Lost Planet 3 Preview


Release Date: 17/05/2013
Lost Planet 3 First Look preview at GAME

New Beginnings...

Lost Planet 3's all about new beginnings. A prequel to Capcom's action series that's traditionally been developed outside of Japan, it's a complete reboot of the original's vision, drilling down deep into the core tenets of survival and exploration. For its developer Spark Unlimited, whose last game Legendary: The Box remains one of the most critically derided games of this generation, it's also a chance to start again, and to prove it's got what it takes to craft something of worth.

Right now, it looks like the team is succeeding. Lost Planet 3 goes above and beyond the series' generic action roots, and delivers something with character, charm and wit. It looks, in fact, like it's shaping up to be one of the most interesting third-person shooters coming out this year, and it could well be an offbeat highlight of 2013.

Lost Planet 3 First Look preview at GAME

Ice Cold

You're cast as Jim Peyton, one of the first explorers of EDN 3, the arctic planet that was the backdrop for the previous games. Peyton's a brilliantly warm creation, written with a subtlety and grace that's rare for any video game, let alone one that's got a more gung-ho heritage. As he navigates the camp that acts as a mission hub, his engagements with fellow crew and technicians are all brought to life with style.

Beyond Peyton, the planet itself has character too. It’s wintry and hostile, and there's a new emphasis in Lost Planet 3 on exploration and survival. Strange abandoned outposts can be discovered in the wilds, and as you stalk their dark, empty corridors it feels more like Dead Space than the out and out action we've become used to from this series.

That action's still there, though in truth it feels partly compromised by the new focus. The butter-smooth frame-rate of the first two games is absent here though, replaced by something that's a little less assured. It's got teeth, however, and once you get past the slight stutter there's a pleasing amount of depth to Lost Planet 3's combat.


Lost Planet 3 First Look preview at GAME

Shoot the Core

At its core the game's still about finding the glowing orange weak spot of the various enemies, and pounding it down with whatever firearms are at hand until they keel over, but Spark Unlimited's done its best to add a little more variety this time around. At certain points your Mech may break down, leaving you exposed in the open as it's repaired, and while wave upon wave of enemies descend down upon you. It's frantic stuff, a horde mode that's been built into the fabric of the single-player campaign, and that helps keep the pace of Lost Planet 3 pleasantly agile.

Elsewhere, Lost Planet's fundamentals are in place, though they've all been given a thoughtful makeover. The enemies are slightly uglier and slightly meaner, and the tools at your disposal have been beefed up somewhat to make sure they're an even match. The mechsuit that's a series staple is now navigated from a first-person perspective, and it's a shift that works remarkably well - there's a neat sense of weight and momentum to your movement, and a great sense of satisfaction when driving a drill into the gaping maw of whatever beastie's doing its best to pry you from the cockpit.

It's a welcome rethink, essentially, of a series that lost its way a little with the second game. Spark Unlimited has reassessed what made the first Lost Planet such a success, and doubled down on making those elements shine. Lost Planet 3's a fresh beginning for both the series and the studio, and right now it looks like it could lead to something fascinating.


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