Lost Planet as a series is about as different as it gets when it comes to consistent gameplay and characters. All three main entries have almost nothing to do with each other while drastically changing the gameplay. In 2013, Spark Unlimited was developed while Capcom published Lost Planet 3 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. My Lost Planet 3 review was played through on the Xbox 360. Let’s visit our favorite frozen planet one last time as we uncover the truth in this Lost Planet 3 review.
Lost Planet 3 Plot:
When I first reviewed the original Lost Planet, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters that Capcom had put together to make a team of renegades who were fighting NEVAC, a greedy corporation ruining a mysterious planet. To my surprise, that cast of characters was missing in Lost Planet 2. There was no reference to them and I wondered what the hell happened to that great cast. Instead, Lost Planet 2 was a completely different plot paired with different characters. I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) when Lost Planet 3 had a whole new set of characters from the first and second Lost Planets. The entire series takes the Final Fantasy approach and continues to introduce different groups of characters together.
My Lost Planet 3 review started off as an old man is being crushed by a rock. His granddaughter rushes to his side as they are hiding from some apparent battle. As he lays dying, he begins to confess his sins to her and how he came to the planet. As it turns out, Lost Planet 3 acts as a prequel for the events in Lost Planet as it shows how NEVAC came to the planet.
Throughout the flashbacks, you play as Jim Peyton, a regular joe who took a job with NEVAC helping tame a wild frozen planet that may be resourceful to a dying Earth. He left his wife and newborn child behind to try and create a better life for them. As the game progresses, Jim becomes a company favorite operating a big Mech rig that does a variety of tasks including cleaning out fields or caves full of monsters, repairing broken machinery, and installing new energy posts for the base. It’s not until one mission goes awry where the real conflict of the game begins.
Jim is rescued after his Mech collapses in a cavern by a mysterious woman. He wakes up nearly healed from certain death to discover an underground colony of people. Speaking with Mira, his rescuer, he discovers that the hidden population is actually the first crew that NEVAC sent to the planet nearly sixty years ago. When the first expedition went wrong, only a few of the NEVAC members were able to leave the planet resulting in the remaining workers seeking shelter underground and starting a colony.
As far as conflict and plot goes, my Lost Planet 3 review had the best that the series had to offer. The characters were presented and interacted with each other like real humans. Anger, jealously, trust issues, and humor all intertwined throughout my playthrough. Perhaps the best interaction from my Lost Planet 3 review was the delicate relationship between Jim and his wife who was light years away on another planet. They interacted with recorded video messages and survived off of that. I often wonder if my wife and I could do that and how terrible it would be to be separated by such a distance. If you’ve ever watched the 2009 movie “Moon” you’ll understand exactly how they communicated. When traveling in my Mech rig, occasionally a message would appear for Jim and I’d watch it. The scenes were well done and felt genuine.
Anyway, once Jim is rescued by Mira he soon learns about the lost colony and the troubled history of NEVEC abandoning previous attempts to use the planet. He has to keep it a secret between his NEVEC workers as the colony worries they would be destroyed to erase any evidence of NEVEC abandoning them. The rest of the game is spent walking the fine line between the two camps as Jim decides what to do. Eventually, he believes he can bring peace talks between them and rescue any of the survivors from the abandoned colony that wants to leave.
While that may have been the plan for Jim, those dreams were quickly dashed in my Lost Planet 3 review as higher-ups from NEVEC overtake both camps and begin dishing out new orders. Jim and the survivors work together to combat the new soldiers arriving while sending a fake SOS to NEVEC headquarters warning about terrible monsters who rampage around the planet believing that NEVEC will once again abandon everyone on the planet allowing them to steal the ships and fly freely away.
Jim and members from both the hidden colony and his coworkers team up and fight off the new NEVEC troops but in the process, the ships and satellite are destroyed meaning everyone is stranded. In a weird twist, Jim’s wife and son are transported to the planet as one last favor from the old NEVEC commander and Jim’s boss. Together, Jim and his family along with the rest of the survivors start a life on the planet that preludes into Lost Planet 1.
