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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Capcom
Developed By: Capcom
Genre: Action
Players: 1-16
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Dated: January 12, 2007
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link
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If you are a gamer who has seen Starship Troopers, then you will have an understanding about Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. If you break this game down to the basics, itís all about shooting bugs within a frozen wasteland. You are dealing with a straightforward shooter, which may throw some off at first, but with the action moving at a constant pace, you can easily see the true potential and entertainment value within this title. Unlike most shooting games, this one doesnít need all the high-tech gizmos and flashy effects to prove its worth.

The human race just loves to battle and conquer new territories, which is the case for this game. Not too far in the distant future, the humans decide to leave Earth in hopes of conquering new worlds. Upon arriving on a frozen, life-less planet called E.D.N. III, it seems like a walk in the park for them, until they come across a massive opposition. This opposition is in the form of an massive entourage of insect-like aliens known as Akrids. While battling with these aliens, the humans learn that these creatures carry a thermal energy within their bodies that could be harnessed and used as a source of heat and energy (Final Fantasy: Spirits Within anyone?) Common sense would tell you to leave the planet in search of a world to live on comfortably, but instead, the humans decide to stay and fight. They construct these mobile suits known as Vital Suits, which are used to do battle against this alien opposition, but also to collect their ooie-gooie substance.

The biggest problem that humans have is not being able to get along with one another. Through our lifetime, there has been many battles and wars all because we couldnít come to terms with one another, which is the case within Extreme Conditions. There are several outlaw groups known as snow pirates that are also battling the Akrid, and even the humans, for control over the ooie-gooie substance needed for heat and energy, and just to cause trouble for the other humans trying to inhabit the planet.

Within Extreme Condition, you will take control of a snow pirate by the name of Wayne. He has little memory to speak of, with the exception of his father being killed by an Akrid known as Green Eye. Throughout the story, Wayne is destined to seek out Green Eye to avenge his fatherís death. As the story progresses on, there are several cut-scenes that will give some detail and insight into whatís going on. But seeing how they arenít really necessary, you can easily skip over the ones you choose to, or all of them. There are even several plot twist that make you wonder what the heck is going on, because they donít all necessarily have to do with the main plot of the game.

The story isnít really as important as some games make it out to seem. It sets you up for several heated battles between humans and aliens using a wide variety of weaponry and suits. And as you battle through these battles, set among different, yet immersive environments, at the end of the road, you get a chance to battle the boss. The bosses range in different sizes, from a simple hoard of mech suits, to giant-size spider-like creatures who take up practically the whole screen. If you have experienced games like God of War or even Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, you can see that these battles are the highlight of the single-player mode.

Seeing how thermal energy is very important to the livelihood of humans, Wayne is constantly looking to collect more of it. As time passes by, or if hit by the enemy, your thermal energy is drained, requiring you to find a source to refill your supply. If you donít acquire it be by killing aliens, or locating various data posts to fill up, your body will begin to deteriorate until you exist no more. But this is only an issue of you are playing on the harder difficulty levels. For those who stick to normal, there will be an abundance of thermal energy to go around (enemies, data posts, etc.). Iím sorry to say it, but when playing on the harder difficulty levels, there still seems like there is enough thermal energy to go around, not having the gamer choosing his battles more carefully.

Capcom takes pride in providing immersive environments an situations to show of the graphical detail of title and what the console can handle. The action with Lost Planet takes place outside for the most part, but there are several situations where you are doing battle inside underground industrial complexes and fiery volcanoes. But whether you are inside or out, each location is stylized to look like no other. Whether its buildings in the background or flowing lava, it all looks rather life-like and highly detailed. Eve when there are countless aliens on the screen at ones and gun-fire spraying all over the place, the action rarely slows down, and doesnít take away from the experience given off.

While the landscaping might look beautiful, itís far from being indestructible. Walls, vehicles, rocks, buildings, storage tanks, etc. are all fully destructible. So once you clear out the enemies are still feeling a little bad, take aim at the various items and locations around you.

While the visuals are rather impressive on the Xbox 360, the sound department takes a surprising hit. There are several instances where the music becomes very dramatic as it prepares the gamer for a looming heated battle, but when you look back on it, none of itís memorable. The sound effects from the various weapons and mech suits are on point, but the voice-overs seem rather dull and un-interesting. Though what the characters have to say, especially during the cut-scenes, is unimportant, it takes away from the immersive factor that this title brings to the gamers attention. During battles, there are several phrases that are said out-loud by human counterparts, which surprising enough, arenít repeated as often as you would find in a game like Resident Evil 4.

The single-player mode isnít as extensive as some would like. Depending on your skill level, you could easily beat the game within 8 hours. But for those who want a little more out of this game, you could always shoot for collect every hidden target icon within the game. This feat could easily add another 10-15 hours to your gameplay experience, which could also earn you some achievements along the way. But if you think this wont satisfy you, you could always do battle online.

Lost Planet supports 16-player online battles. You would have your choice of eight different environments to battle on and four different game modes. The four game modes: deathmatch, team deathmatch, all-against-one, and a team-based mode called Ďpost grabí. The first three modes are kind of obvious, but the one that sparks interest is the post grab mode. In this mode, your team tries to activate and defend all the data posts on the map. While it may seem easy, itís more difficult that you realize. To add to the online experience, you can even customize each environment map. There are several different layouts for each map, which switches up locations for weapons, mechs, starting points, etc.

During each battle, you earn points which are used to unlock certain additions to the game. As you increase your level, you are bale to unlock different character skins, which can be used in future matches. Another notable feature to the online structure is that the servers arenít separated by territory, so you can play gamers from all around the world and truly find out who is the best of the best. The only issue that I can think of that could hurt your online experience is if you play someone who doesnít speak the same language as you. Though it hinders the talking trash experience, you still can a good battle in.

Personal Thought:
Though Lost Planet doesnít rank at the top of the list for Ďbest shooterí on the Xbox 360, it does deliver stiff competition. It provides and intense single-player campaign. Though shorter than others, it provides enough action, suspense and aliens to kill to keep you happy. But if want more of a challenge, then you can step into the online world, which is incomparable to anything I have experience. This mode requires you to keep your skills polished because you never know who will bring a challenging situation to your door step. One thing is for sure, no matter what type of action you are into, Lost Planet can easily hold its own against the competition without struggle.


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