A lot of weird things happened to me while I was in LA, but few of my E3 experiences were quite as odd (or as enjoyable) as being eaten by a giant, multi-legged alien lizard thing, fighting my way through its guts and then being pooped out the other end. Welcome to boss battles, Lost Planet II style.
The boss in question was the salamander-like giant that Wez mentioned in his last preview, but this time the whole battle was available to try in glorious, four-player co-op. It really was special, too. As Wez observed, this game has arguably the best graphics that Capcom has ever produced. It’s visually stunning, and as luck would have it, it’s also a good deal of fun to play, even under the hectic conditions of E3.
What with this being a boss fight, our plucky quartet was faced with a simple objective: kill the big beastie. The best way of doing this, we were told, was to get inside him and attack his guts. Before doing this, however, it was essential to wear him down a bit by attacking his multiple weak spots. In theory, my fellow journalists and I should have formed a detailed plan for how to fight the monster, but unsurprisingly we all ran off to do our own thing – exploring the controls and new toys, and generally marvelling at how bloody gorgeous everything was.
At a basic level, Lost Planet 2 looks and handles like any other third-person shooter. As with the previous game, you’re limited to carrying two weapons at any given time, but this relatively limited arsenal is complemented by a range of additional gadgets and rides. Foremost among these is your grappling hook – a handy little tool that makes it a cinch to climb the local scenery, zipping up to a cliff-top sniping perch. During the E3 demo, I found that a bit of grapple-exploration was necessary to reach some of the area’s hidden armaments – my favourite being a ridiculously large rocket launcher that dwarfed my character as he held it.
More fun and games was to be had with the Vital Suits – the Power Loader-style mechs that are also making a welcome return from last time. Aside from making you feel like a total badass, these robotic mounts offer you a way to dish out some fearsome firepower at the price of slower movement. Once you get in one of these things, you may find it quite hard to get out again, since there’s something extremely moreish to the way they stomp about; unfortunately you’re not able to climb inside the monster while you’re wearing a VS though, so they could only take us so far in our mission.