Lost Planet 3 is actually a prequel that takes place before the events of the first game in the series. Since military VS mechs have not yet been invented, the new game will instead feature huge mining suits called Rigs equipped with only drills and claws. A NEVEC miner named Jim Peyton serves the main protagonist of the final game in the Lost Planet trilogy.
Since the game is a prequel, E.D.N. III is still a cold, snowy planet like in the first game. Players will once again have to keep an eye on their energy, but it will no longer serve as their hit points/life force. Instead, energy will function more like currency that can be used for weapon and Rig upgrades.
It seems Capcom learned their lesson from Lost Planet 2's terrible review scores as Lost Planet 3 will play a lot more like the first game with a focus on storyline. There will also be some new RPG elements like the ability to explore, upgrade equipment, take on side quests, and talk to NPCs.
Lost Planet 3 is being developed using Unreal Engine 3 and from what has been shown so far, the environments look amazing. Check out some newly released screenshots in the slide show above.