Lost Planet 3 Gameplay:
My Lost Planet 3 review was both frustrating and fun. It frustrated me because like the plot, the gameplay of all three Lost Planets was completely different. You could name each entry in this series a different title and everyone would believe they are separate games. The first Lost Planet was a run and gun arcade-like game that was timed. You ran across fields during missions and jumped into gun-wielding mechs to battle. Each time you entered the environment you had to constantly suck up energy from the battle to stay alive.
Lost Planet felt like a bunch of DLC missions. There was much less focus on mechs and more focus on teammates during battle. You commanded others as you made your way through battles. Long missions were replaced by short brief bursts of war between two parties before being transported back to the mission select screen. My Lost Planet 3 review encountered something completely different and a welcomed change at that. This felt like a single-player campaign that was linear from start to finish. Gone were the mech battles, and commanding teammates, replaced by a feeling of isolation and horror elements.
Jim explored much of the planet and its creepy caves and abandoned buildings by himself. There was an undertone of horror elements similar to Dead Space 3 or Extermination. I liked this and felt like it gave more of a thrill than Lost Planet 1 or 2. As Jim, your only partner was your huge rig. You were on foot about 70 percent of the game but a decent chunk also had you exploring the planet in your rig or battling monstrous opponents in it. There were a few clunky controls during for the rig during battles but they were fair enough that I didn’t struggle too much.
The gameplay also relied on a much better character cast than the previous entry. You made friends with your coworkers and had rivalries. Jim felt like someone you rooted for instead of some random guy you played as briefly before playing the next mission. The entirety of the game is told from a flashback perspective but the presentation is much better than the first two games. Voice acting is admirable and the graphics improved.
Speaking of graphics for my Lost Planet 3 review, there were some glitches. Some characters merged into each other during cut scenes and there was a boss glitch that was very frustrating. I fought this boss for 30 minutes and because they don’t have a health bar, I wasn’t aware I was experiencing a glitch. Giving up for the night I shut my system off only to watch a YouTube video on the boss to see what I was doing wrong only to discover I came across a glitch where the boss was immortal. I restarted the fight and killed him within five minutes. It was frustrating but not a game-breaker. The final boss was a bit of a letdown too, the first half of the fight is fun and challenging but the final portion is just you pressing A as fast as you can during a quick time event. It was a lame way to end the game.
I do have to mention my fondness for Mira. She’s cute and low-key does her squats. You could tell that Jim had a hard-on when she road in the cockpit of his Mech. LOL. She reminded me of Luca from the first Lost Planet who was pretty cute too but was more top-heavy than bottom. Capcom isn’t afraid to include cute girls!
I found Lost Planet in a weird retro game store that was part home, part store in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The case was a little beat up but it was a good price so I purchased it to complete my collection. To my surprise, the owner replaced the case for me with a sparkling near new case of Lost Planet 3. I was delighted and very happy he did that. As for the game, I’ll always be confused on why they kept changing the gameplay and cast of characters from each entry. I enjoyed my Lost Planet 3 review but it had some head-scratching moments.
Lost Planet 3 Review Score:
Lost Planet 3 is much better than Lost Planet 2 but not quite as interesting as the original. There is some great improvement with graphics and voice acting that brings the game to life but a few glitches soured some of my experience. The relationship that Jim builds between the cast of characters was well done and the horror aspects that went into some missions were welcomed. Overall, this is a very solid experience and I recommend just skipping over Lost Planet 2 as they aren’t connected in any way.
Lost Planet 3 scores a 7.7 out of 10.
What would you write in your Lost Planet 3 review? Out of the three games in the series what was your favorite? What boss fight was your favorite and who was your favorite character? Let me know your thought and comments on Lost Planet 3, I’d love to read them.