CES 2010: Lost Planet 2 Hands-On

Capcom brought a new Lost Planet 2 demo to CES featuring the game's four player co-op mode. Set in a rail yard, the demo tasked our tream with stopping an enemy force from hijacking a giant train-gun. That objective goes out the window shortly into the mission when a giant class G Akrid monster shows up.

To beat the scenario we had to team up and take down the boss. nope

As we fired it up, I got reacquainted with the Lost Planet world. This sequel retains much of the look and feel from the original. Right off the bat, though, I noticed that my character's movement didn't feel as ponderous as before, plus the addition of a sprint button a la Gear of War's 'roadie run'.

I also came across some new toys to play with. I grabbed some battle armor which, exactly as the name implies, soaks up damage for you for as long as it lasts. There are also new variants of the Vital Suits (Lost Planet's giant mech frames you can hop in and pilot). A particularly fun one I ran across later on sported a turret on each shoulder so that I could kneel down, let a teammate hop in, and have them add to the firepower. This came in handy fighting the boss.

Even knowing what to expect, the class G Akrid arrived in dramatic fashion. Coming in at about three stories high, a Capcom rep described the spider-like monster as about midrange size-wise and said that the largest Akrid in the game would be about 20 times that. Set pieces, like the entrance of the Akrid, are done without cutting to a movie or for that matter even suspending the action in the game. I had the option to use the d-pad to focus my attention on the spectacle but I still had to stay aware of my surroundings and watch for any enemy stragglers. nope

After finishing off the boss, a number of loot boxes appeared. These spoils of victory drive the player customization system. The first time through a chapter in Lost Planet 2 you must play as one of the four set characters for that scene. On return trips you can then play with your customized character.

Along with gear itself, your choices influence the drops you see in the game. Say, for instance, that you favor a shotgun as your short range weapon of choice. Then, when the game decides to drop a short range weapon for you, it will be a shotgun. This should help hold down the accumulation of a bunch of gear you wouldn't use.

It wasn't a particularly long demo but that fact that I played through it three times before dragging myself away gives a good indication of how fun it was. My group didn't put a big effort into coordination but did naturally work together. And when we did the payoff was rewarding, like standing over the downed Akrid in my Vital Suit with teammates in my shoulder turrets. That easy to play together balance makes Lost Planet 2's four player co-op look promising to me.

Announced for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Lost Planet 2 is now due between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. A PC version is also expected at some point.