Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Multiplayer Demo Hands-On

We spend a couple of hours checking out the upcoming multiplayer demo of Capcom's much-anticipated shooter.

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Earlier this week, we were offered a sneak peek at the Lost Planet: Extreme Condition one-map multiplayer demo that will be gracing the Xbox Live Marketplace on November 23. Furthermore, we had an opportunity to do battle with Capcom employees and other media outlets on a second map, which will be made available to anyone preordering the game from November 24 onward via a redeemable code. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition's multiplayer games will support up to 16 players online, though we never had more than 12 playing simultaneously on this occasion.

The Pirate Fortress map that comes with the demo is the same one that we'd played on previously, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to one of the levels that was released as part of the single-player Electronic Entertainment Expo demo. The second map, titled Dilapidation, is set in and around the ruins of a relatively small industrial area with lots of tall structures--making the grappling hook especially useful. Before our multiplayer session got underway, we took a few minutes to check out the various options that are available when setting up a match and noticed that some of them have changed since our last encounter.

Only the deathmatch-like elimination and team elimination modes are available in the demo, but two further gameplay modes titled post grab and fugitive are grayed out on the main menu. Game durations can be set for between 10 minutes and an hour, or they can go on indefinitely. Post grab, which was previously known as capture the pole, is a team-based event in which you're tasked with capturing and protecting telescopic poles that are scattered around the map, and they take a good 10 to 15 seconds of button-mashing to capture. Fugitive, which is likely the same mode that we previously knew as foxhunt, is an all-against-one game in which the fugitive player must survive for as long as possible while every other player on the map hunts them down. It's not yet clear whether or not the fugitive player will be afforded any special abilities, but even the game's standard arsenal has plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

Although the elimination and team elimination games that we participated in played out like garden-variety third-person deathmatches for the most part, Lost Planet does boast a number of weapons that should help to distinguish it from the crowd. There are several different types of grenades, for example, and in the demo you'll be given a handful of one type at random every time you respawn after being killed. There are standard hand grenades, of course, but you'll also find gum grenades that stick to your targets, disc grenades that you throw like a Frisbee, plasma grenades that stun enemies for a short time, and dummy grenades, which create an inflatable representation of you that can be sent into potentially dangerous areas.

The vital suits are intimidating but they're not overpowered.
The vital suits are intimidating but they're not overpowered.

Other weapons that we had a lot of fun with during our time with Lost Planet on this occasion included a number of different vital suit (a small mech, basically) configurations, rocket launchers, shotguns, rifles, and laser cannons. Melee attacks came in useful on occasion, though unlike those in many multiplayer shooters, they didn't appear to be overpowered--just a good way to slow enemies down before putting a gun to their head. The aforementioned grappling hook also got a lot of use when trying to find a good vantage point for sniping from, though using it invariably leaves you vulnerable to attacks for a second or two.

Despite the Capcom employees we were playing with doing a pretty good job of humbling us on the battlefield, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with Lost Planet, and we're looking forward to honing our skills alongside the rest of you this weekend. We'll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

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