Lost Planet 2
|Lost Planet 2|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The game was developed for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. Originally set to be released in early 2010, Capcom delayed the game's consoles release to May 11, 2010 in North America and Europe, May 13, 2010 in Australia and May 20, 2010 for Japan, and the Microsoft Windows version was released on October 12, 2010. Capcom has stated that the title has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Many gameplay features from the original Lost Planet game are present. Recurring elements include major boss battles, extreme terrain, and the ability to pilot mechanized armor suits, known as Vital Suits (VSs). On July 24, 2009, at Comic-Con 2009, producer Jun Takeuchi held a Q&A session for fans. Takeuchi revealed that there would be a lot more co-op based VSs. Players will be able to ride on the sides of some VSs. These VSs can be controlled by one player, while two others hang on by the sides and shoot. Takeuchi also revealed that there would be flying VSs which feature unlimited flying time.
Also unlike Lost Planet, Lost Planet 2 will not constantly drain players of thermal energy. This is due to the warmer climate, which can sustain T-ENG presence longer than a cold climate, which drains thermal energy bit by bit. Instead, energy can only be drained when the player pilots a VS and uses a weapon that requires energy. However thermal energy is still constantly lost unless a specific ability is equipped despite the 'warmer climate'. The character may also lose thermal energy by completing one entire sprint with a character (confirmed in the demo). If one player loses all their energy, another can give them some of their energy, using a new weapon, to keep players alive.
Kenji Oguro and Jun Takeuchi announced that the game would reward players with experience points. Players will earn more points for playing in a unique manner and completing extra objectives in missions. Once the game has been beaten on any difficulty, players are allowed to use this character for the campaign. These points can then be used to unlock costumes and attachments for the player to customize their Pirate.
Lost Planet 2 borrowed the online multiplayer versus modes of its predecessor, and featured new modes as well. Versus characters can also be modified in far greater depth than in the original game, customising not only skins but a wide selection of skins for legs, face and torso.
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The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal deserts; and jungles have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with mercenaries fighting against jungle pirates in a blizzard/snowy area. The mercenaries then are taken by their squad leaders to the jungle in attempt to destroy a mine. After destroying the mine, they are attacked by a Category-G Akrid. When they kill it, the mercenaries pass through a jungle pirate base and then to meet at a rendezvous point after they received a message to be picked up. As the group arrives at the supposed rendezvous point, another Category-G akrid appears and attacks them. After destroying the akrid, the group is found by a friendly squadron in a helicopter. Once they are in the helicopter, a member of the squad asked what kept the helicopter so long. The pilot then says that he only stumbled upon them by accident while returning to base when he picked up signals of a Category-G akrid. The squad then realizes that the whole retrieval team was a complete set up. They are then told that all the other units deployed to destroy the mine were wiped out; snow begins to fall over the jungle area and the temperature begins to drop rapidly.
The game then shifts to NEVEC's Black Ops, Task Force First Descent, who fight their way through a Carpetbagger city in an effort to capture a railway gun, a train mounted with a massive cannon. After failing to succeed in capturing the weapon, a "space Akrid" suddenly appears and begins to attack the group. After it is killed and the members are sent on their next mission, it is revealed they are clones of Ivan Solotov, a character from Lost Planet: Extreme Condition.
The story once again shifts, this time to Waysiders, snow pirates now living in the desert. They are returning from a raid on a carpetbagger city with heavy casualties and having stolen very little thermal energy. On the way back home, they are ambushed by a Category-G Akrid, dubbed "Red Eye". After loading their remaining thermal energy onto helicopter-like VSs, they make their escape, only to be shot down by sandraiders several hours later. After wiping out the sandraiders and stealing their train, the group is ambushed by the escaped Carpetbaggers with the railway gun from the previous chapter. After seizing control of the gun, they are once again attacked by Red Eye, but with the railway gun's firepower they are able to kill it. As they continue towards their home, it starts snowing heavily. When they reach the spot where their home is supposed to be, they realize it has been buried by the large snowfall and its citizens killed by the rapid temperature drop. The player 1 Waysider notices a giant, glowing orb in the distance and declares "I'm so going to shoot the shit out of you!" and apparently fires at it.
