Capcom came armed to the teeth with more than just Dead Rising 2 at Microsoft's exclusive-centric X10 festival and alongside their zombie mashup sat their very own Lost Planet 2.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the event, we managed to grab a few words with Capcom's Marketing Co-ordinator, Ryan Mcdougall, to ask a few of those burning Lost Planet 2 questions.
How are you planning on pushing Lost Planet 2’s experience and differentiating it from the original that was an acquired taste?
The main different between this game and the original is the 4 player co-op. That really changes everything. Besides that, the snow planet that you remember from the first game, this is the same planet, 10 years later. In between they’ve done what they call terraforming and warmed it up. That’s released these epic environments like the jungle you see, as well as the deserts, the cities, the wastelands, even the water. All those different parts of the game really change the way you play. Every environment is completely different and when you see them you’re really going to understand what we say today.
What sort of weapons have the people going hands-on today at X10 got at their disposal? Any unique ones?
What we’re keen to show today is really all the customisation, so if you like a short range weapon and don’t want to use a shotgun, you can change it up to be a flamethrower... you can change it up to be a revolver. If you like long range weapons you can use your energy weapons and that type of thing. I believe the guy behind me is using the customised shotgun along with the normal standard assault rifle.
So the bosses are obviously a big part of Lost Planet 2 and have been covered a lot in your screens to date in the build up to the game’s launch. Can we expect the traditional formula of, the further in, the bigger they get? I mean so far, the earlier chapters have shown some ginormous bosses... can we expect even bigger bosses?
It’s not a linear relationship between time and size of boss to put it that way, but yes, we will be getting bigger and bigger bosses throughout the game. When we start off with a normal boss, he’s the size of a building... we end up with bosses the size of a city by the end of the game. We’re really proud because when we have those bosses, they’re fully textured and high-res and they all have their own AI.
In other games, these guys would be going around in circles on train tracks. These guys will hunt you down. If you take one tactic, they’ll counter it with another. They know where you are and they will find you.
So there are massive improvements with the AI?
Absolutely. Especially with our bigger bosses, but even with your co-op friends – if you don’t have 3 guys to hop on with you, you can replace them with AI partners, or if you choose not to, you can play literally by yourself. Those opportunities, we have really great AI, so if you want to run ahead and capture all the data posts and do all the objectives, they’ll do all the firing for you. If you want to be the guy at the back doing all the firing, they’ll capture the objectives for you. They react to you. They know what you want to do and it’s really quite impressive.
It seems that the bosses aren’t just more elaborate either, but the standard enemies as well...
Absolutely. With every new environment we get a whole new set of creatures to fight against. The two legged guys we’re showing here are brand new to the game. What’s special about them is that they’re very quick, they’re very fast and they’re very aggressive. However, they do have one major weakness, those two legs, if you knock one out, they’re very vulnerable on the ground. You really have to think about these things when you play Lost Planet 2. It’s all about new tactics and new strategies to work as a team. You can’t just run ahead like you did before.
Does the difficulty scale up depending on how many players you play with?
In terms of whether you play by yourself or you play as a group, it’s the same campaign built all the way through, it’s really up to you how you want to experience it.
If you want to play it by yourself, the first thing I would tell you is that there are difficulty settings, use them. The second thing I would say is that you have a shared life pool throughout the group and that’s the same whether you’re playing by yourself or with 4 people. If you think about it that way, you get to die the same number of times, but you get to control all of your lives. So if you’re playing with a bunch of guys on live, it’s important – just like real-life – not to die.
So what you’re effectively saying is that it’s harder to play as a co-op team then, right?
What I would say about the pool of lives and how you have to share them between a group of co-op players is that’s when the communication comes in. The game is probably going to be best played as a group, you can do things like... with the first major boss, you want to be fighting him from the inside of the boss as well as from the outside. The only way to do that is with a co-op team that actually talks to each other.
The AI partners can do part of that and they can actually work with you in exactly that way, but when you get online and you’re telling your friends, “I have a shotgun and I’m going to get close to him,” and the other guy has a sniper rifle and he’ll stay far away. That type of communication and those type of tactics are what makes the 4 player co-op experience special.
What sort of competitive multiplayer modes can we expect?
So we are shipping 16 player online multiplayer. We’re going to have normal things like deathmatch and team deathmatch, that type of thing, as well as really unique Lost Planet modes like capture the territories, fight for data points, or you can play as the Akrid.
Have you got any sort of deals in the making between Sony and Capcom for the PS3 Lost Planet 2 release and playable characters like with the Xbox version?
I can confirm that Albert Wesker from Resident Evil 5 will be in the PlayStation 3 version as well. In terms of other playable characters, we haven’t made any announcements yet, but we’ll be happy to let you know as soon as possible.
Does that mean you’re working on them then? *laughs*
We can’t make any announcements like that quite yet, but we’ll let you know.