What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this gory, violent game is about taking on nasty aliens that resemble giant insects using many weapons, including machine guns, grenades, and shotguns. When you shoot aliens, they scream and explode, spewing body parts and yellow-green goo. Language that may offend some include lines such as, "Damn you, sons of bitches!" and, "Now you will die like dogs!" The game can be played online using the Xbox Live service; Common Sense media does not recommend online play for anyone under age 12.
What's it about?
LOST PLANET: EXTREME CONDITION's single-player campaign introduces us to Wayne, a futuristic soldier on a snow-covered planet, who just witnessed his father's death by giant bug-like alien creatures known as the Akrid. After being knocked unconscious in battle, Wayne awakens to find three rebellious Snow Pirates who ask for assistance in annihilating the vicious Akrid once and for all. You're set into Wayne's boots, who is not only motivated by revenge, but also possesses the rare skill to pilot Vital Suits (VS), walking "mech" robotic assault vehicles with incredible firepower. Unlike a first-person shooter, such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Lost Planet is played from a third-person perspective, so you'll always see your character or VS mech on screen at all times.
Is it any good?
Even more exciting than the solo campaign, gamers will enjoy playing with up to 15 others in four online head-to-head modes via the Xbox Live service ($49.99 a year). Examples of these modes include Team Elimination, where teams battle it out to be the last ones standing, and Post Grab, where the winner is the first to find and initialize all of the Data Posts scattered around on a mission map. The game suffers from a few shortcomings, such as a relatively short single-player campaign (about seven hours, and a story gets a little convoluted around its midway point -- but you don't need to follow the weak plot (or believe in the paper-thin characters) in order to enjoy the gameplay.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about this fantasy world, combining bad bug-like aliens with a snow-covered planet. Why do you think inhospitable climates like icy wastelands and deserts are popular sci-fi settings? And why do bug-like creatures make good scary aliens? If you were to design the most dastardly alien, what would it look like? Are sci-fi creatures easier or more fun to shoot?