Capcom has been giving the Xbox 360 a lot of support with Dead Rising and now Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. Lost Planet debuts in Japan on December 21, 2006 and before the world explore the frozen world, Jun Takeuchi, the producer fills us in with some more details about the game.
Siliconera: An amnesiac hero, a frozen world and Snow Pirates! There’s a lot going on in the story of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Jun: The story focuses on the amnesiac hero, Wayne, who starts off wanting to hunt down the Akrid that killed his father, Green Eye, but then becomes entangled in the mystery of E.D.N. III and the plans that NEVEC, a mega-corporation, has for the planet.
What is the single player campaign like?
You take control of Wayne and proceed through the story of Lost Planet. You will see lots of variation in locales; Lost Planet is not just a game that takes place in the snow, and you will use weapons and items such as the grappling hook to proceed through the world.
One of the important game mechanics is securing thermal energy. Why was this added to Lost Planet?
We really wanted to express extreme cold, hence the subtitle “Extreme Condition”. The T-ENG system allows us to do just that. If you stay in place too long doing nothing, you will freeze to death. The application of T-ENG in the game world is not just limited to expressing cold, it is also the power source that allows you to control the Vital Suits. We wanted this system to enable players to engage in battle with various methods under varied situations. Making Lost Planet just a simple shooter would be a disservice to the concept.
Lost Planet is populated by Akrid who naturally live on the world. Where did the design for the Akrid come from?
When we started designing the Akrid, there were many types of designs. We originally had the idea of varied forms of life on E.D.N. III. Insects, mammals, fish, birds – we designed them all – but we realized that players responded most favorably to the insects. Yet, that presented a challenge of designing these insects to look and feel fresh.
Online gameplay is a key part of Lost Planet. What kinds of modes are there and how many people can play at once?
Up to 16 players can take part in an online battle. We have team play modes and elimination (death match) mode. In team modes, you can split up into a maximum of four 4-person teams and take on the various objective and non-objective based modes. As for the modes themselves, the most popular one with the development team is Fugitive mode, where one person becomes the fugitive and has to live as long as possible while being hunted by all the other players on the map.
Is it true that Lee Byung-Hun’s likeness was used for Wayne? Why did you choose him?
We wanted Lost Planet to be a title that appealed worldwide as opposed to just the USA or Japan. That is why we wanted a character that appealed to all peoples, from Asia to Europe. This is why we turned to Asia and one of its most talented stars, Lee Byung-Hun, for this mass market appeal. I think that even American fans that might not be as familiar with Lee Byung-Hun will be able to recognize his acting abilities and appeal in Lost Planet.
The Lost Planet multiplayer demo on Xbox Live has the tiny text problem for standard def TVs that Dead Rising had. Is this going to be fixed in the final game?
Since the development team did not have the time for a beta-testing period, the feedback from the online demo was incredibly important to them. We listened to all the requests for the font size change and I’m pleased to report that when you play Lost Planet on an SDTV the text size for the score in Elimination mode will be increased.
Is Capcom planning for Lost Planet to be a multi game series like Resident Evil or Onimusha?
Well, Lost Planet hasn’t even been released yet, so I want to focus on clearing the first hurdle; however, fan reaction in Japan the US has been positive so far, and if the reaction to the final version matches this early enthusiasm, there is certainly a chance we could continue the series.
Why was the Xbox 360 chosen as the exclusive platform for Lost Planet?
The 360 is very easy to develop for, and they have a definite focus on online play. Since Capcom doesn’t have a large amount of experience in the online arena, this ease of development, along with the support we received from Microsoft, made making Lost Planet a 360 exclusive an easy decision to make. It also made sense because the Xbox 360 is a very popular platform in the US.
Online play for Lost Planet is shaping up to be pretty good and it’s definitely a good thing that Capcom heard the cries from people who own standard definition TVs. Another point the producer brought up was how Lost Planet: Extreme Condition has a fan base in Japan and North America. Perhaps the greatest chance the Xbox 360 has in Japan is if developers look at the worldwide potential for the console instead of just focusing on market.