I didn't really like this game in terms of the multiple storylines you play across, I might have enjoyed the game alot more if they allowed you to play one association to the end, then allow you to see more of how everything ties together in the end rather than playing for different camps as the game progresses.
One thing I noticed during the game is that depending on what weapons you unlock, be it via the roulette system or the level up of your soldier class (and complete the level with the weapon equiped) that you tend to only find that there are not really that many weapons to unlock pass the standard machine gun, hand gun, sniper, shotgun and bazooka/rocket via the pick up method, however the roulette path will frustrate you to no end, as there are many useless items you can get hold of such as clothing, celebration gestures, dog tag names (the most useless i my case since i don't play online) and finally skills.
Skills that are unlocked and equiped are always on and do help out alot in the long run as they do save you in a tight spot (e.g. the skill that allows your thermal energy not to decrease unless used via weapons or harmoniser to refill health.
This game does have one thing over the previous title which is that I remember more about it that I do the previous title. Although I did play the first game once again before diving into this one I don't really remember that many plot points about it.
I would say that though this is the sequel there is no need to have played through the first game as there are very little references to the prequel and nothing important.
I had absolutely no desire to play this game when it came out. I'd played the original Lost Planet when that had first come out for the Xbox 360 and found the controls fiddly and unresponsive and the overall gaming experience slow. I had found the story concept cool though and liked the ridable robots (Called VSs) but was ultimately so frustrated with the controls I think I only ever finished the first couple of missions and never played the multiplayer modes.
I'll admit that when Lost Planet 2 was announced and videos started surfacing of what appeared to be a four player co-op mode I'd become interested momentarily only to forget about it again.
I ended up picking up a copy of the game (pre-owned, so cheaply) several months after its release date, I hadn't played either the co-op or multiplayer demos that were available via the xbox live marketplace and solely bought it due to the insistence of two of my friends. You see, the three of us really like co-op gaming, we'd recently finished the co-op on Red Dead Redemption and needed something to fill the void until Halo:Reach is released in September.
Lost Planet 2 is certainly an improvement on the original and a great looking game, the controls are vastly more responsive than I remember from the previous and the game feels "quicker" in general. I still have some issues though. Turning feels painfully laborious, the bumper buttons (LB and RB) are there to spin you 90 degrees in either direction but after few weeks of playing I still forget they're there. If you want a bit of extra speed while moving you can dash by holding down the B button, this sends you in a pretty straight similarly to the dash in Gear Of War, having to stop to make any real turns.
Firing your guns and aiming is quite nice and responsive however as a lot of the boss battles are (no exaggeration) epicly large, the game requires you to look upwards a lot, which causes some aiming issues in the jungle terrain as plants and leaves can block your view. Other people firing on you in both Campaign and Multiplayer can be an incredibly frustrating ordeal as the moment you're hit you can't move or return fire until the animations are complete. Meaning (particularly in multiplayer) if someone shoots you with a particularly high fire-rate gun, you're screwed. Also you tend to get knocked off of platforms or the edges of maps (a couple of levels take place on a train) fairly easily.
There is a training mode, in which you are supposed to be able to "hone" your skills, which I have found fairly useless. I tried the first training mission after having actually been playing the campaign for over a week and failed as the time limits you have to hit to pass training seems really unreachable. There is however an AI enemy battle mode, which is like playing the multiplayer modes, without actual people. This can be quite fun as the AI doesn't exploit the previously mentioned movement issues.
The campaign mode is fairly straight forward. The story is split into six episodes which is split into between two and five chapters, which in turn can be split into several areas. Most of the areas are fairly small, kin to smaller multiplayer maps and most involve surviving from point A to point B normally killing everything along the way and every area has undisclosed "Good Job" awards to achieve some pop up on screen so you know how to achieve them, some you have to figure out for yourselves (or look online). At the end of each chapter you are able to save and quit, making this an easy game to pick up and play in short bursts if you want to.
The story is actually quite entertaining, told primarily from the perspective of two opposing clans (Although there are five playable in total) for which you gain levels (which count for your campaign and multiplayer characters) and unlock items as you progress and trust me there is a tonne of stuff to unlock. Sometimes when you kill an enemy they will drop "?" boxes which you can pick up. At the end of each chapter you are able to open these boxes which usually award credits which you can then use in a slot machine to unlock goodies (Weapons, Character Customisation parts, Emotes, Abilities or Names) as I said before there are a lot of them to get. Emotes are largely for fun having no real use in the game as are the customisation parts and names. Weapons are most useful and can really give you an advantage, abilities although I've played with several set-ups honestly don't appear to make much difference at all.
Playing through the campaign in co-op is really where this game shines and is pretty much the only reason I'm STILL playing (Well that and I'm glutton for unlocking loot). Playing with at least one friend is much more enjoyable than going at it alone (Either way you can have AI bots fill out your team). Playing in a team of three (Like I am) is great fun indeed and I can imagine the full four player experience is even better. Theres one level in particular where one of you is manning a giant turret and one is loading the turret and one is helping to move the turret where the developers have gotten everything right. This level was one of the most satisfying co-op experiences I've ever had in a game.
I've had a go at the multiplayer modes too and their good for the most part. However I'd recommend playing through the campaign and unlocking weapons first as you'll be at a significant disadvantage if you don't (Mainly due to the previously stated issues) which for me, really spoilt the competitive modes.
Some of the achievements in this game are very daunting and 90% of them are secret, which greatly annoys me. Sure, a quick google search and you can find them all, but you really shouldn't have to. I think a lot of these (for an average gamer) are unachievable, e.g. Some involve levelling each clan to its maximum (level 99) which I've completed two play throughs and my highest level (which I've used every moment I can) is only 64.
This game is far from perfect and actually I've got a lot more to complain about (e.g the VSs are cool but why can only two of them combine together?), but if you're planning on playing in co-op with some friends you'd probably let most of the bad things slide like I have because at the end of the day it IS good fun.