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What Lost Planet 3 takes and leaves from its predecessors

Capcom's Lost Planet 3 will have some resemblance to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition in the way it focuses on the game's story and characters, but the third installment in the series will also embrace many changes, according to Capcom Japan producer Andrew Szymanski.

Speaking to Polygon, Szymanski said Lost Planet 3 is less of an arcade-style game compared to the original Lost Planet and allows players to explore their environment, instead of pushing them to complete levels.

"When [Kenji] Oguro-san penned the first game, he wanted to keep players moving forward, and it was much more of an arcade-style game where you'd play the first level, beat the boss, play the second level, beat the boss," Szymanski said. "He wanted to keep people rushing forward, and that's why you had this ticking down timer of thermal energy, and when it hit zero you would die."

For Lost Planet 3, Szymanski said the development team opted for a more story-driven, open-world approach. The studio kept the idea of thermal energy, but instead of having it tick down, it is used in the game as a resource that can be gathered by killing enemies and through drilling. The energy can then be used as currency.

"Thermal energy is part of the Lost Planet world, so we're keeping it there as an element that fits with our narrative and game systems," he said.

Another element the game is keeping — while also changing — is the grappling hook. Where players could use the grappling hook in previous Lost Planet games from the start, Szymanski said access to the grappling hook has changed so that it matches the experience the developers are trying to create.

"The grappling hook is one that I know has been pretty controversial with fans, and I know a lot of people look at a feature and they say, 'Well why could I do something before and I can't do it now?' A lot of people view that as a negative, like you've taken something away from them," he said.

"The grappling hook is one that I know has been pretty controversial with fans."

"But from our standpoint, we have to think about what matches the experience we wanted to create, and for the campaign mode in Lost Planet 3, it's about exploration, it's about [protagonist Jim Peyton] being out in the wilderness, it's about him being isolated and alone. We didn't want to have this comical, almost Spider-Man feel of you're bouncing around everywhere, because that's really what Lost Planet 1 and 2 did."

Szymanski said players will gain access to the grappling hook part way through Lost Planet 3, which will allow them to traverse vertical plains and climb ledges, but "it's not an integral part of the game as it was in the first two games."

"It was a conscious decision we made both from a thematic perspective and a gameplay perspective. We didn't want to make it easy for you to jump around and do whatever you want. We wanted to ground Jim in the world physically and literally, so that's why we did that."

Lost Planet 3 will be available on Windows PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August 27 in North America and August 30 in Europe.

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