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March 26, 2008
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Graphics are good, but there is slowdown.
Lost Planet was originally released on the PC and XBox 360 way back in January 2007 and despite some generally positive, but less then glowing reviews, the game managed to shift an impressive 1.6 million units in the first nine months of release, with a significant number sold in the lead up to Christmas 2007 sure to push that number up. In October 2007 Capcom announced that a PS3 version was being developed and would not only include the original game, but also incorporate the downloadable content released for the XBox 360 version as well. So what's it all about then?

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Getting surrounded by enemies.
The storyline for Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is set on a lost planet where there is a fight for survival, and a hunt for revenge...

Your memory lies in pieces, like shattered glass... Green Eye... your father... lying dead on the ground. These memories continue to haunt your steps. But now is not the time for quiet contemplation. The Akrid are attacking! It's time to put it all on the line, avenge your father and save the tattered remnants of humanity. Find Thermal Energy, destroy the Akrid menace. On a lost planet, your destiny will unfold...

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That's one big-assed enemy!
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is essentially a straight out third person action title split across 12 single player missions. Each mission is proceeded with a pretty nice cut-scene, not necessarily Capcom's finest, but certainly nothing to make you want to skip them. The levels themselves are set in a wide variety of locations including city streets, large open snowfields, scorching volcanoes in building interiors. The gameplay is split into two main categories, those on foot, and those in the robotic Vital Suits. The on-foot section allows you to run around, take cover, throw grenades, grapple and swing up to higher levels in buildings or across gaps and use a variety of guns. One of the core gameplay elements in this title is the need to top up your thermal energy bar which continues to drop as you are exposed to the cold. Fortunately this T-Eng can bee obtained from the bodies of fallen enemies.

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Using the sniper rifle...
Should you need more firepower though - and you certainly will against the larger enemies - then your best be it to jump into one of the Vital Suits which are often left littered around the game world. While not invincible they certainly offer a large amount of protection with different suits offering different abilities. One type of VS includes two mounted guns for increased firepower, another allows you to hover for a period of time while another allows you to jump and dodge enemies.

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Are enemies related to those in Starship Troopers?
One of the most delightful things we discovered about this game is the detailed, and quite active, online community and gameplay. The game supports up to 16-players online and even competing against Japanese gamers the game remained quite playable despite some frame rate issues (not unlike the main game - more on that soon!). There are plenty of game modes to sink your teeth into including Elimination (essentially Deathmatch), Team Elimination (Team Deathmatch), Post Grab (Sort of a Capture the Base) and Fugitive (One Player vs everyone else). We did mention that the PS3 version of the game had new content over the original XBox 360 release and much of this can be found in the multi-player modes and include new characters as well as 8 new multi-player maps.

What is starting to piss me off about games - and this comment can also be leveled at Devil May Cry 4, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Everybody's Golf - is the massive installations required prior to playing. In the case of Lost Planet there is a mandatory 5GB install - so if you have each of these titles listed here you're going to have over 20GB of Hard Drive space used up - a bit of an issue which we would rather see as an option with longer load times from the Blu-Ray disc if possible.

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Effects are pretty nice overall.
One of the most exciting aspects of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition was to be the graphics. You see we've played the XBox 360 version and it was a pretty nice looking game, with solid effects and frantic gameplay with little slowdown. Sadly this PS3 port, and despite the fact that it was released some fourteen months after the XBox 360 version, suffers some poor texturing and colouring but most criminally it now suffers quite a bit of slowdown and frame rate skipping, particularly during the busier scenes. The developers have also implemented a blurring feature in the PS3 version of the game which isn't really required.

Now, having said that Capcom have created some massive levels with a great sense of size and scale to them. The character design of the enemies, bosses included, are quite impressive and there are plenty of visual effects such as explosions and gunfire to keep you on your toes. Certainly not disappointing are the cut-scenes which set the storyline very well indeed. While there are issues this game, along with Capcom's stunning Devil May Cry 4, bodes well for Resident Evil 5 which is due out sometime in future.

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Using the Gatling Gun.
Audio in this title is, as with most Capcom games, impressive. There is plenty of lively gunfire from all around, explosions that will rock your sub woofer, and haunting noises from enemy creatures. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio adds some immersion into the title and the music manages to keep pace of the action pretty well.

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is a great action title, with some solid online gameplay. Throw in some solid, but not brilliant mind you, audio and visuals and you end up with a title worth picking up, especially as it has been released at a lower price then most others.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSHow can this game look worse then the 360 version, especially being released 14 months later?!
SOUNDGreat music and effects with some adequate speech as well.
GAMEPLAYDifficulty could have been more balanced, a few other niggles, but overall a solid game.
VALUEWith a price of only $AU79.95 retail this is great value.
OVERALLLost Planet: Extreme Condition is a solid title which delivers the goods if you're looking for an intense shooter and solid online gameplay. The game has been released below the price of most other PS3 titles, and is worth a look despite some flaws.

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