Lost Planet 2 was released way back in May for the PS3 and Xbox 360 to mild success, and as I had missed it then I thought I would give the PC version a go. Right from the start Lost Planet 2 threw a series of problems my way, seemingly trying to stiff arm me from even playing the game as intended. After breaking one of my DirectX .dlls, forcing a complete reinstall of Games for Windows LIVE, I was finally presented with one of the worst user interfaces I've ever seen.
Console to PC ports are usually a pain to navigate, and even games like Fallout 3 have issues getting their UI's to translate properly to the keyboard and mouse realm. Lost Planet 2 uses some of the strangest navigation hot keys I've ever seen. Combined with a Games for Windows LIVE interface that is poorly integrated, I was on the brink of rage quitting Lost Planet 2 before I had even experienced some gameplay.
After an hour or two of frustration, I was finally in the game. Lost Planet 2 involves several pirate and government factions vying for control over the planet E.D.N. III. The insect-like Akrid inhabits the planet. These creatures also serve as a thermal energy source for both the human factions, and the planet itself. The graphics are nice, and there's a lot of detail in the various player models. Forests, lakes, jungles, deserts, and military complexes are all quite believable, and some environments rival those seen in games like Uncharted.
Each level is fairly linear, but there are enough branching paths to keep players from feeling as if they're on rails. Lost Planet 2 has the player controlling one of four squad members for each playable pirate or military faction, with the remaining three squad mates being controlled by A.I., or ideally other players. Gameplay consists of fighting through enemy pirate camps or Akrid nests, and activating various control points along a linear path. Some control points will increase the number of re-spawns the squad has available, while others may open a gate or activate a device required to progress toward the end of the level.