The ice cold Lost Planet was one of the more interesting shooters released early on in the Xbox 360’s life. The snow-covered world was great for peppering giant insects with your terrible bullets, but there were a few twists to this classic formula as well. You could latch on to enemies and objects with your grappling hook, adding a layer of exploration and maneuverability to the hectic action, and you could also climb inside a mech, giving you extra fire power to ravage the world. The snow has cleared for a tropical setting in the sequel, but Lost Planet 2 has the same frantic action and a new four-player co-op mode to make this even bigger than the first game.
We had a chance to play one level in the upcoming Lost Planet 2 today, and we teamed up with three other players who hate giant beasts as much as we do. The level began with a rocky bridge, muddy and covered in grass. After nabbing a few guns, we were immediately confronted by a hulking monstrosity. No chance to get our feet wet with pushover enemies here--we had to team up to take down a towering lizard.
Luckily, evolution wasn’t kind to this monster. He has glowing red spots that highlight his various weak points. His knees are especially susceptible. Emptying a few clips into his haunches makes them break off, resulting in gallons of black blood bursting into the tropical paradise. He had a weak point along his head and back as well, which isn’t that easy to shoot when you’re just a tiny man standing on the ground. Here is where the grapple hook comes in handy--you can just latch it onto his side and gracefully glide up, riding the beast around like a scaly steed.
You have both an individual life bar and a team one that everyone shares. When you lose all your life, you can respawn in a location of your choice. However, dying lowers your team’s total health, and when that depletes completely, your game ends. Coordination is important here since your buddies will be wielding rocket launchers and flamethrowers, and those can be fatal to lizards and humans alike. There was one mech suit in the demo, which gave us a more powerful machine gun as well as the ability to briefly hover.
The controls are a little loose at this point, making grappling frustrating at times, but the rest of the game is shaping up nicely. Teaming up with a few friends to kill giant monsters is a great formula, and it seems to be well represented here. Lost Planet 2 is currently scheduled for release in the winter of 2010.