Lost Planet is Capcom's foray into the traditionally Western dominated world of first & third person shooters. It features a stylish, snowy wasteland setting and very traditional Japanese combat balancing.
The story follows the concept of a man with amnesia, Wayne Holden, who goes on an epic journey to fight a great evil while at the same time regaining parts of his memory to reveal a tragic back story full of heartbreak and betrayal. He eventually has to fight an evil oppressive corporation and the man responsible for his backstabbing/memory loss.
The combat in Lost Planet is much more complex than the average shooter, with a heavy focus on invincibility windows in animations and carefully timed evasive maneuvers. This gives it much more of a traditional Japanese action game feel than circle-strafe heavy shooters that are commonplace in the Western market.
The game has different types of attacks, depending on weapon selection, impact distance, evasive timing, and type of weapon used.
- Light Attacks - Simply do damage with no interruptions to movement. Includes damage from long distance shots projectile weapons.
- Light Stun Attacks - Cause the injured character to stumble or pause for a bit. Includes damage from machine gun fire close range. Can be cancelled by repeatedly clicking the left stick to crouch.
- Heavy Stun Attacks - Send the character into a stun animation where they stand in place, usually being electrocuted. Usually the result of a plasma grenade or EM laser.
- Stumbling Attacks - Send the character into a stumbling animation, where they are temporarily stunned, but keep moving the the direction they were before. Normally caused by nearby grenade detonation, nearby rocket explosions, or nearby large Akrid movement.
- Knockdown Attacks - Knock down the character for a period of time. The character is invincible during this animation, but is placed at a very strategic disadvantage as a result, especially against a player who knows exactly when the invincibility window ends. Attacks include close range explosions, close range shotgun blasts, direct hits from lasers, and several Akrid attacks.
- Instant Kill Attacks - Self-explanatory. Instant kill attacks include direct hits from rockets, point blank shotgun blasts, and head shots from sniper or plasma rifles.
Defensive maneuvering in this game is tantamount to survival. It's important to learn the invincibility windows for all animations in the game, as well as perfectly timing evasive dodges.
The evasive dodge can be done by crouching and pressing the jump button. The player character will dive into a roll that will place them out of the range of most enemy attacks. There is also a very brief invincibility window during the animation. The roll can be successfully used in the following ways:
- Diving out of the way of incoming laser & energy gun attacks.
- Waiting & perfectly timing an evasive dodge away from a homing weapon.
- Diving out of the way of rockets.
- Using the invincibility frames to cancel the explosion of a gum grenade when stuck with one.
- Zig-zagging to evade sniper fire.
- Diving circles around an opponent in a close range battle.
- Evading practically every Akrid attack in the game. All Akrid are designed so that their attacks can be completely evaded by roll-dodging at an exact time.
Mobility is an important thing to take into account while playing, as well. There a trade off in picking up a VS weapon as a human considering it will lead to slower movement, and a long reloading animation that will leave the player vulnerable & stationary. Small exploits can be used to cancel certain reload animations, such as doing a dive roll in the middle of a machine gun reload, or jumping before pressing the reload button when using a regular rocket launcher.
Human enemies factor across a large majority of the game. They mainly try to stay back and take shots at the player with long range weapons, occasionally moving behind cover. They don't particularly try to flank, flush the player out with grenades, or any kind of advanced maneuvers like that. The challenge in the human enemies comes not from their AI, but from the sheer numbers of them the game throws at the player at all times, both in & out of VS's. In later levels, it's commonplace to encounter sections with over 30 human enemies in and out of VS's and stationary turrets.
The on-foot human enemies will typically be equipped with machine guns in the first few levels, while in the later levels having rifles, rocket launchers, energy guns, and plasma guns. While in VS's, the enemies' mobility and weapon power is significantly increased, and they have a tendency to try to quickly circle-strafe you while unloading on the player with a barrage of power weapons. Some quick evasive moves and strong weapons are best in these scenarios.
