Capcom was on hand at PAX09, and one of their hottest previews was definitely Lost Planet 2. We had a chance to play one of the co-op missions with one of the Capcom employees, who gave us a walkthrough of the mission.
Like the previous game, Lost Planet 2 is a science fiction third-person shooter with some RPG elements. Lost Planet 2 will be running on the MT-Framework 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in several Capcom-developed games.
In the previous game (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition), the world was completely covered with snow and ice, which required the use of Thermal Energy to survive. Lost Planet 2 takes place 10 years after the previous installment. The planet has been terraformed, and is now green and has flowing rivers and streams.
Thermal energy (T-ENG) is still used in this game, but is used for health, enhancements and powerups rather than survival against the cold. This is due to the warmer climate, which can sustain T-ENG presence longer than a cold climate, which drains thermal energy bit by bit. Instead, energy can only be drained when the player pilots a VS and uses a weapon that requires energy. You may also lose T-ENG by completing one entire sprint with a character (confirmed in the demo). If one player loses all their energy, another can give them some of their energy, using a new weapon, to keep players alive. You still obtain TE from the glowing parts of the planet’s creatures, which is also their most venerable spot.
In our demo, we had to take down a huge Akrid that looked like a Dune sandworm, but with six legs and spikes on its back, and lashes out at you with several long tongues. So I guess it’s not like a Dune sandworm at all. The knees of the creature glowed orange, as well as a huge spike on its back, and the Capcom rep explained that we should aim for these targets. Damaging the knees causes the creature to lose its legs, which looks rather gory. Shooting the large spike lowers the spike into the creature’s body.
Once the spike has been lowered and the legs damaged, then the creature will fall to the ground and open its mouth… which you must enter ala Gears of War 2. Once inside you will see the glowing orange spike that you previously attacked. Destroying this now internal spike will take out the creature permanently.
There were several weapons available such as machine guns and rocket launchers. Since the planet has been transformed, you end up repelling a lot more, especially when you need to get down to enter the creature.
The graphics were gorgeous, just like the original Lost Planet, but it looks like a lot more of the same gameplay. Hopefully there will be more variation in the levels since the planet can now host vegetation. We’ll find out when Lost Planet 2 is released “sometime in the Fall of 2009”, although some sources say December.
Unlike its predecessor, Lost Planet 2 will allow players to create and customize their own characters. Players will be able to customize their character’s head, body, back and legs, and will allow them to unlock more clothing and body types after leveling up and downloading content. The game will also let players edit gestures, weapon models, and color palettes used. However, weapons used in multiplayer will have to be unlocked through leveling up.