PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...
Built around a linear level-by-level structure, you're never in any doubt what to do in Lost Planet, given that there's one main goal of each of the 11 levels: destroy everything you see. For the bulk of each level, you'll focus firmly on a series of close encounters with the Akrid threat - potentially an endless series of encounters until you locate and eliminate the nests that they pour out of. Along the way you'll also encounter larger, well armoured Akrid which often bowl towards you, knock you off your feet and do their best to sap your energy any way they can, and at the climax of every level is an even bigger foe to finish off.
In no way is the game a let down in the visuals department, mind you. With Capcom let loose on the 360's innards, it blends organic and mechanical with equal aplomb, delivering consistently beautiful and memorable scenes that arguably do more to drag you through the game than anything else. Whether you're trudging around a frosted up abandoned base or clearing rocky interiors of frantic flying Trilids (think Pitch Black), you'll get a real kick out of the amount of artistry that has gone into making the game
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition feels like it had the potential to be a pared-down shooter classic, but never quite manages to make the core combat exciting, varied or challenging enough to elevate it to the lofty realms that early showings suggested it would reach. Nevertheless, with a glorious setting, some memorable boss encounters and some staggering visuals to enjoy, Lost Planet has enough going for it to recommend checking out. May not be a revolutionary in certain aspects, it gave me enough kicks this January.