Akrid opponents, on the other hand, are tackled in an entirely different fashion. The Akrid close the distance on the player as fast as possible, and all have 3 or 4 attacks they cycle between which have very specific methods to avoid. In addition to this, they all have bright orange weak points that must be shot to do damage, as opposed the the humans which can be shot anywhere. This makes the Akrid essentially feel like mini boss battles in themselves, and mixed with human enemies at the same time, add a lot of different variety & tactics to each encounter. The Akrid will also constantly ambush the player from busting out from beneath the snow when you least expect it.
The game contains several different types of Akrid, but also 2 or 3 size variations on each time. For example, one type, dubbed the "rolly poly" by the online community, appears in a small form throughout the first few levels. A much larger version is also the boss of the first level. However, by the 7th or 8th level, the player is facing several instances of the level 1 boss version, thrown at the player in the same number & patterns as the smaller ones were at the beginning, only with more powerful VS's and weapons at their disposal. This happens will all the different types of Akrid, until the last few levels are a chaotic combination of boss rushes and mech battles in an explosive particle-effect drenched battlefield.
There are also a few single instance Akrid that only appear in particular scenarios in the game and are better off avoided. Those are the worms in level 3, and the moth in level 5.
In an interesting design choice, not a single enemy encounter outside of the boss fights needs to be completed in order to progress. This means that if the player is good enough at avoiding enemies and their attacks, they can simply run past every fight in the game that's not a boss battle. On Extreme difficulty, this becomes a necessity to beat certain parts, as stopping to kill the ridiculously tough enemies will often end in the player either dying or running out of thermal energy.
Vital Suits (VS's for short) are mechs that the player & enemies can pilot throughout the game. They have their own lifebar, and drain thermal energy at a much faster rate than if the player were on foot. The benefit is that they can move while reloading the VS weapons, and can dual wield them.
- GAB - 25M Codename Cakti
- GAN - 34 Codename Granseed
- GAN - 37
- GAN - A04SD Codename Cyclops
- GTB - 22 Codename Faze
- GTB - 22CC
- GTF - 11 Codename Drio
- GTF - 11CC
- GTF - 13F
- GTF - 13M Codename Evax
- GTN - A01 Codename Turntable
- GTN-A03C Codename Zebet
- GTN-A03M Codename Zebet
- GTT - 01 Codename Nida
- PTX - 40A Codename Ivan
- PTX - 140 Codename Hardballer
The PTX-40A also appears in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom series as a playable character.
- Machine Gun - Standard starting weapon in all single player levels. Has stun effect in multiplayer. The stun effects can be canceled by repeatedly crouching.
- Shotgun - Has a powerful & wide damage arc at close range, but is useless at longer ranges. Can knock down enemies in multiplayer at medium-to-close range, or is a 1 hit kill at point blank.
- Rifle (Sniper Weapon) - 2 shot kill for any human enemy, or 1 shot kill if a head shot is landed (for single or multiplayer). It is not recommended against Akrid or VS. You're best off saving your ammo for humans.
- Rocket Launcher - A powerful weapon, with a stumbling/knockdown splash damage, that is a 1 hit kill against humans if a direct hit is landed. The rocket launcher's immobility during a reload animation can be canceled by first jumping in the air, then reloading.
- Plasma Gun (Sniper Weapon) - Has similar damage effects to the rifle, but instead of instantly connecting with the target, the plasma gun shots take about a second to travel through the air. This means that at great distances, sniper shots must be led a bit.
- Energy Gun (Homing Weapon) - A weapon that can be charged up. A fully charged blast will knock people down (or sometimes kill them), and eject people from VS's. A fully charged shot also has heavy homing capabilities. Smaller shots can be used to whittle down an enemy's health.
Note that all grenades of any kind can be detonated at any point (midair or otherwise) by being shot.
- Hand Grenade - A standard explosive grenade. Works just like in every other game.
- Disc Grenade - Flies in an infinite straight line (like a perfect frisbee) until it hits an obstacle, then bounces for a bit. Will stick in enemies. It's useful to tag people who are knocked down, bounce off a wall or ceiling to get a hiding enemy, or thrown across a large distance then detonated to kill far away enemies.
