Lost Planet 2, is the sequel to the original 3rd person, run, grapple, shoot, kill huge monsters with glowing bits. All these elements stay the same, however Capcom has changed quite a bit along the way as far as game play. The biggest change is, you have to play in a co-op game. Either with AI units, or with 3 other people on XBox Live. If you don't have Live, you're in for a whole bunch of pain and suffering.
Each Episode is split up by smaller missions, and you have a limited number of lives per Episode. Each Episode usually ends with a huge boss battle, which is pretty fun, however rather frustrating after playing for 1 hour and dying your last death, and having to start from square 1 for that episode. You can not continue from the chapter / mission breaks in an episode, you have to do the whole thing from the start. This becomes a problem pretty early on in “single” player mode, because the AI are well, just about as dumb as AI can be, and have a tendency to die when they hit the big monsters pretty quickly.
The ‘Single’ player or Campaign mode, has virtually no story. It's going from post to post with some cut scenes about some threat of some sort, that really makes no sense. The first game at least had a protagonist that you played through trying to find his lost memories or some generic plot, but LP2 just threw that out the window. To play a Single player game, you still have to create a custom multiplayer match, and choose ‘offline’. There literally is no ‘Start 1p game’ button, which I found pretty pathetic menu wise.
Online, you have your standard Xbox live drop out issues, which are great when you select a custom match, ‘Episode 2, Chapter 3’ or whatever, and if you don't get in, or you're dropped out, you have to set all your pre-requisites again, they're not remembered. It's a small gripe, but it is annoying after about 10 times re-entering your settings every time you swap menus, join a game that is full, etc. Online player ranking is a bit of a joke too when playing multiplayer non-campaign. (Death Match, capture the flag, etc). I was at player rank 1 my first time through, playing against people at level 80. I would assume a ‘rank’ would match me against players within a few levels of me, but nay, so unless you're a master of LP2 / 3rd person shooting, be prepared to feel some hurt on multiplayer.
Ok, so I have a lot of gripes, and a lot more. Especially when you get to the train level and fall off and die, and then run out of lives to kill the boss BUT! I'll save that for you to discover. However, I did rate the game a 4/5. I am a sucker for punishment, I like the huge scale of the boss battles, and even though you'll die multiple times, have to start from the beginning and do it again, there is some enjoyment from killing a 20 story tall glowing gecko. The graphics / sound are probably the best out right now, the controls well, they are sludgy, if you're used to fast FPS games. It's a bit slower than even popular 3rd person games such as Gears of War. You will inevitably break a controller throwing it at a wall now and then, but in the end the rewards are pretty good if you stick with it, and have a group of friends to help you tackle the bosses.