GR: At this point, the 360 hardware is more of a known quantity than it was when the first game was produced, so we’d like to think development difficulties have been eased. But, is there still some kind of technical hurdle you’re trying to overcome despite having worked with the hardware extensively?
KO: Nothing like that technically, but in terms of the game’s direction it’s easier to make a sequel. We have the experience of making the first one, so we know where this one’s going as well. Everything apart from that is still difficult. We’re trying to up the scale on everything and trying to put so much new content in. Just making that work, the co-op and the multiplayer together, is still a challenge.
GR: So it’s just as hard the second time around?
KO: (laughs) Yeah, just from my own personal experience, usually most sequels are a few extra characters or a couple of extra situations. In this game, there are so many new and different things we wanted to do that it’s a completely different experience. I wouldn’t have thought making a sequel would be this difficult. It’s a lot of work.
GR: We know the planet (EDN III) is thawing, evidenced by the palm trees and tropical environments seen in the trailer and screens. If it’s no longer below freezing, what function does the thermal energy (T-ENG) from the first game have? (Its original purpose was to keep you warm and absorb damage.)
KO: You can look at it from two different gameplay perspectives – why you need to pick it up in the game and why you need it for the story, why people are fighting over it. From a gameplay perspective, even though the setting is different, collecting it will still power weapons and the Vital Suits. With four people playing, you’ll need to share the energy – if you don’t, you won’t be able to use the Vital Suits and proceed.
From a story perspective, there’s been a kind of global warming of EDN III. The snowy parts still need the energy, and there are different groups competing for this limited resource. It’s like oil, you’ll still need it for your everyday life.
GR: When you’re sharing the T-ENG, do all four players share one pool of it or do you all have your own collection?
KO: You each have your own pool of energy, and you can share it simply by blasting orbs of it to your teammates, sort of like an energy ball from (Dragon Ball’s) Goku. (laughs).
GR: The first game was subtitled “Extreme Condition.” So far, the second game is just “Lost Planet 2.” At this point, if you had to attach a subtitle to the game, what would it be?
JT: Probably “Extreme Development.” (room laughs). However, the “2” does have a function – notice it’s not just “2,” but more of a “squared,” as this is much more than a typical sequel.
Check back tomorrow for our hands-on impressions, including a boss that literally eats you, passes you through its innards and dumps you out onto the battlefield. Nice!
For now, you can visit our Lost Planet 2summary page for screens, videos and other info, or check this month’s issue of Official Xbox Magazine.
Apr 7, 2009