[NYCC 2012] Interview: Lost Planet 3 will be a narrative-driven experience
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GameZone: With LP3 coming out in early 2013 with its third-person perspective, snowy world, monsters, and horror elements, how do you stand apart from a game like Dead Space 3?
Andrew Szymanski: Well, you know we were all very surprised and flattered when we found out that Dead Space 3 was going to be taking place, at least partly, on a snow planet. Number one, Lost Planet has been on a snow planet since 2006 so we sort of feel like we own that space. Number two, we'd already been working on LP3 for over two years when they announced. It's one of those classic cases of parallel evolution. But we actually announced back in April of this year and so we feel like, not to say that Dead Space 3 isn't going to be good, I haven't played it yet myself, but we're really focused on telling the story of this planet. We're not about spanning multiple planets, we're not about talking about the future and past of a character whose been through all these other adventures.
We're telling the story of E.D.N. III. We're doing that by going back almost to the beginning and telling it through Jim. We think that the strength of the character and the strength of that planet and that setting and all the lengths that we've gone to make sure that even though it's an icy, snowy, frozen world that it's not Antarctica, that it doesn't look like Earth—you've probably seen in the demo that we've got all these giant ice spires and things like that. The art direction is really influenced by, you know, "What would a planet look like if the ice never melted?" So whereas on Earth you have rock being shaped by erosion and wind, in this case it's ice. So you have these giant ice sculptures that have been eroded and formed over centuries. We wanted to create that very alien feeling.
I think that, on the surface, there are a lot of superficial things that look similar—the setting and the fact that they're both shooters— but once you actually go down a level and look at the meat and potatoes of the game I think you'll see the experiences are very different.
GameZone: Speaking of the frozen world, in the first game the cold was an element of the gameplay. Is that something you're bringing into LP3?
Andrew Szymanski: We've gotten rid of the mechanic where you have to constantly grab thermal energy in order to survive. In Lost Planet 3 thermal energy is actually used as a currency. When you're out in the wilderness and grabbing thermal energy as a resource you can take it back to base and trade it for upgrades and things like that.
GameZone: Could you tell us a little more about upgrading?
Andrew Szymanski: Well you have the ability to purchase new weapons, weapon upgrades, as well as upgrades to the core abilities of Jim and the Rig. We've shown one of the Rig upgrades in our most recent trailer and one of our demos which is the winch. It takes the claw arm which is equipped by default on the left side and allows you to fire it out on a cable.
There are a lot of upgrades that come as part of the storyline, but there are also ones that are optional. They're either provided via side missions or purchased by gathering enough resources.
GameZone: Well, that's all the questions we've got for now. Thanks for your time!
Andrew Szymanski: Thank you!