Although the third in the Lost Planet series, Lost Planet 3 is actually a prequel to the previous two instalments. Jim Peyton is the game’s new protagonist, a Utility Rig pilot who journeys to E.D.N. I.I.I. on behalf of NEVEC to harvest Thermal Energy, the planet’s natural energy source. Leaving his family back on Earth, Jim must now face the icy conditions of this hostile planet and come face to face with various forms of the dangerous Akrid species.
What You Need to Know
Lost Planet 3 sees Jim venturing out on different missions, ranging from collecting thermal energy and scientific data to rescuing team members, effecting repairs to installations, all the while facing the treacherous storms and hostile conditions of the planet as well as fighting the many Akrid that will cross his path. Jim’s large mechanical rig is instrumental in his survival and essential for traversing the terrain. You will also explore the environments on foot, and as you do you’ll encounter more and more unexplained secrets that Jim will seek to uncover and make sense of.
Even though the game is packed with action, you’ll also find yourself enjoying the humourous banter between Jim and his team mates back at the Coronis base. While facing off against the Akrid can be nerve-racking, the next moment you’ll be staring off into a beautiful frozen vista and drinking in the beautiful scenes that have been created. And then before you know it you’re creeping terrified through an abandoned base, your heart pumping as you discover that Lost Planet 3 incorporates excellent horror elements too.
It’s this change of pace and focus on atmosphere that has been so solidly executed that will keep you wanting to explore E.D.N. I.I.I. and unravel the captivating story. Jim is initially portrayed as an everyday man, just trying to do the best he can to help his family, something highlighted by the touching video messages his wife and him exchange throughout the game. Yet before long he takes on the role of unassuming hero, and becomes an honourable character and memorable protagonist in my opinion.
What’s the Same?
Although you may recognise the use of sound effects, lighting, and music during the horror sections of the game, the way in which they have been tied together so well can’t help but make me think this is how Aliens should have been crafted. The boss battles will also seem familiar, especially if you’ve played the previous instalments in the series. Although they can become repetitive and still remain too lengthy, they do also serve up quite a challenge to players.
The Lost Planet way of shooting the Akrid’s glowing orange areas remains, but the variety of enemies and the different strategies to attack them means gameplay remains fresh. The switch between first-person inside the rig and then third-person when on foot also helps to keep the pace of the game interesting.
You’ll Enjoy Lost Planet 3 if You Liked…
…Dead Space 3: it’s similar in terms of atmosphere and at times will truly terrify you, but these sections are interspersed with more action than a typical horror title.
…Lost Planet 1 and 2: there are still Akrid, you still shoot their glowing orange areas, you’re still on E.D.N. I.I.I., but the story is more engaging and Jim is a more memorable character that you can identify with.
What I Liked
- 5.) The witty banter between Gale Holden, who is responsible for upgrading the rig, and Jim’s competitive French utility rig rival, Renard LaRoche.
- 4.) The variety of enemies means players will have to adapt their strategy and weaponry constantly. While some Akrid may be fast, others will choose to attack and retreat, and some may even explode if you let them get to close.
- 3.) Switching between main and optional missions was simple, while an objective marker and job log meant you never felt lost in the environments.
- 2.) Driving Jim’s rig, it was responsive and fun to explore in – not to mention drilling large Akrid with the handy attachments is entertaining and all to the sound of his favourite tunes too. Upgrading the rig was also rewarding and made me want to search for parts and complete optional missions too.
- 1.) The variety in the environments – from moving between snowy storms in the rig outside to the relative safety and warmth of the base, from exploring abandoned installations on foot to a secret camp, you’ll enjoy the change of pace this brings to the game.
Crushing the Akrid with the mechanical drill of the rig was satisfying, while trying to DNA tag a large Akrid before he killed me was challenging.
What I Didn’t Like
- 4.) While the voice acting for Jim was spot on, some of the other characters were less convincing and the stilted delivery of some lines definitely broke the level of immersion.
- 3.) Load screens were frustrating, even though the different environments were very large such a thing still annoys me when I’ve played other titles where the load screens are built into cut-scenes and don’t impact on my gameplay experience.
- 2.) More choices in the weapon department would have been great. While a shotgun worked wonders on up close and personal encounters and the machine gun is handy for crowd control, there was the opportunity to create more entertaining weapons for players to enjoy. I would have felt more confident facing the large Akrid bosses with a big elephant gun rather than a handgun with unlimited ammo.
- 1.) The boss battles were too repetitive and long with insufficient weaponry. While I do enjoy a challenge, I don’t enjoy repeating a sequence of attacks three times in order to reduce a boss’s health, especially when no health bar is shown.
Least favourite moment
Running out of ammo in a boss battle, and having to complete this arduous task with just a handgun is not my idea of a good time. It almost led to a rage quit I’ll be honest.
The optional missions were surprisingly entertaining, and kept me on my toes with extracting DNA from the different Akrid enemies before I killed them (or they killed me), while exploring the corners of the planet became commonplace in search of parts and clues to the past. The audio and text logs scattered throughout the world also presented further insight into the planet’s history.
Lost Planet 3 also includes four multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Scenario, Extraction and Akrid Survival. During the time I spent online with the game there was good matchmaking and I didn’t experience any significant lag. I also enjoyed the variety offered by the different objectives that some of the modes offered.
Paradise Lost launch trailer
The Bottom Line
Lost Planet 3 was a great mix of story and action adventure, with elements of horror that took me by surprise and plenty of good old fashioned shooting.
Lost Planet 3 was reviewed on the PlayStation 3