The game shifts to two NEVEC people talking on a helicopter VS. The orb seen by the waysiders is declared "the Over G", and its increase in thermal energy use will trigger another ice age on E.D.N. III. NEVEC plans to kill it with the satellite known as NEOS. Once the thermal energy is harvested, they will abandon the planet. To prevent this genocide, most NEVEC ground troops defect. Two Ex-NEVEC characters are imprisoned by Carpetbaggers, but are freed by one who "Brought your friends here". More Ex-NEVEC troops rescue them and they make their way through the underground tunnels. They capture a NEVEC submarine and make their escape. Meeting up with all the other Ex-NEVEC troops, an invasion of a NEVEC base is planned. The base is captured and an experimental weapon created by NEVEC is destroyed. The group of player troops stowaway on a shuttle headed for the space station NEOS. The plan is to use its massive firepower to destroy the Over-G before it reaches its final form. The plot shifts quickly to the "Vagabundos". A group of sand pirates. They battle NEVEC troops, eventually capturing a massive cannon-bearing overland ship from NEVEC. They see the Over-G in the distance and decide to head there.
The plot shifts back to the Ex-NEVEC troops in the space shuttle. After capturing NEOS, they plan to control and aim the cannon on it using VSs, but the NEVEC Black Ops appears. The Ex-NEVEC commander assures his troops they can trust them. The Ex-NEVEC troops descend to the planet as a call is sent out to all snow pirates, asking for assistance in destroying the Over-G Akrid. After fighting to the core of the Over-G, the group tags their GPS units to it and NEOS is fired by the NEVEC Black Ops. The Over-G survives and begins to regenerate itself. Shooting frantically, the NEVEC Black Ops, (Task Force First Descent), decide to sacrifice themselves by crashing NEOS into the Over-G. As NEOS gets closer, Akrid flock to the Over-G and the units outside the core begin to retreat. The Ex-NEVEC characters and the characters present for the final fight are rescued by the Mercenaries from the beginning of the game. After awaking in darkness, Thermal Energy appears to not work, but as the sun comes up a sea of thermal energy is seen and all the VSs activate. NEOS can be seen in the distance as a mountain, showing where the Over-G once was. The game ends as the Mercenaries and Ex-NEVEC troops fly off in a helicopter VS and a Trillid-like akrid flies whimsically alongside them.
Lost Planet 2 runs on the MT Framework 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in the original Lost Planet as well as Dead Rising and Devil May Cry 4. A support for the campaign mode can have up to 4 players working together via the internet.
Unlike its predecessor, Lost Planet 2 allows players to create and customize their own characters and allows them to unlock more clothing and body types after leveling up and downloading content. The game also allows players edit weapon models, and color palettes used. However, weapons used in multi-player have to be unlocked through leveling up. Players can take content that they have unlocked in the campaign and take that onto multiplayer versus (and vice versa). On 18 February 2010 it was reported that the Xbox 360 version of the game will have significant cuts in order to make the game fit on a single DVD, the content cut will be available as downloadable content but no confirmation has been given if this content will be charged for or free. These claims were later to be deemed as a mistranslation. In an interview with the games producer he says there was no content cut from the Xbox 360 version.
Marketing and promotion
Lost Planet 2 was originally announced on February 8, 2009, via a trailer on Xbox Live. In mid-April 2009, a video was released by Eurogamer with a boss battle being depicted in real-time gameplay. The video showed thermal energy usage, VSs, and deployable health fields. At E3 2009, Capcom offered a preview of Lost Planet 2's co-op campaign, and announced a Winter 2009 release date. On June 29, 2009, at Microsoft's Midnight Live 360 show, Capcom announced a Lost Planet 2 demo that is now available via Xbox Live Marketplace.
On July 19, 2009, Capcom announced that Lost Planet 2 would be playable at Comic-Con 2009. The Capcom Unity Blog reported that visitors would be able to try the four-player campaign mission against the giant salamander boss. At the event, Capcom also held a raffle to give away a number of 16-inch plush toys and a single 3-foot-long plush toy of the salamander boss.
On August 19, 2009, a four-player co-op demo of Lost Planet 2 was released onto Xbox Live Marketplace. On September 24, 2009, a demo was released on the PlayStation Network Store, which features two new levels. This demo also features full game launching support for up to four players for PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service. Game launching lets users set up multiplayer games in Home and launch directly into the game from Home.
