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Minimum requirements: Pentium 4 supporting HT technology or AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or greater; 512 MB RAM (Windows XP) / 1 GB RAM (Windows Vista); 8 GB hard drive space; DirectX 9.0c; 256 MB VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or greater (NVIDIA GeForce 7300 not supported); Windows XP/Vista
Genre: Third-person shooter
Release date: Available now
Review by: Michael Smith
Several months ago there were gift cards burning holes in my pockets, so I used them to buy an Xbox 360. One of the first three games I bought — and the first one I actually played — was Capcom’s Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. And now, after having played the PC version, I see why console ports are generally reviled in the PC gaming community. Console-centric design, an incomplete instruction manual and numerous bugs make this a game that only a forgiving PC gamer can love.
Life is difficult at best for the human immigrants on planet EDN III. As if the deep snow and subarctic temperatures aren’t bad enough, the planet is infested with an aggressive, hostile, insect-like species known as the Akrid. The humans have no defense against these creatures, so colonization efforts are suspended and most of the pilgrims return to Earth.
But humanity still has plans for EDN III, so the Vital Suit (or “VS”) is developed to be their primary weapon against the Akrid. The VS is a mechanical battle vehicle similar to the loader Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley used to fight the mother alien in “Aliens.” With the superhuman speed and firepower the VS provides, Earthlings return to the icy world in an attempt to make it their own.
Among the first to reach the planet are Gale Holden and his young son, Wayne. The Holdens are part of a military force assigned to clear the Akrid from the colonization sites on EDN III. After a devastating battle with a giant, slug-like Akrid known as Green Eye, Gale is killed and Wayne is buried alive in his VS. Some time later, Wayne is discovered and revived by a group of Snow Pirates, humans who remained on the planet after the original colonization was abandoned. Wayne’s only memory is of the Green Eye that killed his father, so he accepts the pirates’ invitation to join them in their battles with the Akrid.
The fun begins with Steam, Valve Software’s content download system that debuted in 2002 with the release of Half Life 2. The installation process for Lost Planet requires the user to have an active Steam account, which is a blessing or a curse, depending on which user you ask. For me it was the former; all I had to do was open my Steam account, drop in the Lost Planet DVD, enter my product key and Steam did the rest. Thirty minutes and 7 GB of downloads later, I was ready to go.
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