrid flying around. A helicopter takes the soldiers away and the credits roll. WHERE IS BRUCE?!

Gameplay:
The plot was changed dramatically in Lost Planet 2, but the gameplay didn’t see as drastic changes. No longer will you have to watch your thermal energy count down as you make your way through the level. It still plays a role, as it acts as your health bar and source of power. Collecting it after defeating enemies is key but I only died two or three times during my playthrough.

Lost Planet 2 wasn’t particularly challenging. I loved the short missions and checkpoints. There were about five-to-six missions in each episode with each mission lasting 5 to 10 minutes. It’s perfect for someone with a short attention span or if you mindlessly want to blast some Akrid or soldiers for a half-hour before moving on to obligations. Speaking of the Akrid, there are about ten different kinds you’ll face in your missions ranging from human-sized Akrids to thousand-foot ones. The big boss fights are fun but not as challenging as the first game. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to secure missile launchers or Gatlin guns. There will be VS suits scattered about too and because of this, I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment when defeating the bosses. It felt too easy.

The big shift in gameplay was the huge focus on co-op. You can team up locally with up to three friends or you can host a game with an online lobby. I didn’t do any of this as I don’t have friends so I teamed up with A.I. and formed a team of four. These soldiers work great together and defeat enemies with or without you. This was a great example of useful A.I. as opposed to other games that give you helpless soldiers who just get in your way. I didn’t feel like I was doing all the work. They too, killed just as many Akrid as I did.

Lost Planet 2 was relatively short, I was able to beat it in about six hours. The entire game felt more like a DLC pack with the random missions as opposed to a full game in a series. I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters like I did in the first game and because of this, I wasn’t bummed when it was over.

Memories:
I beat Lost Planet 2 in just a few days playing about two hours at a time. My Xbox One was hooked up to my bedroom television, so I was under the covers in the dead of winter while I plugged Akrids full of bullets.

Overall:
Capcom had a “hidden gem” with the original Lost Planet. I loved the corny characters and was invested in Bruce and his pals. Lost Planet 2 loses all of the charms of the first game and gives you what feels like a compilation of DLC side missions while making no mention of whatever happened to Bruce. There’s fun to be had in the brief run of the game, but this feels like a budget game rather than a triple AAA sequel.

Lost Planet 2 scores a 6.9 out of 10.

Do you remember when Lost Planet 2 first came out? WHERE IS BRUCE? What did you think of the change of gameplay and story? Did you play it with your buddies? Which game did you like better the first or the second? Let me know your memories and thoughts I’d love to read the comments.

If you’d like to own a copy of Lost Planet 2, you can purchase a used copy of it for the Xbox 360 for $9 on eBay.

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