anibee Features - Lost Planet 3 & interview with Producer Andrew Szymanski!

Q and I were invited to go for a private conference for Capcom's upcoming game: Lost Planet 3, to be released on the 30th of August. Being more of a handheld gamer and not having a PlayStation 3 (unless I'm miraculously sponsored in the next 48 hours after this article is up --- okay who am I kidding), I did not know what to expect in this upcoming masterpiece. To be honest, right from the beginning to the very moment I started playing the demo I had no idea what kind of game would greet me.


PRODUCER, ANDREW SZYMANSKI, PRESENTING THE GAME!

When the conference started, we were told a little about the insights of the game, such as its new features as well as a small part of the story. Lost Planet 3 would take place before the events of Lost Planet, making this game a prequel (much like Metal Gear Solid 3 being a prequel to the Metal Gear series). The game will be more story-driven and players will be able to freely explore the planet of E.D.N. III.

When I got the chance to grab the controller and start up the game, I was simply blown away. The visuals are stunning and the cinematics make you feel like you are watching a Hollywood movie, and a good one, I might add. The game makes use of full motion capture right down to the facial expressions (a common trend in recent games such as L.A. Noire and The Last of Us), and the voice acting is exactly like what you'd expect from a great Western game.

The gameplay itself is very simple: for gamers who play the game for the first time, they'll be orientated on the controls and the mechanics without too much hassle (such as halting all gameplay just to tell you what each button does, something which I absolutely abhor), thus enabling gamers to quickly adapt to the controls and get immersed in the story at the same time. Other than that, the typical controls for console shooter games help a lot in getting gamers used to the controls as well. In that short moment of time I was playing the game, I can honestly say I was already immersed in the whole Lost Planet... universe (no pun intended) and was enjoying playing a game such as this after a long time of not touching console games.

Q and I got the chance to interview Andrew Szymanski, the Producer of Lost Planet 3. Q, over to you!

anibee: Hi Andrew! Please give an introduction of yourself!

Andrew: Sure! My name is Andrew Szymanski and I am the Producer & Project Lead of Lost Planet 3. I am based in Capcom's Tokyo office and the game is a joint-production with myself, our Osaka Lost Planet team, as well as our Los Angeles developer, Spark Unlimited.

anibee: Tell us what the game's about, and how it differs from the previous installments?

Andrew: It's basically a prequel/origin story of the Lost Planet mythos, how the humans established their colonies on the planet of E.D.N III and everything. The game differs in that we wanted to have a game with a strong narrative as well as a really cinematic experience whether in terms of story-telling, and especially gameplay, combined with the multiplayer.

anibee: This is the first game in the franchise that's being developed overseas in America as opposed to in-house at Capcom, Japan. Is there any particular reason for this?

Andrew: Spark Unlimited has a lot of experience in dealing with games that are very story driven, whether in terms of scripting, writing, or even voice acting. So in our case, it was more of a case of wanting to work with other talented individuals and pooling our strengths together to create something really awesome, and certainly not for a lack of capacity and/or budget! It's been a great experience working with them and we hope the gamers will enjoy the results!

anibee: One of the visions that creator, Kenji Oguro, had for the series was a game that appealed to both Western and Asian audiences. How does Lost Planet 3 continue upholding this vision?

Andrew: That's a great question! From the very beginning, that has definitely been our objective. From the first game, its objective was to tell a good sci-fi story with the technology and methods it had for its time, which is what we've done as well, only now with the new technology we have today.

For our Western audiences, we've incorporated lots of classic elements from films like Alien, Prometheus, and others like it. Whereas for our Japanese & Asian audiences, I like to tell to "treat the game like a Western sci-fi movie" instead of just a game. In Japan especially, Western sci-fi movies are really popular, and this helps give them a more familiar, yet new perspective on how to approach the game, which has resulted in a really wonderful response.

In the end, it's not about specifically targeting one group of people, but rather, including a bit of everything and creating something that everyone can enjoy. A "melting pot" of cultures so to speak - much like Singapore!

Special thanks to Maxsoft for the invite, and Andrew Szymanski for his time!

Lost Planet 3 will be released on the 30th August 2013 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC.

- Ryodo & Q