Sometimes, waiting in a standby line has its benefits. Lost Planet 3 was supposed to be a ticket-only demo, but I saw an empty queue and went for it. Luckily for me, I waited about five minutes and ended up playing for 15-20 minutes. Note to all future E3-goers: sometimes the standby line is totally worth it.

I wish I had a lot to say about the game, but the third installment of Lost Planet is basically playing to the strengths of the first two games, although it actually takes place before the first. You play as Jim, an ice miner just working to send materials back to Earth, and missing his wife and kid. To be honest, the cutscenes were kind of boring, so I skipped through them to get to the gameplay. The demo had the playtime split equally between stomping around in a giant ice-drilling mech and roaming around on foot through the frozen wastes.

The mech was incredibly slow and clunky-feeling, both in movement and in attacking with its drill arm. I’m sure that was done on purpose—how fast can a giant mech really go in freezing temperatures?—but it really slowed the pace down in a bad way. Working and drilling my way through the random caverns and drift-filled open spaces took forever. There was many a time where I felt like just getting out and running on foot, as it would’ve taken less time.

The combat wasn’t anything spectacular; just like in LP2, shoot at the glowy bits and dive out of the way when things get hairy. Repeat until creatures die. This isn’t exclusive to the weenies, either – the boss I encountered was the exact same way.

I will say that the presentation is well done, and does a great job of really making you feel like you are in a stark, sub-zero wasteland when you’re exposed to the elements.

Seems like a running theme here, but if you dig the first two games in the Lost Planet series (especially the second), you’ll likely want to pick up the third installment based on the campaign mode alone. Anyone on the fence may want to wait for more news about co-op or multiplayer play before making a decision.