While no-one can deny that the original Lost Planet had a few problems, at least it was a enjoyable taking on space pirates and giant bugs on an icy planet. The game's Akrid aliens were a lot like the bugs in the movie, Starship Troopers.
Lost Planet 2, on the other hand, seems to be a step backwards: I didn't find it fun to play.
It's pleasing to see that Lost Planet 2 isn't confined to the icy environments of the first game, and you can't help but be impressed with the lush forested areas you and your team-mates will visit as you take on space pirates and the alien Akrid.
You're almost tempted at times to stop and smell the alien roses before you tackle the next wave of enemies.
However, the first frustration I had with LP2 was starting the single-player campaign, which I wanted to play first. The game's main menu was no help: it just seemed to mention online games.
After much menu-searching (and Googling) I found that to launch the single-player campaign you have to click the option "custom game" in the main menu. How silly of me.
While that might not be important to some people, to me it is. I like single-player campaigns and I don't want to have to go through hoops to play one.
It seems that Capcom's real focus with Lost Planet 2 is co-operative play, and it wants players to feel like the single-player campaign is an offline-online game.
Anyway, when you play the single-player campaign, you're buddied up with three computer- controlled AI mates, with their user names floating above their heads, just as if I was playing an online game with real-life buddies. When I died I "respawned", just like I do in an online game, at one of several predetermined spawn points.
When I have AI buddies for company I like them to be of some use, but sometimes my companions in this game were so mind- numbingly dumb that I'd wished I'd gone alone. Sometimes they even stood away from where the action was, leaving me to take on the enemies single-handedly.
Missions involve traipsing through environments, battling pirates and Akrid, until you come across a massive end-of-level boss who has vulnerable points that you have to shoot.
The in-game cut-scenes are impressive enough with lots of bravado, explosions, mechanised contraptions and giant monsters, but if I'm being completely honest, I lost interest in Lost Planet 2 after a few hours because I just wasn't enjoying it. Diehard co-operative play fans might find something of interest here, but a single-campaign player is not going to get much joy.
- The Press