First Exams
Lost Planet 2 Demo Impressions

Who ever would have thought that on a planet covered in ice humanity would find the most ornery group of insects this side of the galaxy? This time, someone has left the planet out to thaw and the bugs have been let loose. Or something. But enough of the story. If you played the first game then you know this is the last reason to play this game. For those wondering why you play it at all – I hate you. The previous title might not have been deep, fair, or even balanced in terms of combat, (let’s forget about the online for n0w) but deep down you know it was fun. Multiply whatever level of fun you had with the last game by four because that’s exactly where this one is headed. We take a look at the online co-op demo on Xbox Live and give a run down on what you can expect from Starship Troopers Hoth Edition. Reiner Wolfcastle: “That’s the joke.”

I loved the first game’s demo to bits. Granted, this was back in mid 2006 when there was jack squat to play on the Xbox 360, and game demos on Xbox Live was a rare treat. Still, I loved it. It wasn’t so much the infantry controls that hooked me, but the being able to take down these awesome foes in Vital Suit (big mech) or sticking it out with your shotgun and assault rifle. Naturally the VS was always the most fun. But having a large Akrid ambush you just as soon as you’d gotten settled having to scurry to your mech was an adrenaline rush. That few seconds it took to power up gave you all the time you needed to figure out how best to take it down. Sure the combat wasn’t deep – the weak points glowed! But it was fun regardless. Each encounter’s experience heightened all the more by the incredible graphics. The original Lost Planet was the first game to make me love Capcom’s graphics engine. Sorry Dead Rising, I liked you too, but the explosions in LP were killer.

That's really as close to it as you want to be.

Now seeing where I come from on the first you can better gauge my impressions of the latest venture into planet E.D.N. III. Without hesitation I rounded up a few buddies and stepped directly into the online co-op mode. From there on it was a little jarring getting used to everything again, but after a few minutes I got the hang of things. I was unprepared for how challenging the new bosses would be. The one featured in this one is nothing less than a beast. Scale is everything this time around. You will not only tackle this monster from the outside, but from within. Damaging the enormous creature to the point of exhaustion will cause it to lie down with its mouth agape. Also for the unfortunate soul, it is possible to be swallowed whole by the creature in trying to avoid it. Once inside the player must contend with a horde of smaller Akrid from the first game as well as attempt to strike the core of the beast. You will have a limited amount of time to do this before you meet a “dark ending.” That’s right. You aren’t going out the way you came in.


It’s important to keep an eye on your team’s Battle Gauge. Dying will reduce the amount of points your team has, and when that runs out you have no more respawns to attack the creature. The best way to increase your Battle Gauge is to activate key markers around the map. Doing so will also restore and add to your individual T-ENG supply that will heal you and power your Vital Suit. I recommend getting in one of those by the way. This thing has a lot of legs, and getting stepped on is easy whilst on foot. Plus when on the ground its easier to be damaged by its EMP attack which will cause you to dump your T-ENG reserves in order to save your life.

Leave it to the Japanese to figure out the best way to attack a giant monster.

It took us a little while to get the concept of how best to take on this thing but we eventually got a handle on things. Team work isn’t quite as important as in other games, but it is very rewarding. Just because your buddy is at the head of the creature doing damage to it and you’re behind it doesn’t mean you’re safe from harm. It will thrash it’s tail at you with razor sharp spikes capable of taking you out instantly. There really is no safe spot from this thing as it is the size of at least a tenth of the entire map and is capable of climbing or attacking you from any surface or nook and cranny you might find to hide. The best approach being to remove its legs and then forming a boarding party into its colon. The four of you can then manage the Akrid inside as well as bombard its intestines with as much firepower as you see fit.

A few minor details seemed to have been improved from the first game. You don’t seem to get knocked down as much, leaving you defenseless as in in the first game. But until you’re up against snow pirates that’s hard to tell. The aiming is still the same so if that was a bother for you in the first (not sure why it would be) you’re out of luck. There’s a sprint feature now that sort of screws up the whole point of roadie running. You view your main character’s butt the entire time while he just kind of runs. It really feels awkward and it looks just as bad. It gets the job done but it could be improved. Other than that there is nothing that will stop me from picking this game up when it’s released in 2010. I liked the first game a lot, flaws and all, and co-op just makes it a much more enjoyable experience.


L4D2 could be better but its good enough.