- Gum Grenade - A grenade with a very high arc and short distance that sticks to any surface it touches (including VS's & humans). Has a very long timer for detonation, so it's best used to stick to walls to make a trap.
- Plasma Grenade - Has a large blast radius that does very little damage, but stuns everything inside the blast. Great for stunning people then shooting them, or one can just repeatedly hit them with plasma grenades until their health eventually whittles down to nothing.
- Dummy Grenade - Will create an explosive mannequin-like balloon that floats around, and detonates when shot. The dummy will appear as another dot on players' radars.
- Gatling Gun - Has a heavy stun effect on human opponents.
- Shotgun - Has a heavy knockdown effect on human opponents, and a longer distance for an instant kill effect.
- Cannon - A small splash damage blast that's powerful if an instant hit is connected.
- Rocket Launcher - A much larger version than the human rocket launcher. Behaves in the same way.
- Missile Launcher - A launcher that fires a series of smaller rockets. They do less damage, but this weapon also does not need to be reloaded after every single shot.
- Grenade Launcher - A powerful arc-ing weapon that takes a bit of calculation to aim at distances, but can be lethal in the right hands.
- Laser Rifle - Fires a straight laser beam that can be deadly when fully charged. The laser rifle can be charged up by holding in the trigger.
- EM Laser - Behaves similarly to the laser rifle, but has a slightly wider area of effect, and is more powerful against VS's. Charging any laser weapon drains thermal energy very quickly.
- Homing Laser - Has a total of 4 lock-ons that can be set on 1 to 4 separate targets. It will then fire 8 homing laser beams with an extremely wide arc, making it useless indoors or against anyone close range.
- A World of Ice
- Stronghold Assault
- Crossing the Plains
- Mountain Route 1
- Mountain Route 2
- Green Eye Returns
- Caravan Ambush
- Volcano Dome Facility
- Thermal Energy Deposit
- Showdown Below
- Final Battle
The mutiplayer in Lost Planet was quite the sleeper hit. Not even Capcom was expecting it to be as well received as it was. A combination of the human & vehicular combat, creative game modes like Post Grab, a unique take on the scoring system in standard deathmatch, all in combination with the aforementioned combat focus on evasive maneuvering and invincibility animations.
Lost Planet sold so many copies that Capcom continued to support it by adding several cheap map packs (which later became free), and an update that allowed hosts to choose from 3 different types of netcode.
A year later, Capcom re-released the game as Colonies Edition, with several significant new additions. While it had a few new single player modes, Colonies Edition was largely a multiplayer expansion pack in response to the level of enthusiasm players had for the original. It includes several new multiplayer modes, maps, weapons, playable characters, level caps, and adds new level layouts & host options to keep things fresh.
PC System Requirements
Minimum System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP
- CPU: Intel Pentium 4 supporting HT technology, AMD Athlon 64 3500 or greater
- RAM: 512 MB (Windows XP)/1GB (Windows Vista)
- Hard Drive: 8.0 GB
- Disk Drive: DVD9 compatible
- Video: VRAM 256 MB, DIrectX 9.0c/Shader3.0*, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or greater** For ATI supported cards visit: lostplanetcommunity.com
- Sound: DirectSound compatible. DirectX 9.0c
- Peripherals: Mouse, Keyboard
- Internet: Broadband connection required to play
Recommended System Requirements
- OS: Windows Vista
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo
- RAM: 1 GB (Windows XP)/2GB (Windows Vista)
- Video: VRAM 256 MB, NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or greater
- Peripherals: Xbox 360 Controller for Windows. Gamepad
NOTICE: Active Steam account required. You muse accept the Steam Subscriber Agreement ( www.steampowered.com/agreement) prior to use of the Software.
*Operation not assured if VRAM is shared w/main memory.
**NVIDIA GeForce 7300 is not supported
Xbox 360 Game Installation
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition requires 6.8GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.