On December 22, it was announced that Capcom would delay Lost Planet 2, along with three other games, to avoid competition in the early half of 2010.
On January 26, Capcom announced during an announcement for Monster Hunter Frontier for the Xbox 360 that Lost Planet 2 would be released on May 18 in North America and Europe and May 20 in Japan. Also announced was the addition of two characters, Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago from the Gears of War series exclusively for the Xbox 360. Capcom also confirmed that Albert Wesker from Resident Evil will be in the game. (Wesker was previously listed as a pre-order bonus from GameStop, although that has been changed recently.)
To create a buzz around the launch of Lost Planet 2, Capcom conducted an experiential marketing campaign at The Arches in London Bridge, two months ahead of its UK launch. Members of the public were invited to be the first to play Lost Planet 2, in a venue dressed with sand bags, military paraphernalia and oil drums to reflect the atmosphere of the game.
On March 26, Capcom announced a new multiplayer demo for Lost Planet 2 would be coming to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Early access will be distributed via voucher codes within the company's community, while public access will be made available on April 21 for Xbox Live and April 22 for PSN.
In addition, if the Lost Planet 2 multiplayer demo reached one million downloads by midnight Pacific Time on May 5, Capcom will donate $50,000 to Music for Relief, a charity founded by Linkin Park members to provide aid to victims of natural disasters. Plus, members of the Lost Planet community had the opportunity to win a seat in a celebrity tournament to be held at the game's May 6 pre-release party in Los Angeles.
On May 14, PlayStation.Blog announced that PlayStation 3 owners will also be able to download two skins of the Helghast characters from Killzone franchise, in addition to the Rathalos armor from Monster Hunter.
A benchmark for the Windows PC version was released on August 16, 2010 and Capcom announced that the PC version will include several DirectX 11 effects and support for the Nvidia 3D Vision and Nvidia 3D Vision Surround setups to deliver a stereoscopic image. In an interview Jun Takeuchi, the title's producer, stated that the PC version features higher resolution textures and several DirectX 11 effects such as subdivision surface, displacement mapping, softbody, interactive fluid surfaces and high quality shadow filtering.
In June, there was a release of downloadable content for Lost Planet 2 for the PlayStation 3. Two Helghast costumes are available to use in multiplayer and singleplayer modes. The DLC is completely free of charge. There is also a map pack that was released pre-game release (noted from Xbox Marketplace and PlayStation Network) for $5 or 400 Microsoft Points. A new map pack was released on June 1, 2010 for the PS3 and June 2, 2010 for the Xbox Marketplace. Map Pack 2 has two more maps for multiplayer. The first is called Dockyard Battle and takes place in the overland battleship from Episode 5 of the campaign. The second, Frozen Wasteland, is a remake of a map from Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. The new maps cost 400 Microsoft Points or $5 to download. A third DLC priced at $2.99 added a "Boss Rush" mode and the "Post Modern" skin.
Lost Planet 2 received mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 70.06% and 68/100, the Xbox 360 version 67.95% and 68/100 and the PC version 59.10% and 63/100.
GamePro awarded the game 3/5, concluding that "Lost Planet 2 features an enjoyable multiplayer component and interesting monster designs, but it isn't enough to overcome its many faults. Gamers who enjoyed playing the original title online will find reasons to play it, but it's a disappointing title that doesn't live up to its potential."
GameSpot gave it 5.5/10 and took a similar view on the frustrations of the game, stating: "This sci-fi sequel seems like it should have everything you need in a shooter, but a shocking number of design missteps suck out much of the fun." Although, they later released a second review for the PC release which received a 7/10. The review explains the differences and tweaks made to make the game more tolerable and much more graphically advanced than the console installment.
IGN gave the game a 6/10 stating that "If you've burned through other multiplayer or co-op options, then there might be something for you in Lost Planet 2. The single-player campaign is lengthy at around 14 hours with full co-op support and the multiplayer has plenty of maps and modes. Just do yourself a favor: buy some insurance for the controller you'll invariably throw across the room at one of Lost Planet 2's seemingly endless design and interface issues."
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