If you’ve ever had that dream where all the awesome things you love are in one place, but everything is a little hazy and it all ends too soon when you wake up, you’ll have a good idea what playing Lost Planet is like. This ported Xbox 360 game is packed to the brim with enough giant insects, killer worms, armored mechs, and glorious explosions to enthrall any science-fiction geek. Its only major shortcoming is that all of this awesomeness is crammed into a package that’s all too brief—we completed the fantastic single-player campaign in just over six hours.
Thirteen years ago, a little game called X-COM: UFO Defense debuted, pitting players against alien invaders and charging them with creating a network of bases around the globe, shooting down UFOs, capturing and researching alien technology, and then using it against the aliens in turn-based tactical squad combat. That’s the formula UFO: Extraterrestrials follows almost to the letter, falling just short of being a direct remake of X-COM.
We were skeptical when Microsoft announced that Shadowrun would be the first game to support full cross-platform multiplay between PCs and Xbox 360s. Being staunch advocates of the keyboard and mouse in first-person shooters, we were worried that the developers at FASA would dumb down Shadowrun to even the playing field for our gamepad-wielding counterparts. Luckily, after several weeks of playing the game, we can report that it is not only fair and balanced for all players but also a truly innovative multiplayer experience that’s loads of fun.
I played a lot of Halo 2 on the Xbox. Every night for most of a year, I’d fire up the game with some buddies, lead off with a couple of swords-only rounds on Lockout, then jump into Coagulation or Zanzibar for some CTF or team deathmatch action. For that reason, I was looking forward to playing Halo 2 with the superior mouse/keyboard combination when it finally came to the PC.