Lost Planet : Extreme Condition Colonies Edition

Okay – it’s got to be said, but the first thing I noticed about this game is that it’s got the ugliest menu I’ve ever seen! Although it does reflect the mood of old arcade gaming menus. At least nothing could ever have a worse game menu than Ehrgeiz, my God, that had horrendous navigation sfx! Playing Lost Planet kinda took me back to the times of MDK (PC) in ’97 or Apoclaypse (PS1) ’98, and I reckon this game makes a nice revival of third-person action, with a nice graphical update too. What’s more Lost Planet Extreme Condition : Colonies Edition is a budget release, this meaning it’s at a cheaper price, and the bonus is that there’s a load of new features that weren’t in the original copy. Score one for the newbie, but perhaps frustrating for the LP fans.

Admittedly you’ve got to hang on and bear with the atrocious opening of the game. This could be a lesson learned for players like me who ditch the manuals and dive straight for the game pads. Upon starting LP you’re thrown into the deep end and the pop up tutorials don’t really sink in well. The pace is pushy and it gets irritating dying ten times over because the whole panic situation makes it hard to know what exactly is going on. Just stick it through, though, and after the beginning bit is over with, you can start enjoying the game properly.

LP is pure fun for just zipping around the frozen planet, gasping when giant insects known as “Akrids” surface out of the snow or come leaping at you from nowhere. Endlessly blasting the crap out of big bugs with thermal weak spots reminds me of Earth Defence Force 2017. There’s also a hint of Mechas, “Vital Suits” which add to the fun by giving you extra fire power. The overall story doesn’t really make any sense but it hardly matters because you find yourself itching for the next round of explosive barrels and tumbling rock boulders, daring yourself to take on the gigantic monsters in some all round awesome shoot-em-up action. You can use the landscape to your advantage, but I first discovered this by accident. Like Sonic the Hedgehog an Akrid came spinning towards me down the mountain, but luckily there was a huge crevice between us so the big dumb Akrid pretty much committed suicide.

So, a little run down of how the game works, it’s all made up of mission levels (usually a travel from A to B) with a boss fight at the end. With the final battles the atmosphere equates to the same excitement as when playing “Shadow of the Colossus” (PS2). Your life meter “T-Eng” which stands for thermal energy is constantly ticking down while you’re travelling about the vast cold climate. Killing Akrids, enemy humans, shooting up destructible objects or activating data points (check points) will help restore and supply your energy. Sounds simple, but bear in mind that while you’re exerting more energy from jumping about you will decrease your T-Eng digits, which is not a great sight when you’re running low. Thankfully, we’ve got a grapple hook to make things a bit easier, climb the mountains faster or evade incoming attacks by zip lining to a nearby crate or dangle from a ledge and shoot freely at the pit of monsters. Shame it can only be activated when you’re standing still though.

When you’ve had enough of being pwned in single player, the new treat of a God mode called, “Off Limit Mode” lets you take your anger out and cheat your way through the game. The majority of new content in Colonies ties closely to the online multiplayer side, giving you four new maps and additional female and robot character models. Unfortunately, the Colonies edition isn’t compatible to play with people who have the original game. However, the real battle is happening with 360 and PC gamers truly deciding whether gamepads or mouse and keys are the winners. There’s a load more generic multi-player game modes with colonies, Counter Grab, Point Snatcher, Akrid Egg Battle and Egg Bandit. However, the ones that I recommend are definitely worth checking out are “Akrid Hunter” and “VS Annihilator”. They provide good laughs with your friends.

In “Akrid Hunter”, depending on how many players are in the room the computer assigns the number and who gets to be the badass Akrids. Being a mighty sized Akrid is fantastic and there’s massive joy in wreaking havoc upon your tiny opponents. The balance in the game does often seem to favour being the enemies with their rather ultimate strength, but it’s still fun on the other side, teaming up with your friends, picking up one of four new weapons, hand guns, revolvers (the weapon of choice for the head shot experts), flame launcher (always fun to make a BBQ), jumping into VS’s and everybody going for the same thermal weak spot.

In “VS Annihilator” each team must destroy their opponent’s VS while protecting their own. One VS for each team, and hope for the best that the one who’s got the VS is an experienced pilot. The mech’s aren’t the only ones with new toys, as there is some new firepower such as the Pile Bunker (a long spike that fires at immense speed), the VS Rifle, the Rocket Pod (shooting rockets to cause massive damage in a specific area) and the Laser Lance. Those in a VS suit should start running whenevr a human picks up a Hand Cannon, as they are very effective at taking down the war machines.


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