Lost Planet 3 is being developed by the Medal of Honor veterans at Spark Unlimited, hence a greater emphasis on western shooter-style gameplay.
Speaking to Gamasutra, project lead Andrew Szymanski said Capcom was ready to turn the series into a proper shooter.
“We wanted to push the boundaries of a shooter. The premise of the first LP game was, ‘Let’s take a bunch of Japanese guys and make a shooter.’ Well, you use guns as weapons, but it’s not really a shooter,” he said.
“One of the first things we worked on with Spark was to make sure we had the fundamental shooter elements down.”
Franchise director Kenji Oguro has described the first two Lost Planet games as “action games with guns” rather than shooters, something Szymanski agrees with.
“They take the Japanese, not-realistic, almost-ludicrously stylized aesthetic – ludicrous in a good way – and just happened to have guns. When we sat down with LP3, we realized that we weren’t beholden to the past games, as long as we gave our fans what they wanted,” he said.
“This gave us the freedom to sit down and say, ‘We don’t have to make a strict followup.’ We can go back in time and tell the back story, the narrative implications are great, and for the gameplay Oguro-san said ‘Let’s go make this a shooter,’ and that’ll piss some people off, but we’re gonna do it.”
Szymanski said Capcom wanted a western development team not just for shooter chops, but also to assist with “characterization and dialogue and everything”.
“Obviously, we recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and I think we can all agree that while the first two LP games did a lot of things really well, characterization and narrative wasn’t one of them,” he said.
“Honestly, there are going to be some things that the internal team could do even better than Spark, in some cases,” he added.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m speaking badly of the Osaka team, what they did with LP1 and LP2 was great and exactly what they set out to do, but if you’re looking at this from a creative standpoint, do you want to try and fit a square peg into a round hole by getting the Osaka team to do things that aren’t really their strengths? You’re not using their strengths, and you’re forcing them out of their comfort zone.”
Lost Planet 3 is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013.