Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Developed by Capcom
Available Now for Xbox 360
Okay, so those giant bugs in Starship Troopers? Pretty sweet, right? Hell yes they are! And those giant worms from Tremors? Badass! And those giant robots from Neon Genesis Evangelion? Right again, Sherlock! AWESOME! So Lost Planet: Extreme Condition—a game that combines all these excellent things into a hodgepodge of fast-shootin', bug-killin', robot-drivin' action—should be a lot of fun, right? I mean, I've failed every math class I've ever been forced to take, but I do know shooting things + exploding bugs + big robots should = a solid way to spend a weekend on the couch.
I'm too lazy to work that equation out with a calculator, but for the most part, the sci-fi shooter Lost Planet succeeds in pulling the elements together. You play as Wayne, a dude stuck on a frozen planet that might as well be named Hoth—see, humans have come to Hoth, only to be attacked by the aforementioned Starship Tremors aliens. Loading themselves up with a few million rounds of ammo and some bug-stompin' robot suits, humankind—having learnt much, apparently, from exterminating indigenous life forms and races here on Earth—sets about blowing up every bug we can find.
With constant action and killer production design, Lost Planet's consistently entertaining—at least, it is when you're on foot, running through snowy expanses and shooting everything in sight. When the game forces you into the big robots, though, things get clunky: Sketchy control issues persist, and the focus bewilderingly shifts from shooting at dumb aliens to shooting at dumb people. (Dumb aliens are believable—I mean, they're giant worms, for chrissakes—but the people you end up fighting are so retarded they'll make you wonder if humanity's better off turning into a bunch of icicles.) Great graphics and a turn from South Korean movie star Lee Byung-hun as Wayne should help sell Lost Planet's story and cut scenes, but ultimately, they don't—so while it's fun for a while, Lost Planet doesn't quite hold up. But then, neither do Starship Troopers or Tremors, and that doesn't make me love them any less.