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Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Review

INTRODUCTION

What could be better than a sci-fi game that involves a bunch of bloodthirsty aliens, arctic environments and big-ass guns? Capcom gives us a console port of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, which delivers all this and more.

Frigid Conditions

You play as Wayne, a Vital Suit cowboy who blasts giant alien bugs called Akrid and, yes, you guessed it, snow pirates! Your life depends on Thermal Energy, called T-ENG for short, which you pick up from the dead bodies of your fallen foes. The T-ENG feeds your health meter, keeping you alive in the harsh climate of E.D.N. III. Your T-ENG not only fuels your health, but it can also fuel weapons and Vital Suits.

The game is played mostly from the third-person perspective, but you can switch to aiming mode and first-person mode with the click of a mouse button. There are 11 missions to play, with the end boss of all the missions taking the most time to defeat. I found myself having to play the bosses over and over again.

Sniper Time

THE GOOD

The graphics on Lost Planet: Extreme Condition are superior to most other console ports. Capcom did a great job at expanding your graphics options while porting this game over from the Xbox 360. I was running this on an 8600GTS, so I couldn't really crank up the graphics without having significant lag.

I dropped down into one room that I would call the Hive. There were a bunch of Akrid generators down there, and probably a hundred Akrid running around. There was very little lag in the game when this happened, probably because I had to have my settings set low to get playable speeds anyway. This was my favorite room to play in, providing me with enough cannon fodder to make me giddy! Because there were so many guns and you collect a ton of T-ENG in there, it didn't really feel like I was every going to be harmed in any way, but the visual of about a hundred Akrid swarming all over you was quite a sight.

Akrid-tastic!

There is a plethora of available graphics settings for you to adjust. Depending on your computer and your graphics card, this game scales very well from lower-end to higher-end computers. You've got your standard Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering, Vertical Sync, Resolution and Texture Quality. Capcom has also included Model Quality, Shadow Quality, Motion Blur Quality, Effect Resolution, Effect Quality and Lighting Quality. When I set all these to high with my 8600GTS, the game literally crawled along at about 3 frames per second. You can also adjust the HDR to multiple levels, as well as setting up multiple GPUs for you SLI guys.

The tundra gave the feeling of cold. I was holed up in my computer room in the heat of the summer, but somehow playing this game never made me sweat. In fact, I think my toes went numb from feeling like I was walking around in the heavy snow.

THE BAD

As a console port, this game delivers better performance with the graphics, but the controls suffer slightly. You can use the keyboard and mouse, like I did, or, you can plug in an Xbox 360 controller. The default keyboard and mouse controls are set up just like most first person shooters, with the WASD keys mapped. I'm happy that I didn't have to plug in a 360 controller, but the keyboard and mouse controls felt very kludgy.

Mind The Gap

I would really like to know the story behind this game. At the end of every mission, there is a cut scene that clues you in as to what is going on. I have no idea what was in those cut-scenes, as mine were permanently stuck on fast forward. The audio and video would start at the same time, but the audio played in real time while the video shot by, leaving it completely out of synch. By the time the video was done, maybe fifteen seconds of audio had played, and the next mission started. I found that to be more than a little buggy.

Cut-Scene

One of the things about this game was that all the missions eventually started to seem like they were the same. There were a couple of stages during each mission that you could either fight through or run through, and then you have to fight this big boss to finish the mission. It always took me several times to defeat the final boss. The action in the stages before the final boss always felt the same. Defeat some Akrid, defeat some snow pirates and you're rewarded with getting a boss to defeat. I was always left feeling short of actually accomplishing something.

THE UGLY

The AI in this game is absolutely horrendous. Some snow pirates will just stand there and let you shoot them without even trying to take cover. Most of the flying Akrid just ignore you. You can run through stacks of Akrid and they'll follow you, but you can always outrun them. They can't figure out a way to trap you in a corner. They can't figure out a way to knock you off a cliff.

Big Ass Worm

Sometimes when I would come back from taking a break I would restart the game and after the game would load, I would be greeted with a black screen. It would still play music and sound, but I just couldn't see anything on my monitor. I would go back to the menu and restart, but it would greet me with the same black screen. I would have to exit the game entirely, restart it and only about half the time would I get some video when I continued my game.

Multiplayer is a great concept for a game. It's too bad that I could never get the game to connect to any online multiplayer games. So, I can't really comment on how much fun this game is in multiplayer, but it has the potential to be fun.

CONCLUSION

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is a stellar port of the Xbox 360 console game produced by Capcom. The graphics are quite improved from the console and visually stunning. Unfortunately, the port suffers from too many bugs to be worth the price or aggravation. At $40, maybe you'll get lucky and not have as many problems with the game as I did. I give this game a base hit.

Feel free to discuss this review in this forum thread.

Back to nV News

Last Updated on July 15, 2007


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