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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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Lost Planet: Colonies (PC)

Lost Planet: Colonies (PC)

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Lost Planet was one of those games that got critically panned when it was released and yet surprisingly against all odds, I thought it was a killer title. It was released in 2007 for Xbox 360 and PC and then was later ported over to Sony’s Playstation 3. Colonies Edition is a greatest hits style release with extra content for the PC and Xbox 360 priced at a reasonable $29.99 in the USA.

The core game is the same as before and Gaming Heaven has looked at this title before, so today I will focus on the new additions, such as the new modes, maps and other goodies. Is this game worth another look if you have played the original? Well the answer is not quite a simple yes or no.

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Colonies Edition contains the full campaign mode and online features which were present in the original and it adds substantially more. Let me make it clear, if you missed the original title and have 30 bucks burning a hole in your pocket this is a great investment. Not only that but if you have a nice DX10 graphics card you will be sure to get a visual tour de force, with bump mapping, shader effects galore, as well as full DX10 fur. It still looks awesome all these months later, however a large part of this is down to Capcom’s relentless patching system throughout the year. It has paid off, because it looks absolutely brilliant. It is one of the reasons why our sister site DriverHeaven still use it in their graphics card testing suite.

Colonies doesn’t end with the campaign courtesy of the new modes which I will discuss shortly and you can now even try the game in full first person mode if it so tickles your fancy.

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As well as the original release campaign, Capcom has added three new single player modes by altering the base content. We now have a Score Attack game allowing you to play through single stages and stringing together combos for high scores, hopefully topping the leaderboards. This is a massive amount of fun and I found myself wasting considerable time in this mode over the last week or two. Some of you may remember I was a fan of “The Club” so this may well not come as a total surprise. As well as blasting enemies you can shoot the destructive environment to chain you combo scores which adds a somewhat frantic edge to the game play.

Additionally there is a Trial Battle mode which sets you against one massive boss after another and also plays reasonably well. It is certainly not a patch on the Score Attack mode, but it adds certain value to the game and can be a welcome distraction.

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The last single player mode is called Off Limit. It runs considerably faster and gives you unlimited ammo and places tougher enemies against you. Yes, It is Lost Planet on crack. This will appeal to long term fans of the original (like myself) who will find this mode a hell of a lot of fun, especially some of the later levels which are ridiculously tricky.

The online side of the game is a blast, because in addition to the new character models, maps and weapons there are more new game play modes. Akrid Hunter is a particular favourite of mine, why? Well some people get to control humans and the rest control the massive insects. The Akrid are tough to fight especially with human AI and quite frequently when we played, the humans were absolutely butchered.  The remaining modes are remakes of classic multiplayer battles with obvious aspects to suit the Lost Planet world such as Akrid eggs instead of flags and VS mechs replacing a team of humans. With the ten brilliant new weapons the modes are reassuringly fresh even after all this time. Just remember if you get yourself a Pocket Pod (fires four rockets) then the carnage can begin…..

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Those of you wishing to use your old saves will be slightly disappointed as they do not transfer over as will neither your online ranking. This may not be a big deal to many, but I found it a little annoying, especially as I had invested over 200 hours to the original. Equally so, the online game is not backwards compatible, so you can’t join the other maps against the online community. I am sure Capcom could have programmed some kind of backwards system to remove specific weapons when joining an older map however there is no support right now. This narrows the available audience considerably.

All the achievements are new, so you can earn another 1000 possible points with Colonies Edition and PC owners can fight against 360 owners in a cross platform fragfest. While this sounds great (and it is), there are a large portion of the original Lost Planet owners who might be more than slightly miffed at this rather sexy addition. “Why could they not patch the original?”, I can already hear the cries.

Of course to play these cross platform matches you need a Gold Windows Live Account which as we all know requires a subscription fee.  This in effect means that you can’t play online unless you fork out and how many PC only gamers will be willing to do this? Very few I would reckon.

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Lost Planet Colonies edition is for all intents and purposes, a pimped up version of the original game. If you haven’t played it yet, then this is definitely the version to get. The original was extremely good fun and was rather unfairly rated in my humble opinion especially when you see some of the extraordinarily crafted bosses with full DX10 special effects. Being devil’s advocate a lot of the content may not bring much new to the table and if you beat the original and are bored of the concept then this should be missed. Playing online is a mixed bag, as you need a Gold Windows Live Account and the PC only userbase is very small, although you can, in theory play cross platform with Xbox 360 owners.

If you want a well programmed, demanding, graphically luscious PC game with considerable DX10 support then this might prove more than a welcome distraction.

Gameplay
85/100
If you have played the original to death, this might not prove great value, but I still loved it.
Graphics
92/100
Great looking game and it still looks gorgeous thanks to many patches which are all included in this version.
Audio
85/100
A strong soundtrack and some great effects and ambient sounds.
Value
80/100
For $30 it is great value for a newcomer to the game, and offers quite a lot of new content to long standing fans.
Overall
(Not an Average)
88/100
Still a great game with some fun additions, if you missed the original then now is the time for a purchase.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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