I want games to be imaginative and creative, to show me something that I haven’t seen before, or a to present a new perspective on something that I thought I was familiar with. Part of that can come from the game’s look and setting but only part of it. To really succeed, a game has to not only contain imaginative elements, it has to inspire the imaginations of those of us holding the controller. Lost Planet 2 has some striking creative pieces: giant monsters, exciting exoskeletons, and a few inspired settings. But these are mere window dressing for a core gameplay experience that not only doesn’t inspire my imagination, it actively mounts an all-out offensive against it.
Lost Planet 2 wants you to play co-op. That’s great, co-op games are fun, and I like it when developers really support it. It does cause some initial confusion that the only way to start the single player campaign is to create what looks like an online game, even if you’re not connected to the internet. But that’s just a user interface issue. Then the game begins, and you’re teamed up with three AI controlled comrades, who have their names floating above their heads. Names like, Redx4, Death Summer, and Mr baykal, that are meant to sound like fake gamer tags. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? Because it’s really not. Seeing your friends’ gamer tag when playing co-op is okay because you know he’s there, you have a whole host of associations with that person, and you can hear their voice. Who are these AI goobers with lame gamer tags? How does this do anything other than rip away at my already fraying suspension of disbelief?