Archive for February 5, 2007

Final Thoughts on Lost Planet multiplayer.

Counter Strike (and other tactical FPSes) might work by predicting the behavoir of your fellows, but Lost Planet takes these predictions out simply by making dodging quite simple (you can role and miss almost anything with a down on the left stick and a jump) and allowing a radar. This means you’re usually somewhat aware of the location of all people around and with the exception of snipers it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is going to sneak up on you. This means the game becomes tactical only in holding positions, the people on top in Private Fortess usually have the advantage of having two to three PDAs around them and also the vantage point from which to take some early shots at their adversaries the game is a little lopsided, being that the team that has easy access to weapons or good spots can make a big difference. But what makes it tick isn’t sneaking up people, or figuring out where to go, or weapons, it’s really the ballet of jumping around dodging bullets, bombs, and mechs. Lost Planet encourages you to explore it’s levels (and believe me they are fun), but it’s major driving force is more timing. Deciding when to shot, when to converse your ammo, and perhaps most importantly when to throw bombs is probably the most important thing. Good players can sneak up on your and take you out with a machine gun even if you’re packing an energy gun in your mech with a rocket launcher. The later situation doesn’t always end in success, I’d say 3 out of 5 times you lose, but the major advantage to the game is, Lost Planet allows you to have the maneuverability and freedom so as to make one person vs a mech seem like to a decent proposition or to make taking down a dude with an energy gun by rolling through the snow and tagging him with a sticky mine seem possible. Does the underdog always win? No, but it happens enough and the game rewards this type of play enough to make it seem possible, and hence while you might in reality lose 3 lives and a lot of your battle gauge, the experience of actually mowing down a better equipped dude with just a machine gun and a couple grenades seems all the more satisfying (and aside form that you can usually make up for it once you take the dude’s energy gun etc.). It’s those seconds between the grappling hook’s pull, the PDAs boot up, the mech’s gattling gun, the reload of rifles, the pauses for grenades, that make the game seem more equal. Your character is a superhero, more so than in other games, becuase he or she can destroy things simply by choosing the right break in time. Sneaking up (using the radar no less) can be a good strategy, but even if you’re waiting for the PDA to start you can always break, roll, and shoot. It’s the pauses between things that make the game potentialy equal, but also fun.

But if levels aren’t important in Lost Planet (and for the most part they aren’t) why are they so compelling? What is it about grappling to the top of a building, activating a PDA, grabbing a mech, dropping down into the gulf below you, and then proceeding to rampage through a level that makes it so satifying? First, the level do present puzzles of a sort, you can after all scale almost any building in a variety of ways and the training grounds provides a nice little clostrophobic escape from mech on mech gameplay. The levels work becuase they do provide some strategy when it comes to getting to items and scoring points (especially in the peg matches where you have to activate every PDA to win). While the levels won’t make much a difference in if you get killed or not, they do make a difference in what weapons you have and if you can activate a certian PDA or not and they’re also breathtaking at times and huge. There is nothing like sniping folks from the top of one of dilipadations buildings or rolling away from a missle off a bride only to hang from your hook jumping back up and throwing bombs. Both the levels main draw is that you have to solve their edges and verticies with jumps and grappling hooks. Their essence is less finding the perfect position from which to kill your friends as it finding the best way to get to a weapon with out being killed by your friends. That said, Capcom has done a good job creating an open and interesting world in which to play.

p.s. gametag alj1

pps my TV is broken =) Awwwww… I play this game to much.

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February 5, 2007 at 7:01 am Leave a comment


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