Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions

The “Lost Planet” franchise has developed a cult following over the years. Many fans are harping for the franchise to return on the current generation of consoles. But how does the first entry in the series hold up today?

The premise of the game is interesting enough although not particularly original. Essentially you find yourself on a bitter cold planet that is constantly covered in ice and snow. For you “Star Wars” nerds out there, it is essentially Hoth. The planet has its share of human inhabitants but they cannot spend more than a few minutes outside or they may freeze to death. However, the “extreme conditions” are perfect for the Kaiju like monsters known as the Akrid.

The story follows a young snow pirate named Wayne, whom of course has nostalgia (seriously the most overused trope for player characters in video games). He is joined by a small band of fellow pirates with a goal to save humanity! Yay!!! Cause that is obviously what pirates love to do… Okay, to be more specific they are trying to find a way to reheat the planet making it more habitable for humans and less habitable for the Akrid.

The game plays out through a series of missions. Each mission has the player fighting through hordes of Akrid and corrupt human soldiers before finally reaching a boss battle. The missions unfortunately all feel kind of the same. After 2 or 3 missions I found myself just trying to rush through the stages so that I could get to the next story element. Never really feeling all that engaged by the gameplay. Most the time I found myself just frustrated rather than actually enjoying myself. I don’t mind a challenge in a game but most of this games challenge stems from clunky controls, inexplicable hurt boxes, and annoying time constraints. In many instances the player is required to shoot weak points on monsters; this is especially true for bosses. However, frequently the enemy will not take damage when it appears as if the weak spot was hit. This results in an incredibly frustrating experience.

Despite the many flaws in gameplay, “Lost Planet” does have some positives. The setting is actually pretty neat. A variety of different Mecha suits known as VS exist in the game worlds. From suits designed for drilling, to high quality combat suits, the VS have a wide variety of functions. The VS are as varied in design as they are in function. With some looking more like construction vehicles than Mecha, and others looking like they would fit right into the Mobile Suit Gundam world. Monster design is also solid in “Lost Planet.” I don’t think any of the Akrid really stand out as masterpiece in design on their own. However, there is a wide variety of different Akrid that look unique from each other but still look like they belong in the same space. This in and of itself is impressive. I will also say I quite liked the ending scene of the game. I am not going to go into details on the ending as I do not want to spoil anything but I did find it satisfying in its own way.

So what is my conclusion on “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions”? Honestly I don’t really care for the game as a whole but weirdly, I find myself interested in playing the rest of the franchise. What it ultimately comes down to is the gameplay was desperately lacking but, given some fine tuning it could be made good. Meanwhile the world of “Lost Planet” is intriguing and I want to explore it more, but I don’t want to do it by playing this game…

So now I have got to rank it. First of all it should be known that “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” will be going on the horror list. Yeah it is not a horror game in the traditional sense but I am counting anything with Kaiju as horror so that is where it is going. As to the position on the list, “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” is going pretty close to the bottom. I am placing in 15th, putting “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” below “Carrion” and above “Sea Salt”.

Platform: Microsoft Xbox 360. Time to Beat: 8 hours 53 minutes 25 seconds.

How to Play “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions?”

“Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” is currently available for sale on my website: http://intergalacticgc.com

The game is backwards compatible so it may be enjoyed on Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X.

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