Lost Planet

Wednesday 23 August 2006
Xbox 360's frozen sci-fi shooter Lost Planet received a warm reception both at this year's E3 and with its downloadable Live demo, but the Game Convention currently running in Leipzig has provided the first showing for its multiplayer.

While the finished game - due out early next year - will feature a variety of maps and play styles, currently only the snowy urban warzone from the single-player game is available for five-versus-five team-play.

Each team scores points for killing other players and for claiming capture points - the heat beacons used as checkpoints in the single-player game - which provide 50 points for the team while topping up your personal thermal energy level. A princely 750 points are awarded for gunning down the opposition, though, which keeps the action frantic. Call us unsociable, but we chose to stake out some prime sniping positions in broken walls.

We were able to use all the weapons we'd seen in the single-player game, from sniper rifles to plasma grenades, as well as a new grenade weapon that erupts in a cluster of suicide-bots, which swarm across the snow and detonate on their unfortunate target.

Mech suits, too, were slightly different models than we'd experienced in single-player - a little more reminiscent of Robocop's ED-209, with suitably gratifying laser cannons.

Looking every bit as spectacular as the single-player game - even with constant death and destruction - the only sign of strain was the occasional blip of lag, which would seldom last longer than a second. With further modes and the possibility of 32-player matches to be implemented, Lost Planet's multiplayer is another reason to be excited for a top-notch action game.