Coming August 19th, XBox Live Gold Members will get their first chance at checking out the totally new world of Lost Planet with a four player co-op demo. The game, the next installment in the popular action series, will “offer deeper insight into the world of E.D.N. III and the uncertain future of mankind. Players will follow the exploits of their own customized snow pirate on their quest to sieze control of the planet.”
This demo has been floated around E3 and San Diego Comic Con and will now be available for the first time to the entire XBox live community. At Comic Con, we got to speak to Lost Planet 2’s Community Manager as we played through the co-op demo on the show floor to get some insight in to what players can expect from the game.
New to Lost Planet 2 and demonstrated in the demo will be a 4 Player Co-op campaign. Along with 4 Player Co-Op will come a Team Battle Gauge. A team will share this gauge and if a player dies, the team loses 500 points off the gauge. When it runs out, it’s game over. Players can share energy between themselves, enabling anyone to play a medic role if needed. In the first Lost Planet game, there was a constant loss of energy to heal wounds or stop the main character from freezing.
Now, that meter doesn’t automatically deplete on its own and player chooses when to use energy to heal themselves or to give the energy to their teammates. Also, new Co-op inspired weapons can be shot at teammates will increase their attack or defense capabilities instead of damaging them. Lost Planet 2 will keep its traditional single man Vital Suit robotic combat units (or VS units) but the demo will also include a new three man vehicle featuring a pilot’s slot as well as two independent gunner positions.
The game will also feature fully character customization. Where players were dropped in a set role during Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, Lost Planet 2 allows players to choose their character’s sex and piece together their own armor combinations based off loot drops during battle. Armor choices include headpieces, backpacks, chest plates and legs. Our Capcom representative told us that there will be “dozens and dozens of pieces for hundreds of combinations.” These customizations will carry over between the game’s single player, co-op and competitive multiplayer modes.
Lost Planet 2 will also be a much longer game. It will contain six episodes for single player and co-op gameplay, each played as a different faction of the planet’s snow pirates. Each episode explains the changes on the world since the first Lost Planet, especially the environmental changes. Instead of just snow covered mountains, Lost Planet 2 features deserts, jungles and full cities. The actions of the players also will be reflected in the environments for a more dynamic feel to the gameplay.
For the demo, players will encounter one of the first bosses in the game, the G-Type Salamander Akrid. There is a focus for going bigger this time around, and the Salamander is actually one of the smaller bosses in the game. The Salamander features a large spike on the back, which the major weak spot that will sink down inside it as if it takes too much damage from being attacked. When this happens, some of the team will actually go inside the Salamander through the mouth and shoot the spike back out to the top for the other teammates outside. To get in the mouth, there are a variety of options for the players. The first is for everyone to take out two of the Salamander’s legs which will cause it to fall over, mouth agape for players to charge in.
Another option comes from doing massive amounts of damaged to the Salamander’s closed mouth which will cause him to open it. And the final and more dangerous options are to put yourself at mouth level and hope that the Salamander actually eats the player instead of just running them down as it often does. Or if he is stomping around and you are mouth height on a ledge, he can scoop you up or get grabbed by his forked tongue. When the Salamander is ready to die, that’s when Lost Planet 2’s new MT Framework 2.0 engine kicks in to high gear with some impressive visual effects while the battle is still going on.
While it was hard to play a demo, conduct an interview and communicate with teammates all at the same time, it was easy to see that real cooperative play makes the game much more approachable and satisfying, especially when players share vehicles and energy meters together. The visuals in Lost Planet 2 have taken an impressive leap up from the already great looking original and the gameplay itself felt tighter with more reactive controls
XBox Live Gold Members will be able to judge for themselves August 19th while Silver level members will have to wait an extra week until August 26th to get their hands on Lost Planet 2. Take a look below at some of our gameplay footage from San Diego Comic Con