Lost Planet 2 – exclusive hands-on

The point of it all is, there’s no way one person could do this. It’s a team effort. You need to coordinate who’s doing what, who’s in the VS blasting Sally’s back, who’s running by its mouth trying to jump in, who’s hammering the legs with rockets, sending gallons of glowing orange goo in all directions. Picture the first game’s multiplayer, add bigger and louder everything, and that’s essentially what we played.

While this Shadow of the Colossus moment drove home the concept of team play, the game’s opening level felt a bit more “classic,” albeit with a few new touches. Instead of another frozen stretch of land, we’re treated to a tropical environment peppered with rival pirates, all attempting to muscle in on what little thermal energy is left.

Above: Rival pirates, giant Akrid bugs… there’s still plenty to kill

It all starts with the four of us zooming across a river as part of a united amphibious assault. As the camera zips around, we see friendly units gobbled up by something in the water, explosions in the sky and several other pals blasted before ever reaching the front. Once on foot, the four of us (plus other friendly pirates) storm the rivals’ stronghold, activating as many mash-the-B-button radar posts as we could find; as long as there is a post activated somewhere nearby, you’ll respawn ready to fight.

Die too much, and your team’s collective gauge will deplete rapidly, and when it’s empty, you lose for good. So, even if your energy isn’t constantly depleting due to the frigid environment, you’ll still need to pound more bugs and steal more energy reserves to stay alive.

Above: Players can join co-op matches in between levels

Other than the intermittent rain and steamy tropical setting, this level played just like the previous game. The same verticality is present, forcing you to think what’s above and around you, not just directly in front. Early on we bumped into one of those long-armed bugs from the original game and everyone immediately went for its glowing sacs of energy. Smart move, but one person (let’s say, GamesRadar) used the standard-issue hook to scale a tree and fire down on the creature from above. While our comrades are getting smacked around, we’re getting in plenty of free hits… until it wised up, batted us off the top and proceeded to stomp our face in the mud. Maybe the best tactic is a mix of straight shooting and smart use of the environment, then.

Lost Planet 2’s still about a year out, probably landing in the early part of 2010 (as was the case for the first Lost Planet, as well as Resident Evil 4 and 5). Sadly, we hear the lid’s gonna be shut tight for a while to come, so further details are probably a ways out. Until then, check our exclusivetwo-part interviewwith the game's producer and director.

Apr 8, 2009

Above: Check Official Xbox Magazine #96 for more screens, details and impressions of Lost Planet 2