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'Lost Planet 3' is a prequel starring a 30-foot mech

The VS rig will allow you, as Jim, to traverse the icy wastes like a mighty, mighty juggernaut.

Gallery Photo: Lost Planet 3 screenshot gallery
Gallery Photo: Lost Planet 3 screenshot gallery

Lost Planet 3 returns you to the frozen surface of E.D.N. III early next year.

Lost Planet 3 hits early next year, delivering a prequel to the first two Capcom games, the publisher said during their annual "Captivate" press event.

Lost Planet 3 stars Jim, an unlikely hero for a Capcom game. Jim is the equivalent of an intergalactic trucker, piloting a 30-foot tall mech called "The Rig," the precursor to Lost Planet's VS suit. Jim has a wife and child back home on Earth, and he's just trying to get by ... by shooting giant bugs in their weak spots for massive damage.

The prequel takes place on the by-now familiar ice planet of E.D.N. III, where massive ice storms make life almost unlivable and giant creatures with glowing orange sensitive areas are harvested for their thermal energy. The game features a role-playing game-style mission hub. Jim will accept missions that will take him across the planet's surface and into mysterious areas that hint at EDN-3's true origins.

The Rig will allow you, as Jim, to traverse the icy wastes like a mighty, mighty juggernaut. The Rig is massive. Jim essentially lives inside of it. Imagine "space trucker." While The Rig does not have weapons, it is equipped with a gigantic drill and a variety of other construction-type accessories that Jim can use to combat enemies or clear obstacles. Drilling a giant Akrid with The Rig looks immensely satisfying.

But circumstances will occasionally conspire to force Jim out of the cockpit and on foot. Jim can also leap out of the cockpit during combat to combine his weaponry with the power of the rig. He has weapons which he can use to shoot Akrid, and he will be forced to take shelter is a storm comes, but gone for good seems to be the "collect heat energy or die" mechanic from the original Lost Planet. Jim may still collect heat energy from fallen foes, but it will now be used for purchasing upgrades and … well that's all they told us.

In addition to the combined first-person/third-person play modes and a variety of new Akrid (ice bug) enemies Capcom promises a deeper emphasis on exploration and game narrative. What we saw in early April looked to be superbly written and acted. Snippets of Jim's past are revealed in messages to and from his wife back on Earth, and the mystery surrounding EDN-3 first colonists is slowly unraveled as Jim explores the planet and uncovers audio logs.

Quick time events and boss battles have not been entirely left behind, but the combination of the giant mech and powerful handheld weaponry will provide players greater variety in dealing with the latter.

Lost Planet 3, is being developed by Spark Unlimited and is scheduled for release in "early" 2013.

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