Yesterday, Capcom posted a special video announcement on Xbox Live that contained the Director and Producer for Lost Planet 2 showing off footage of their new game. This is a great way to unveil a game that hasn't been confirmed previously, and it's also a great way for the Japanese developers to bridge the gap to Western audiences in attempt to reach them on a more personal level. Nobody had heard a whisper previously about Lost Planet 2 (although one can always assume sequels are in the works these days, particularly when it comes to Capcom) and I suspect many other developers will follow suit in the future.
Showing trailers of games over Xbox Live is not new. Downloadable trailers have been around for years at this point. What was new, however, was the decision to show video of a man speaking to the audience and to have him introduce the "big secret"... as a streaming video.
I'm afraid Capcom may have actually did themselves some disservice in this respect: the gameplay footage was so heavily compressed for the streaming process that it looked awful. Large chunky pixels and artifacts were prevalent throughout the footage and I only hope that the millions of viewers the announcement potentially reached all understand it was due to the video compression. After all, Lost Planet was a very good looking game and this utilizes an enhanced graphics engine, so it should look as good if not better.
As for the gameplay itself, the sequel takes place ten years after the events in the first game. The frozen wastes of E.D.N. III have begun to thaw and a massive jungle has sprouted up. I understand climate change can happen quickly in a science-fiction setting, but this was a bit absurd. There is no way an environment can go from Greenland to the Amazon in just ten years. Then again, I never did think much of the "science" in science-fiction made any sense. The gameplay looked solid. Enormous species of Acrid, co-op campaign gameplay and some pretty impressive-looking setpieces. Not to mention players can now utilize a deployable retractable shield that was obviously influenced by the Boomshield in Gears of War 2.
I wrote the guidebook for the first Lost Planet and would love to do the follow-up. Either way, I know I'll be playing this when it releases, hopefully in 2009.