In Lost Planet 2, pressing the Start button heals your character. I repeat, pushing the START button is what heals your character. This was a decision that was made and approved by what one can assume was dozens, nay hundreds, of people. I’m not saying this alone makes the game bad, but it is one piece of a giant puzzle of baffling design decisions that make Lost Planet 2 one of the more unpleasant experiences I’ve had this year.
I’ll come right out and say it; I did not play through this entire game. I know, I know, my journalistic integrity is now in question because I’m reviewing a game I haven’t experienced the whole way through. But the joke is on you because I never had any journalistic integrity to even put into question!
That being said, I still wanted to at least talk about this game because having to pay for all of my own games means I don’t get to attack very many of them around here. I try not to spend money on games I know I won’t like, even for the sake of our 4 readers. This however was a game that I was expecting to enjoy on at least some level but no, no there is little enjoyment to be found here.
Please note that unless you have four friends who are completely willing to play through this entire game with you, stay far away from the Campaign. This is not a game to be played solo. The game tries to make up for it by giving you three AI teammates, but for the most part they might as well not even be there as their contributions are usually slim to nil. Most of the time they stood by while I did all the work activating data posts and shooting giant bugs. Once during a boss fight I found one of them hiding in a little cave area, facing the wall. The computer’s actual strategy was to pussy out and hide! So definitely try and recruit some people who actually have a soul and know what they’re doing.
Simply having human teammates isn’t enough to save the experience however. Lost Planet 2 seems almost determined to ruin any potential fun you may try to have playing it.
Let’s start with its bizarre focus on overdone animation as I think this is what bothered me the most. Just about every single gesture you do requires some drawn out animation sequence. This includes reloading, throwing a grenade, getting in and out of whatever the robot suits are called, and getting back up after being knocked down.
We’ll pause here for a moment to address that last one in greater detail. Yes when you get knocked down it will take a good 5 seconds for your character to get back up on his feet. Don’t get me wrong the animation itself looks great, but now is not the time or the place for this! By the time he stands back up, the enemy is primed to knock your ass right back down. It is absolutely infuriating each and every time it happens.
What makes it worse is that if an enemy hits you during one of these animations, and it seems like they usually will, it will cancel it. So if you’re a couple of seconds into reloading and get hit by something spitting on you or whatever, you will not reload and just get to try again. I have no idea who pushed for this concept, but as retaliation I am very tempted to follow them around and then when they try and do anything, like say go to the bathroom or take a bite of some food, I hit them to stop them from doing it and then yell “Start over!” It’s only fair after what they put us through.
The most impressive aspect of the game is easily the boss fights, at least from a visual standpoint. These sum bitches are huge! The game definitely makes good on its “Kill Big” tagline. Whenever one emerges, you can’t help but assume you are in for one hell of an epic battle. The game isn’t having any of that though. It’s only setting you up for even further disappointment. While visually stunning, the boss battles come down to nothing more than blasting away at a glowing spot on the enemies’ body. There is never any doubt of where to shoot and it kind of makes me feel bad for these aliens or insects or whatever they actually are. It looks like they are genetically doomed to have obvious weak points, which is already bad enough but when you add in that these weak points are being blatantly broadcasted to all potential predators, well what chance do these guys have?
Actually a pretty fucking good one because as it turns out, those weak spots can absorb ridiculous amounts of bullets. I mean it’s fucking crazy. You’ll spend a few minutes just pumping round after round into them, only to look down at a life bar that has only seen a minimal drop. It’s at that point you realize that even these sequences are going to be a drawn-out chore. By the time the boss finally goes down, there’s no joy in the victory. You just think “Thank god!” until the next one comes and you do it all again.
You know how even good games sometimes have those sequences where you get to it and think “Oh no, not another one of these sections…” and your only choice is to just try to power through it? Lost Planet 2 is that feeling only stretched out over an entire game. Ok running around with a buddy and shooting bugs can be fun, but the game is so determined to crush any joy you try to have that eventually you just can’t be bothered with it anymore. It does look really nice, but don’t let it fool you because it’s all a ruse. Once it lures you in with its sexy exterior, it will eat your soul, as well as your face. Don’t let Lost Planet 2 eat your face! That is all.