Lost Planet 3: Dead Space Comes to E.D.N. III

Lost Planet takes a leaf out of Dead Space's book of story-driven science fiction for this prequel.

It is an unlikely spot of franchise convergence. Rumours place Dead Space 3 on a mysterious frozen planet, while in Lost Planet 3 the series' titular ice world looks, in places, a lot like Dead Space.

Hidden beneath the alien glaciers of E.D.N. III is an abandoned underground base, which, with its spooky metallic corridors and sinister spinning generator core, could have been plucked from a deck of the USG Ishimura. In place of Isaac Clarke, there is everyman protagonist Jim. In place of necromorphs, there is a small and vicious variant of akrid, eager to gnaw Jim's face off in a quick-time struggle.

Like so.

Much as Isaac was a blue-collar type, Jim is a colonial labourer. The shoulder plates of his armoured work-wear resemble those of Isaac's spacesuit, and where Isaac's signature weapon was the primary tool of his day job, a plasma cutter, so too is Jim's: a mech suit meant for construction work, but handy also in a brawl with a giant akrid beastie.

And so this Lost Planet prequel combines third-person shooting and exploration of indoor spaces with the first-person piloting of a mech on E.D.N. III's snowfields. In the cockpit of his mech, Jim brings powerful robotic arms (one claw, one drill) to bear against the glowing weak spots of the enemy. Down on the ground, he is much more vulnerable--especially once he jogs and grapples far from the rig, out of signal range, leaving himself isolated in a way more befitting a crack at survival horror.

Jim is a warmer, more human hero than you might expect in a game about mech suits and alien monsters. He does dangerous work on a hostile world to support his wife and baby back home on Earth. "The more I earn, the sooner I get to hold you both again," he says, with a rustic drawl. (The developer has been coy so far about the voice-and-likeness actor playing Jim, but GameSpot commenter abex44 hazards the deeply plausible guess of Sam "The Force Unleashed" Witwer.)

Between the empowering sessions of stomping around in a robot suit and the bits spent exploring grim, industrial interiors, Lost Planet 3 is a game of contrasts. Even the soundtrack combines folksy guitar and, in the Dead Space-like corridor segments, classic violin horror stings.

Though the aesthetic similarity in places is strong, it remains to be seen if Lost Planet can muster as much nightmarish creativity as Dead Space. The boss fight at the heart of our hands-on was a bracing but by-the-book battle against an oversized akrid crab with an ice-armoured shell. It intermittently charged and halted, we intermittently combat-rolled out of the way and blasted its frozen carapace with a shotgun.

Given the acclaim heaped on Dead Space 2 and the relative drubbing taken by the last Lost Planet, we assume Dead Space 3's minor resemblance to this game (that is, mysterious ice planet) is coincidental. But Lost Planet 3, on the other hand, could do a lot worse than emulate that superior brand of science fiction. Can Lost Planet, in the hands of a new studio, reinvent itself as a story-driven sci-fi adventure? We're looking forward to finding out.

(For more on Lost Planet 3's new studio, new direction, and new action, check out last month's full preview.)

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Discussion

28 comments
Elann2008
Elann2008

This series went down hill from the very beginning.  Lost Planet 1's greatest quality was it's challenging difficulty especially in boss fights, but Lost Planet 2 was a co-op multiplayer nightmare.  Horrible graphics, terribly gameplay that was extremely clunky, uninspired, more suited for a coin arcade. 

 

Capcom, if they ever wanted to impress us lately, made a good choice by handing the series over to a new developer.  My first impression so far of Lost Planet 3 is on the fence.  Capcom has let me down lately, although Resident Evil 6 looks a lot better than Resident Evil 5.  I'm sorry, I just don't have much faith in a new Lost Planet game, especially when they can't stick to their own thinking pads.

