Gaming & Technology

'Lost Planet 2' has terrific visuals, but the gameplay is tedious

A screenshot of Lost Planet 2.

Photo courtesy Games Press
A screenshot of Lost Planet 2. Photo courtesy Games Press Games Press

In Lost Planet 2, the highly anticipated sequel to one of 2007's biggest games, Capcom has created a marginally successful game. An action-shooter, it's absolutely beautiful, but it lacks in almost every other aspect.

The game takes place 10 years after the first and includes many new lush tropical environments to explore. The developers have succeeded in creating an engaging atmosphere in the jungle, one of the best since Far Cry. But the gorgeous visuals are soon forgotten, and players will start scratching their heads, wondering why Capcom made the design decisions it did.

There is heavy emphasis on multiplayer and cooperative play. This isn't a game in which if you die, it's game over. No. The game is structured so that even if you are playing solo, you are part of a squad of players. If any member of the squad, even the player's character, dies, that person can respawn and continue to fight and complete objectives.

Even the mission select screens and player customizations seem exactly like a multi-player lobby. Once a player is inside the game, every aspect looks and feels like an online game, even if it isn't. For gamers who live and die for multiplayer experiences, this will be a welcome change from the first Lost Planet. For everyone else, not so much.

Too much emphasis has been placed on making it seem like a multiplayer, and solo play feels short, broken and frustrating. It leaves gamers with the feeling that Capcom never meant for anyone to play this game alone, ever.

Once you adjust to this multiplayer emphasis, the in-game battles against enormous enemies are fun ... for a bit. Capcom saw fit to scatter these huge creature encounters liberally across the landscape, but while doing so it seemingly designed them to be fought by kindergartners.

It essentially becomes a quest to shoot the giant glowing part 20,000 times. After 20 minutes straight of shooting at each mini boss, it becomes tedious.

Tedious also could describe the most popular mission in the game: activating the data nodes. After activating 300 data nodes in a row, players probably will feel like turning the game off because it appears that's all there is to do.

If you have a few friends who are really starving for some big boss battles and online play, this will be a fun title for you. Just don't try to play this game as a solo experience, because it falls flat.