Lost Planet was released on Xbox 360 over a year ago, but it looks worse on PS3. The conversion process has blurred the game’s textures - especially the once-subtle snow effects - and its framerate stutters when larger enemies fill the screen. Capcom promise that both aliasing and slowdown are being addressed, but even if the conversion were perfect, we still wouldn’t be huge fans of Lost Planet. It’s a simple shoot-‘em-up, remarkable only for a handful of epic boss battles and the flashy mech suits.
Set in the snowy wastelands of E.D.N. III, a human-occupied planet overrun by a vicious alien species known as the Akrid, you play as Wayne (yes, Wayne) an amnesiac soldier who joins a gang of ‘snow pirates’ to try and recover his past. The story might have been interesting had the cutscenes not been so poorly-written and badly-acted, and the characters are mostly plastic-faced mannequins with little discernable personality.
Daft story aside, you just want to shoot things and clump around in giant robots - and there’s plenty of that in Lost Planet. The game’s main currency is T-ENG, or thermal energy, a substance required for humans to survive on E.D.N. III. You’re constantly running out of the stuff and have to keep it topped up by defeating Akrid, who are very protective of it. This gives each level a sense of urgency, because if you run out of T-ENG your health starts to deplete rapidly - but it also can prove incredibly annoying. Some people like the idea and consider it one of the game’s most novel features, but we’re not keen. It’s too much like hard work.
But when you’re not scrabbling around for T-ENG, you’re killing pirates and aliens, and this is where Lost Planet impresses the least. The aiming feels chuggy and the inclusion of two 90˚ spin quick-aim shortcuts on the shoulder buttons doesn’t help, unless there’s an enemy directly to your left or right.
The Vital Suits (or VS for short) are fun, mind. These are anime-style mechs that you can stomp around in and attach different weapons to. The standard armament is a minigun, but later you get access to rocket and grenade launchers. They’re ultra-powerful, but it doesn’t take much to destroy them, so you find yourself constantly switching between on-foot action and piloting VSs around the levels.