SI3DN3R
SI3DN3R

always wanted to play lost planet games, look interesting

joe_chebs
joe_chebs

Like many others out there, I'm not that interested in multi-player and as a result I really was disappointed in LP2, some fun Boss face-offs but otherwise it felt rather generic and got boring very fast. On the other hand, the first title really was great fun. I'm not sure how much I'd like LP3 to get lazy and borrow ideas from DS2 but it will be a welcome return (in my opinion) to the franchise to see that cold, unforgiving ice world once again (mush more sinister). I'll be keeping a close eye on this one, here's hoping the Dev team pull some aces out of their sleeves! 

DemoKnight10656
DemoKnight10656

why is is when a franchise fails it trys the trump card for scary dead space just like red faction armageddon wasnt scary at all just funny

Supersoldier317
Supersoldier317

This better have multiplayer or Im not pickin this up. However, I will pick up the demo if it is released.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

interesting point of view. it blew my mind and made me think if somehow EA and Capcom would do some kind of crossover. that would be so awesome. but still unlikely. cool story, though.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

I liked the first Lost Planet, bypassed the second, and was interested in this latest outing until I heard who the developer was.

 

Spark Unlimited have so far produced some pretty mediocre games, such as Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty.  So I'm going to tempter my expectations for this.  Maybe they'll pull a rabbit out of the hat (God I hope so), but I'm going to be reading a lot of reviews about this game before deciding whether I'll get it.

Tazzman1000
Tazzman1000

I remeber the first lost planet game had an amazing trailer, but i never got around to buying it.Then the second game turned out to be a knock back fest. Hopefully it'll be a case of third time lucky.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

lost liked this series I hoping the newest installment will be as different and fun to play as the other two were!

QOSMSTR
QOSMSTR

This looks like a fresh change of pace. I liked LP2 (please don't kill me! :P) but this looks a bit more of what people want in LP.

devrindare
devrindare

This time I don't want Lost Planet sequel to betray me. The Lost Planet 2 is worst experience ever, loosen my faith over the series & Capcom. And Dead Space sequel will always be a delight to own & play.

DarthLod
DarthLod

 @Supersoldier317 No, it better NOT have MP. These games belong single player. Not every freakin game needs MP.

monicker
monicker

 @RobertBowen If you liked LP1 then you'll like LP2, i played through both games (bought both used) and loved em both.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @RobertBowen Oh, right, that game. And we must not forget that awful Legendary. Why would Capcom decide to work with those guys? Now i'm disappointed.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @Tazzman1000 you missed nothing. if you get your eyes on it, be sure it's the Colonies Edition, at least it has more stuff going on.

monicker
monicker

 @QOSMSTR The lost planets are for people with a certain taste, I loved 1 and hesitated to buy 2, but, was that a fun ride. I hope LP3 lives up to the previous installments, and maybe the series can get the acclaim it deserves.

devrindare
devrindare

 @QOSMSTR yeah, now Lost Planet 3 is looking very good & I'm eager to know more about Dead Space 3

monicker
monicker

 @devrindare I disagree, I loved LP2, DS2 was a huge disappointment. Not a bad game (though dumbest end boss ever) but just more of the same.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @devrindare how fun it'll be if we would expect the worst instead of greatness and then the game turn out mediocre. Best. Game. Ever.

Supersoldier317
Supersoldier317

@DarthLod I fail to agree, lost planet NEEDS Multiplayer, if it didn't ppl wouldn't pick it up. Most games tht are in LPs footsteps live off of multiplayer.

devrindare
devrindare

 @monicker I know many are disagree with me & I respect their feelings. Actually the game has good gunplay, graphics are great but I'm mainly a single-player kind of gamer not a multiplayer. And this game is made in the fashion like that i.e. supporting multiplayer. The start of the game is very horrible for me & I'm unable to play more than 1/2 an hour & maybe the game get much better after that point means those giants creatures. Right

devrindare
devrindare

 @xsonicchaos that's very true, sometimes reverse psychology has a great impact. We may get fantastic things which we won't on going staright

Elann2008
Elann2008

 @Supersoldier317  @DarthLod 

I fail to agree with you.  Lost Planet 2 was a disaster.  The only reason why it even sold as much copies as it did was the promise of Gears of War characters playable in co-op online.  And that quickly...disappeared right after the game launched.  Clever one, Capcom.  You win this round.