It was going to happen – a popular show with a sci-fi theme and a large following will end up with its own game. And for better or worse, Lost got its game. Developed by Ubisoft it had a lot of potential, but it got lashed critically anyway. Not for no reason – there are plenty of problems, like the terrible character animation, lackluster voice-acting that lacked most of the cast and rather limited locations.
But there’s more to the game than meets the eye, specially if you are a Lost fan. The game is not considered part of the show canon, so nothing that happens in it is necessarily accurate to the show. Nonetheless it brings a new side to the Lost experience and takes you into the world of the island and its strange going-ons. The game is about the world of Lost, not the characters or even events. Some characters, like Shannon, Boon, Mr. Eko, Anna Lucia and pretty much every extra from both crash sites are missing. The game also breaks the show’s canon on several points. Playing Lost is about you and what the Island wants you to do. So here are a few reason why, if you are a fan of Lost, you should play the game:
In the Jungle…
Using the GRAW 2 engine, Lost creates one terrific jungle – literally. It’s a creepy, disorientating experience. The show has shifted from jungle sequences to weird locations and buildings, but in the beginning there was the jungle and what’s in it. In the game you navigate through parts of the green thickets using a marker system – find a marker and it will point you towards the next one. But take a few missteps and you lose your way. The thick plant life is so dense and deep that you can lose track of things.
You won’t find out what the Incident was, but season 4 will apparently explain that. This is probably why the series producers allowed the inclusion of the room behind the concrete wall. You know – the door in the hatch that attracts metal? As the latest season will delve into the hatch and what went on there, the show is going to reveal this final room to us. Thanks to the game you are probably the only survivor who will see what it looked like just before Desmond switched the override, since the hatch implodes after that. And yes, you will type the code into the computer…
See the sights…
During your stay on the island, you will visit a few select locations from the show. After dodging black smoke in the Dark Territory, you’ll see all the decks of the Black Rock. There are the bunker tunnels underneath the Flame radio station, which were just alluded to in the show. Naturally you will see all the hatch (Swan station) and there’s even a stint at the Hydra station, where Jack was kept captive during season 3. You can also visit the Pearl station, the one hidden beneath the drug-smuggling plane, if you find a report tube near the sonic fence. Or if you fancy a trip to the medical station, look at The Numbers in sequence hidden around the survivor beach camp.
Find the van…
Hurley/Roger’s van is hidden in the Dark Territory. But good luck – the Monster loves lurking around there.
The developer at least had a clear picture of who will play this game. So, a Lost fan is unlikely to be interested sitting through the same plot points again. Thus the story of the show is pretty much tucked away in the background. You can find out more or less where in the season you are by the comments from characters. Sawyer will mention being tortured and at some point the raft goes to find rescue. But lots of events, big and small, aren’t mentioned either and the game’s time-line doesn’t remotely match up with the show’s. That’s how little the developers cared about retreading old yarns and as a fan you will be thankful.
Not the nice guy
The perfect Lost character? Someone you had wrong from the start. Nearly every one of the major characters in Lost has a back story that takes the audience all over the place, making you go from loving to hating the character (And often the other way around). The guy in the game is not nearly as screwed up, though, and his story isn’t terribly deep. But his tale is a lot shorter and, above all, he is not a nice guy. A few surprises await and at one point you will really not like the guy you are controlling. Is that vintage Lost or what?
The Lost game loves using the show soundtrack. There have been quite a few of those, so the developer could probably have its pick on what to use.
Forget the show sequences. Every time the survivors ran from the black smoke/Monster, it was frightening – but not heart-clutched horrifying. In the game, though, you might risk blowing something critical in your head. The sequences where you dodge the ‘monster’ are few and once you get past such a section you don’t have to do it again. So the terror is brief and fresh. While you try to find your way through the thick jungle, your hear the weird, raspy sound it makes, followed by the hollow.
It took out Artz, nearly killed Eko, exposed the hatch and caused its fair share of entertainment. So naturally you’ll have to find and carry dynamite at some stage. Even better, something will probably chase you when you have it. Stupid island.
It’s cheesy but it’s cute as well. The game breaks down into several mini-episodes. In each one you uncover a memory which triggers a flashback sequence. This invariably reveals a clue that helps you along some quest you’ve got going on the island. Eventually you complete your specific quest and a dramatic scripted sequence caps things off. Then it’s off to the next episode, where you get treated to a ‘Previously On…’ All of it is a nice attention to detail that fans will appreciate.
It’s got a Lost ending
Of course it won’t end like you think it will end. But it’s pretty certain that unless someone told you how it ends, you’ll not guess how the game closes things. A sequel would be interesting…
Images from Lostpedia.
Last Updated: April 30, 2008