"But you already have so many shooters".....was the quote my roomate gave me when I came home with this game on Saturday afternoon. I honestly up until my recent (5 months ago) purchase of a 360 I was never a big shooter fan (fps or otherwise). I always looked at them as "games for people who hate to think". However since playing GRAW for the 1st time I became hooked on the 360 shooter. Lost Planet (LP) provides a fresh look on an old concept. By infusing run and gun gameplay with a more tactical element you have a game that truly pushes the genre forward in more than just graphics. While there are other fantastic shooters for the 360 (Gears,GRAW,R6), LP manages to surpass all expectations of itself to provide a solid gaming experience. The game has a very anime feel too it much akin to games like Armored Core not so much in terms of gameplay but over all presentation and story. You play as Wayne who is a snow pirate who suffers from memory loss who is out to get revenge for his dead father against some "evil" corperation. The story is convoluted and smacks of anime influence but anyone who watches Anime (at least of the action variety) knows that the story is secondary. However, what we get alot (and I do mean alot) of is action..to be quite honest in my recent gaming history I haven't had this many "WTF" or "Holy ****" moments in a video game in a long time. The action in this game is extremely intense; from fighting MASSIVE amounts of Akrid to rockets whizzing by your head this game really does a nice job if immersing you in the action. There are a few key elements in the game play that make LP truely stand out. Firstly there is what is known as a Vital Suit (VS). More commonly known to most as mechs these devices were made by humans to battle the Akrid on a more level playing field. They prove to be a major role in game play and drastically turn the tide of any fight. There are a good handful of models and variants to ride in and each handle and control differently and have their strengths and weaknesses. Another element is the Thermal Energy Meter that is connected to your survival. You have to constantly collect energy to survive in the game which adds an element of intensity to the action. Given the massive amounts of enemies to kill and other sources of heat found in the game this is rarely an issue but there will be times when energy conservation will be critical to your survival. It also provides an excellent way to keep the action going because you never have to wait or search for health packs since your health constantly regenerates so long as you have enough Thermal Energy. Lastly the other key device in the game is the grappling hook. In shooters often you are confined to a strict horizontal access but with the implimenting of a grappeling hook you know can explore this game in its full 3D glory. It is key in securing your self the "high ground" or even used as an infiltration device (you can repel with it as well). Although repelling seems to have nominal use because you can actually jump from any height without sustaining any damage. The sound and graphics are also a treat for the eyes and ears. Let it be known that this game has quite possibly the best looking explosions in any video game outside a CGI cutscene. The fire and smoke detail look amazing from rocket trails to exploding VS suits. Sound is great as well with the VS making nice whirring and crunching sounds as they walk and power up and rockets packing that extra punch of sound..if you have a good sound system...crank it. The voice acting and what not seems very dry and phoned in but then again...like story this is a secondary adage compared to the intense action. The single player can be completed on Normal in about 7-8 hours, but where the game really shines in the multiplayer. Everything aforementioned (VS,grappling hooks, massive outdoor environments) are there for play in the multiplayer. Even the smallest multiplayer maps are about twice the size of the largest Gears map. Most of the outdoor maps are HUGE providing for some very fun and intense battles. Standard MP fare is here with Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch but there are some fun additions to be had with the inclusion of Post Grab and Fugitive. Post Grab is very Battlefield-esque where your job is to secure all the points on the map. Fugitive is really unique in which is puts one person(fugitive) against a possible 15 others (hunters) to survive. With the amount of map diversity and gameplay the MP will add countless hours to the replay time of LP. In this reviewers opinion what makes Lost Planet so great is not really any particular device in general; it was the fact that this game broke all expectations. The amount of hype for this game was very menial comparied to games like R6 and Gears yet despite low reviews and naysayers this game proved to really give 2007 a great start by just making a fun game that anyone can pick up and play and enjoy. That is what gaming is all about.