At the farthest edges of space, there exists a world unlike any other. A world where hostile alien lifeforms known as the Akrid are fought endlessly for the thermal energy that runs through their veins. Where an intergalactic syndicate and lowly snow pirates battle for supremacy using towering robots known as Vital Suits. Where the temperature and environment fluctuate constantly, as if trying to consciously expel those unable to adapt to its capriciousness.
To those caught within its turmoil, this world is E.D.N. III, a hostile celestial body that welcomes only the most daring of explorers – and serves as the setting for Capcom’s Lost Planet series. Originally conceived by Mega Man maestro Keiji Inafune and a team of former Devil May Cry and Onimusha developers, the Lost Planet series provided early adopters of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with an unusual, yet entertaining take on the third-person shooter, one that melded together Eastern and Western design values in ways unique to its genre.
Yet much like E.D.N. III itself, Lost Planet would undergo many dramatic shifts, with each of its entries featuring wildly different takes on its core narrative and mechanics. While all of these games found players willing to accept these changes, this refusal to remain the same resulted in Lost Planet’s fan base gradually eroding away, and Capcom eventually moving on to pursue greener pastures.
To many gamers, Lost Planet was inexorably linked with Capcom’s pursuit of Western-style games and developers during the seventh console generation, and the many disappointments that this initiative resulted in. Yet to those the forlorn series managed to touch, it was also one of the more unique and underrated experiences of its era – even though it could never quite settle on a single style.
This is the rise and fall of Lost Planet.