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Lost Planet (Xbox 360)

Rated: 16+

Story: Humanity is trying to reclaim a 'lost' colony. Quite why they're bothering is anybody's guess - the entire planet is covered in snow, monsters and annoyed people with guns.

Gameplay: Shoot things. A lot.

This is a third-person action game. Run through the linear levels shooting bug-like aliens and snow pirates then climb into a mech-suit and shoot them some more. There's a boss at the end of each level. Sometimes you need to climb things using a grappling hook. There are lots of very explosive barrels lying around.

You get the picture.

Save System: Auto-save at the end of each level. Quitting the game saves up until the last checkpoint but there's no definite way of telling when you've just passed one.

Comments: The Xbox 360 release schedule has been somewhat barren for the last six months or so. Besides sports games, licensed tat and Tom Clancy sequels, we've had Gears of War, Viva Pinata, Star Trek: Legacy, Battlestations: Midway, Bullet Witch, Crackdown and this. That's not a long list and it ranges wildly in quality. It does, however, explain why Lost Planet has done relatively well. People are desperate.

There's not a great deal to recommend here. I suppose you could argue there are plenty of enemies on screen at once and the explosions are quite spectacular but that's about it. Sometimes there are so many enemies, though, it feels like a chore shooting them all (especially as generators need to be destroyed to stop creatures re-spawning) and it's often easier to run past. Getting caught in a barrage of explosions means being thrown about all over the place while not actually being able to see anything - which is slightly less than spectacular.

The bosses are impressive but there are too many off them and they can be frustrating even on Easy difficulty. (Yes, I know I'm rubbish. I throw like a girl, too). It quickly becomes a case of pegging it through the level to get to the boss and then running round it in circles shooting the weak-spot, hoping to get lucky and not die.

The story doesn't make much sense and seems overly familiar. It's the usual Capcom tale of treachery, revenge and experiments gone wrong but less interesting and dressed up in snow and robot suits.

Bored now...

Conclusion: Fun to begin with but severely limited. You'd better really love shooting things.

Graphics: Technically very good but not very inspiring. It all depends how much you like looking at snow.

I use a VGA cable and a non-widescreen monitor. Using any available resolution other than 1280x720 caused heavy screen-tearing. Unfortunately this resolution only gave me the option of widescreen output so the image appeared stretched vertically. Annoying (and identical to Dead Rising).

Length: Short.

Rating: 2/5.

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