Return to the forbidding planet
Set shortly after the chilly events of the first adventure, Lost Planet 2 sees the snowy blanket that covered planet EDN IIII melting to reveal a wondrous world of arid deserts, forgotten cities and verdant forests hidden beneath. But while a wider selection of locations makes for a more varied experience and lends itself to more thrilling combat, its more than a sexy facelift that makes LP2 one of 2010s best blasters to date.
Unlike the lonely experience of the original game, the luscious sequel now sees players working in compact squads that can be a mixture of AI-controlled players and real players, making the action more engaging from the get-go and allowing you to hatch cunning new strategies to fell the adventures gruesome bosses, or even have one player piloting a fearsome robotic suit while his mates hang off the sides, giving their mech buddy fire support in the heat of battle. Moreover, chopping Lost Planets previously expansive missions into more manageable chunks makes for a faster-paced and endlessly-exciting experience which is perfectly in-tune with the team-based structure, and is sure to become a firm favourite with PS3 and Xbox 360 owners over the summer months when starved of quality software.
Elsewhere, Lost Planet 2 is a dizzying evolution of the series in narrative terms, with a meandering tale that touches on the lives of a variety of pioneers involved in taming the wild planet, a fluid structure that worked well for Modern Warfare 2 and feels just as thrilling here. And with super-sharp visuals, intensely-detailed landscapes and an epic sense of scale that create the perfect backdrop for hardcore violence and futuristic gunslinging, Lost Planet 2 is sure to be one of the best shooters this side of Christmas, and could be one of 2010s best releases in the face of global recession and the closure of many key development studios across the world.