After fighting off a few more scorpion-esque creatures, I realized that this was not going to be like any Lost Planet game before it. A fight with just a small number of enemies felt dangerous--and the intimidating purple sky and blowing winds made the mood no more comfortable. Later in the demo, Jim enters an abandoned research facility. Of course, the lights go out and Jim must try to find his way out--surviving attacks from wandering Akrid that jump from air vents. That's when I fully accepted that Lost Planet 3 isn't an arcade shooter; it's a survival horror game. While much of the demo plays to common sci-fi horror tropes, Lost Planet's mechs help make the experience feel fresh and unique. It's one thing feeling helpless against powerful alien foes--but what about when you're in a massive robot? Halfway through the demo, you fight a Akrid "mini boss," a scorpion-esque creature that towers above you. While that encounter simply proved the gunplay was competent, encountering that creature again while in the mech proved to be a much more visceral experience. The monster is much faster than your mech is, and every strike it lands adds cracks to your battered windshield. However, time the right bumper at the right time, and you'll be able to grab its claw. Using one analog stick, you try to pin the arm as the beast tries to resist. Using the other analog stick, you aim your mech's drill and try to rip its arm off. As you dismember the Akrid, Jim can go in for a finishing blow, by drilling the creature's glowing back. This wasn't a canned cinematic, or a QTE. What made this experience so memorable was because it was all happening during gameplay. BOOM video 12440 My time with Lost Planet 3 ended after that encounter, but not before seeing a glimpse of a psych evaluation. Given its new survival horror focus, could Spark be taking inspiration from Dead Space? With such a drastic change in tone, Lost Planet 3 might as well be a reboot of the franchise. The single player has definitely drawn me in, but will Spark be able to impress with multiplayer as well? Lost Planet 3 will be available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in 2013.
Fighting aliens off your face requires great reflexes
Watch the Shacknews E3 2012 page to follow all our coverage of this year's show. This preview is based on a hands-on demo shown at a pre-E3 event.