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Lost Planet 3 Preview

It has never been totally clear what Capcom want to achieve with Lost Planet as a series. It’s like a shapeshifter that undergoes a transition to something different every time a new game is released. The only safe expectation any gamer can have of the series is that the player will shoot giant bugs and pick up whatever orange goo exits from them as a result.

The inaugural game was a good graphics test but was otherwise a pretty inoffensive third person shooter set on a horrid ice-planet with some body-heat-retention based survival elements and mech combat. The second was co-op multiplayer focused without much narrative content and entirely changed the art direction toward a tropical-mechanical jungle away from the harsh snow of the first.

Lost Planet 3 Preview
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Lost Planet 3, seemingly, has reeled in a lot of the second game’s changes. This is a prequel, one that takes place slightly before the events of the first game. Set on E.D.N. III while it’s still a planet-wide frozen tundra, you play as Jim Peyton, a man who’s made a living performing whatever unsavoury task is required in order to provide for his family back home on Earth. That’s the motivation behind anything he has to do: it’s all in service of raising money.

Peyton's latest job - and this is where you come in - is to help the company that’s attempting to terraform the planet for prolonged habitation and investigate it as a source of fuel. It’s unlikely that this will remain the case because this is a video game plot and it involves a massive corporation.

Lost Planet 3 Preview
Click to enlarge

Our recent preview threw us right into the start of the game as Jim lands on the planet and is under-equipped and far away from the main base (quelle surprise!) He trudges through snow to clear a path to day one of his new career, shooting countless violent indigenous monsters in the attempt. This all took place on foot using a pistol so we were unfortunately unable to see much of how the mech-based combat works out. The on-foot action, though, was good fun as over-the-shoulder alien shooting goes.

Lost Planet 3 Preview
Click to enlarge

There was later some allowance to wander around using Jim’s mech, just without the combat element thrown in. It will get you round quicker than on foot and seemed to get the feel of being a hulking great mechanical frame mostly right. Here's hoping the combat holds up too.