Lost Planet 3 and the dichotomy of man and machine

Sponsored Links

Lost Planet 3 and the dichotomy of man and machine
There's an interesting clash of play styles I discovered during my preview session of Lost Planet 3. When within his rig – a giant biped mech armed with a huge drill and claw – protagonist Jim is nearly invincible, try as you might to get to the soft, fleshy core of this hulking mechanical giant.

Yet Lost Planet 3 won't let you get away with cruising through the campaign from within the safety of Jim's rig – often he'll be forced to get out, navigating the cold tundras of E.D.N. III alone. It's at these times when I felt weak and without a safety net during my E3 demo. It's an interesting dichotomy not seen in many other games out there right now.

The dangers of a blisteringly cold ice planet are obvious, and the segments where Jim is on foot are incredibly hazardous. Exploring a web of caves, I stumbled upon an akrid nest. Think: the next scene in Aliens. There were eggs everywhere, hatching and releasing akrid spawn. My assault rifle quickly became ineffective at crowd control. Good thing I found that shotgun, which had the just the right amount of oomph.

It wasn't long before I found momma akrid, a large crab-like thing with pincers. It was a boss with an identity crisis, continually charging me like some bull who spotted a man in a puffy red parka. Shoot, roll to the side, and shoot some more.

I felt vulnerable and completely outmatched – the perfect combination of terror and panic only well-crafted scenarios can produce. I didn't have massive wells of ammo to draw from. I had to be nimble and crafty. I had to be smart about when I shot and where. And because of this, the reward of finally bringing this thing down was ever so sweet. Taking on such a thing in my mech would've been a decidedly different gameplay experience, one I feel would've lost all of the characteristics I enjoyed in the tense encounter.

These contrasts of feeling incredibly powerful and invincible within the rig, and feeling alone and desperate and vulnerable on foot, instilled a variety in Lost Planet 3 I haven't seen in many other games. If Spark Unlimited sustains that trend throughout the entirety of Lost Planet 3, I think they'll produce a fine game – and, dare I say, perhaps the best entry in the series yet.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget