The controls for one thing feel very strange. Any veteran of the first game will be completely prepared for the feel, but new gamers will question the tank like control of the characters. It is almost as if Capcom have adapted their Resident Evil control mechanism onto a completely different game type. The mission structure is also far too choppy as you can complete an objective within minutes and have to wade through another loading screen. Lost Planet 2 saves a multitude of statistics, but you need to jump back into the main menu to review them. Incorporating the statistics into the loading screens like in Left 4 Dead 2 would have at least made them feel quicker. Capcom would have been better to create a fluid story mode that continues without interruption; then open the missions and statistics separately after the game was completed.
One other major stumbling block, that seems to plague Capcom across many of their titles, is the save system. The game is structured over 6 missions, which each contain several chapters, which in turn contain sections. Sounds complicated? It is! Not only do you have to sit through the already mentioned loading screens, but you can also only save at the end of each chapter. This means that if you get to the final section of a chapter and the entire team dies, you are all moved back to the start, which could be up to three sections ago. On the harder settings this can happen a lot, and it can take a long time to get back to were you died. The level structure also means that Capcom feel there was no need to incorporate drop in, drop out cooperative play as players should be able to complete a chapter in less than 30 minutes. With the dubious save functionality this is not always the case, so an urgent helping hand would have been nice on occasion. Fixes can come in the form of later patches; a good example would be to reduce the amount of Battle Gauge reduction when a player dies, this would effectively give the group more lives.
Taking the VS
The archaic controls and strange mission structure will be enough to stop many people from attempting to play the game past the first few minutes, but these issues are nothing when compared to anyone foolish enough to go solo. The AI in the game, in both enemy and ally terms, is not particularly strong. When fighting a human enemy this can sometimes be amusing, but when you are relying on an ally AI to reload a giant cannon, or protect your flank, the game truly suffers. Capcom have boldly designed a game with co-op in mind, but in doing so many have alienated most solo gamers.
Added onto the 4 player campaign is a multiplayer mode and faction mode that have plenty of maps and a community far more friendly than most. There is a standard versus mode, but also a Postgrab mode that has a strong element of team based versus. To enhance the multiplayer Capcom have created unlockable elements that it will take you longer to catch them all than both Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver together. You receive these through gaining experience, but also from giant boxes that the larger enemies in the game drop. In essence, all these unlockables should mean that no two players look alike as they equip different weapons, clothing, names and Modern Warfare style perks. A welcome feature is that all your experience spans both the campaign and versus modes so that feel you are working towards a common goal, no matter what part of the game you are playing.
Would I recommend Lost Planet 2 to co-op gamers? Whole heartedly, yes! Despite the controls, AI and campaign structure; as a co-op game Lost Planet 2 sometimes veers towards Left 4 Dead levels of greatness. Gears of War 2 provided epic moments of co-operative gameplay, but not on the scale of Lost Planet 2. The more people you get to play with, the better the game gets as Capcom’s vision comes further into the light. There are far too many issues within the game to make it a true classic, but unlike other bigger releases that I grew bored with after a few weeks, I can imagine that I and a few of my pals will still be playing elements of Lost Planet 2 a year from now.
The Co-Op Experience: Form teams of up to 4 players online to clear mission objectives with friends.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.