When Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions was originally released I found myself impressed by the graphics and intrigued by the multiplayer, but underwhelmed by the gameplay and the single-player campaign. Lost Planet is a game that I really wanted to enjoy, but there was just something about the game that kept me from having the kind of fun I expect from a big budget Capcom game.
Here we are a year and a half later and Capcom is back with a considerably cheaper version of Lost Planet. Titled Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions Colonies Edition, Capcom's repackaging offers the same mediocre shooter, along with a bunch of extra content. We're talking about brand new multiplayer maps, characters, weapons and more. But are these extras enough to convince both veterans and neophytes to give this Colonies Edition a chance? I chose to give this game a second shot and even with its amazing visuals, I still have decidedly mixed feelings about Lost Planet.
In case you haven't played the original 2007 version, Lost Planet tells the story of bunch of humans trying to colonize a foreign (and very snowy) planet. Before long the humans realize that they are not alone on this new planet, there is actually a native alien life form known as the Akrid. The nice thing about the Akrid is that these insect-like creatures house a very special thermal energy, which is perfect for creating heat and energy, two components the humans are desperate for. Before too long the humans are sending in troops and big mechs to destroy these Akrid creatures, which seems like a lot of work considering the alternatives (which is to, I don't know, find another less-frozen planet).
You play the game as Wayne, a snow pirate that was (you guessed it) discovered frozen in the ice. Seeing as he's been frozen, Wayne is suffering from a slight bought of amnesia. Thankfully he remembers that his father was killed by a large Akrid and that he needs to get revenge on this creature (known as Green Eye) to make everything better. This sets up a short (seven to eight hour) adventure that has you swinging from building to building, getting into mech suits, blowing huge bugs up and weaving yourself through one heck of a convoluted (and boring) story.
If you're played the original version of Lost Planet then this will all sound familiar, since Capcom didn't tweak or add anything to the single-player campaign in any way. The truth is, in Lost Planet: Colonies Edition the single-player mode feels like more of an afterthought (proven by the fact that you only gain five measly achievement points for beating the game on the hardest difficulty). Instead the emphasis is on the multiplayer modes, which have been improved.
This brand new Colonies Edition features all of the maps found in the original game, plus an additional four new levels. These levels are just as detailed as what you saw in the original release, which should certainly please the gamers addicted to Lost Planet's unique gameplay. On top of that you also have ten brand new multiplayer weapons, most of which are actually pretty useful. And don't look now, but you will also be able to take control of five new playable characters, including a certain photojournalist who was recently stuck in a mall battling zombies.
Unfortunately the additional multiplayer content does not come without a steep price tag. Not so much the price of the disc (the MSRP is $29.99), but rather some technical problems that should have been figured out before the game shipped. For example, this version of Lost Planet is curiously not backwards compatible with the older game. That means that if an online player had reached a high level, in Lost Planet: Colonies he's going to start all over at level 1. This probably sounds good to the new Lost Planet players, but it's a big slap in the face to those who are buying this for the added levels and weapons.
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