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Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is a sci-fi action game for the PC. It’s a port of the hit console game, and a pretty decent one. I think more could have been done to smooth the transition from Xbox 360 to PC, but it still plays pretty well. Hardcore PC gamers will probably fault the game for playing too much like a console title. One major selling point of this game is its support for DirectX 10, even if it isn’t very efficient.
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The story behind this game is epic on a science fiction scale. It all takes place many years into the future where environmental conditions have left the planet no longer inhabitable, so a group of pioneers set out to find a new planet to inhabit. As you might imagine, the local giant alien types don’t like the humans being there, so they all fight. You play one of the humans and have a variety of weapons and vehicles available to massacre the ‘locals’. When the action gets going, it’s a lot like the movie Starship Troopers in snow.
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This game is played in either a third person perspective or with an over-the-shoulder view like in the Resident Evil games. It’s mainly just an action game with a lot of shooting and running around, but there is some strategy involved when it comes to taking down the boss characters. Your soldier also has a grappling hook that comes in handy when climbing through rough terrain. As I mentioned before, this game looks and plays just like a typical console game.
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The graphics in this game are very well detailed - perhaps too much - but they do make pretty good use of Windows Vista’s support for Direct X 10. It all takes place in snowy, frozen environments, so there are lots of bright whites on the screen at all times. Sometimes the snow outside makes things hard to see. The bigger aliens can take up the entire screen and are very well detailed and articulated, so there is always a lot of cool stuff to see.
The problem I had with the graphics was that performance wasn’t so great. I’m running a dual core AMD 5000+ system with 3 gigs of RAM and a GeForce 9600GT video card. Even on my system - which can run the Call of Duty games and Left 4 Dead without a problem - had trouble keeping up with this game. Part of that is for the inefficient porting over of the game from Xbox 360 to PC. In the ‘loading’ screens, it still shows you pictures of the Xbox controller!
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In the end, I enjoyed playing Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, but I found that the numerous technical issues experienced on my PC kept me from really getting into it. I think this game had a lot more potential than what it offered, and I couldn’t help but feel like not much effort was put into porting it over from the Xbox 360.
I’ve heard that a Hollywood movie is being made based on this game, and I have to say the story and setting would make for a decent action movie. It’s too bad the original console version of the game was so much better than this PC port. Rather than overhaul or patch this game, a whole new game called Lost Planet: Colonies is due out later this year that is supposed to be a sort of remake of this game, minus all the bugs.