Lost Planet: Extreme Condition PC Version Hands-On
We revisit the snow, guns, and bugs of Lost Planet with a first look at the recently announced PC version of Capcom's hit action game.
Earlier this year Capcom scored a hit with the release of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition on the Xbox 360. Looking to expand on that success, Capcom is now bringing the game to the PC. The PC version of Lost Planet is a direct port of the Xbox 360 version with new multiplayer maps and optimized graphics and special effects. We played the game to see how it holds up on the PC.
In terms of content, you won't find anything new in the Lost Planet single-player game. The multiplayer game is mostly unchanged as well and still supports up to 16 players online with four different game modes. The PC version of the game does come with some new maps and an updated server lobby, but that's the extent of the new content. Lost Planet is branded as a Games for Windows product, but it isn't a part of the Games for Windows - Live program. That means there won't be any achievements or cross-platform multiplayer built into the game.
Instead of having new missions, enemies, or weapons, the PC version of Lost Planet has been enhanced and adapted for high-end gaming machines. The game supports both DirectX9 and DirectX10, so it's compatible with both Windows XP and Vista. Most notably, Lost Planet supports resolutions up to 2560x1600, so if you have a capable video card and monitor you can expect to see crisp, detailed effects on the PC that aren't possible on the Xbox 360. Lighting, shadows, and particle effects all show fairly significant improvement over the Xbox 360 version of the game, which already looked great to begin with. The team at Capcom has been working with graphics gurus at Nvidia to optimize Lost Planet for the PC. As a result, Lost Planet is part of Nvidia's "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" lineup of games.
Rather than simply reading a laundry list of technical specifications, we let our eyes do the work by playing through one of the early levels in the game. Bear in mind that we were playing the game on a tricked-out system at 1280x720 resolution on a 30-odd-inch LCD monitor, so results and performance will of course vary. Based on our time with the game, though, it looks great. The lighting and particle effects are especially noticeable, and we found ourselves blinded by blowing snow and fiery explosions several times. The textures are all sharp and detailed, and the game runs quite smoothly despite the copious numbers of massive bugs and explosions appearing onscreen.
We played the game using the mouse and keyboard controls, but it does also support the Xbox 360 controller. In fact, the button cues that show up onscreen correspond with buttons on the Xbox 360 gamepad rather than the keyboard keys. We found that using the mouse to aim and the WASD keys to move works perfectly well in Lost Planet, and if you're a veteran of PC shooters you'll have no trouble jumping right into this one. It did take us a few minutes to get used to using the C key for the grappling hook, but after a few attempts we were able to swing about the level with ease.
In addition to the graphical enhancements, the PC version has an edge over the Xbox 360 version in terms of price. The PC version of Lost Planet will retail for $39.99, a full $20 cheaper than the Xbox 360 release. But before you drop your money on the game, you can try out a PC demo, which will be available in May. The game will be released in June of this year, so be sure to check back here for more details and our full review. In the meantime, you can check out more than 20 brand-new screenshots from the game.
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