We all like a good whinge about torrid British weather, but Lost Planet 3 protagonist Jim has legitimate grounds to grumble, given that the sub zero climes of EDN III are as deadly as the indigenous crustaceans that inhabit it.
LP3 marks a return to those frigid wastelands, after Capcom's tepid foray into the rainforests of LP2, but the return to brooding blue ice fields and treacherous rocky terrain isn't the only reason to sit up and take notice of this third-person blaster. Gone is the previous game's focus on co-op play. LP3 wants to tell a more potent story, with new developers Spark Unlimited under orders from long-time series director Kenji Oguro to craft a game with significantly more narrative heft. "It's very different," Oguro says. "I've had a lot of ideas about the series that I haven't been able to realise until now."
Set before the events of the first game, LP3 sees you take on the role of Jim, a family man and miner, recently relocated away from his wife and child to the icy wastes of EDN III. This new game world is described as open-world, though don't start imagining the cityscapes seen in GTA or Assassin's Creed. Jim will be able to explore the wastes via central game hubs, however some areas will prove inaccessible until he equips the appropriate gear.
Speaking of gear, fans of the first Lost Planet will be glad to hear that the grappling hook makes a return. Perhaps the most essential additions to your navigational repertoire, however, are the hulking bipedal mechs, dubbed Rigs, which you'll be able to construct yourself.
As Jim works to save money for his family back home (as well as working towards the more immediate task of surviving), he'll meet a variety of non- player characters, doling out side-quests and the like. He'll also be able to upgrade his gear, enabling him to withstand cold temperatures for longer or to deal out more damage to the local flora and fauna.
Speedy, dog-like Akrid, chase you down claustrophobic corridors more than a little reminiscent of Dead Space. At the other end of the scale, and glimpsed in the game's reveal trailer is a humungous, tundra dominating crab, replete with orange- glowing vulnerable ligaments for optimal mech-aided limb removal. We still smart from LP2, which had enough budgetary oomph coupled with general lack of polish to kill off even the most hardy of game series. But LP3's slick visuals and story led focus look to keep it above freezing.