E3: Lost Planet 2 sneak-peeked, and we get a look

Lost Planet 2, the sequel to Capcom's best-seller, got a preview at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles today, and SCI FI Wire got a chance to check it out.

We spoke to Chris Kramer, senior director of communications for Capcom, who gave us some details on the new game: It begins about 10 years after the first Lost Planet ended. The terraforming on E.D.N. III has worked, and most of the snow and ice are gone. The planet is now covered with lush forests and vast deserts. Your fully customizable character must battle for control of the newly habitable planet.

Kramer explained that, in the original, the single-player mode was pretty scripted and had the usual "save the world from the bad guy" plot line. He said that this version is really all about the four-player co-op mode, supported for both local and online gaming.

Kramer explained that the game's dynamics are really affected by what everyone in the group does. "There might be an area where there is a big boulder," he said. "You might run past that. Or maybe somebody in your group chooses to push the boulder, making it roll down the hill to squish the giant aliens that you're fighting. If you roll that boulder, it will change how the level looks later. ... Literally changes the story."

I asked him whether this game is following the "drop in, drop out" style of multiplayer that seems to be a trend in this year's offerings. "The guys who did Lost Planet 2, a lot of them came from Resident Evil 5, so co-op, multiplayer mode is similar," he said. "In Resident Evil 5, you would tell the game you were open to play with another gamer. ... You could either pause and restart to bring the person in immediately, or as soon as you get to a checkpoint, the person would just come in."

Kramer added: "It's very similar in Lost Planet 2. ... The idea is that you can get your group together, but if someone's mom comes in to make them do their homework, it's not going to bump everybody else out. ... 'Good luck with that algebra. We're going to kill the giant alien.' It will be much more dynamic on the co-op side. If the player jumps out, the A.I. will just take over."

Kramer confirmed that there will still be a death-match mode, as well as capture the flag "for people who don't like to play well with others and just want to shoot each other in the face."

The demo we saw focused on the four-player co-op and a mission to kill a giant salamander. We were told that there are a number of ways to kill him. "You can just shoot the thing in the body, and that will do a little bit of damage," Kramer said. "You can shoot out his legs. There is a giant red horn on his head that you can shoot. What's really cool is that the monster will actually swallow players. You can actually fight inside of them. ... There's other little critters living inside of it, and there's other viewpoints inside. So you have two guys outside shooting it, and two people on the inside shooting the monster's guts." He said he'd leave it up to us to figure out how to get out.

In addition to the Xbox 360 and PC versions, Capcom just announced that the game will be available for the PlayStation 3. The company has yet to announce an exact release date, but Kramer said it would be available in late 2009 or early 2010.

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