Sunday, May 17, 2015

My thoughts on Capcom's Lost Planet series.

I am going to talk about Capcom's title Lost Planet 3.
I believe they went backwards and here are the reasons why:
Capcom focused on visuals and large areas of beautiful set design in order to garner sales. Players would be led to believe that because of they way to designed Lost Planet 1, they could explore every square meter! They had visions of grappling large caverns, jumping over stalagmites and swinging from stalactites while slaughtering enemies with interesting and unique weapons.
Instead they were given invisible walls, designated grapple spots, generic weapons, predictable AI and bad voice acting (their lips did not sinc with their words).
Lost Planet 1 had limited map volume but at least every square meter of it could be grappled. The only problems I had is that the player could not jump AND grapple. I found this annoying and could have made gameplay 100% better. In Lost Planet 1, cover was not a key press used only in certain areas like in Lost Planet 3 nor did I have to find that *perfect* spot to place my grapple. In Lost Planet 1, I could grapple any surface - even enemies for additional damage! I think Capcom looked at Mass Effect 3, saw how much attention they were getting (meaning money) and copy/pasted their combat system without regard to innovation.
Mistakes that are made that erodes gameplay most game companies practice:
1. They give you no option for variable FOV and the option to use first person view.
2. They put invisible walls on maps, turning huge beautifully rendered areas into a museum with only limited pathways.
3. Give the player generic weapons that have no real bonuses or drawbacks in choosing one over the other.
4. Giving infinite ammo with no drawbacks.
5. Enemies that have the AI equivalent of Aliens/Colonial Marines. This is probably the second most insulting thing you can say about a game companies implement of AI next to Mind Hack (which is the WORST AI implementation in the history of gaming).If you have nothing to risk, you have nothing to feel good about gaining. Remember the Jedis in the prequels hacking apart the main enemies (droids) by the dozens? Yeah. No tension equates to no elation from victory. Make the AI smarter and more creative.

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