Before we talk about what Lost - The Video Game is, we ought to breathe a sigh of relief for what it isn't. It isn't a first-person shooter; a re-run of Far Cry with Jack blasting Others in the jungle. It isn't a Tomb Raider action-adventure, with Locke playing Lara, leaping from cliff to cliff or clambering up vines as he makes his way into the Black Rock to get dynamite. Nor is it a survival strategy game featuring the different characters in different activities. Help Sawyer scavenge and barter, then try and stop Hurley scoffing all the food in station 3. For this we should be sincerely grateful.
Instead, Ubisoft has taken another tack and made Lost into what they're calling a survival adventure game capturing, as producer Gadi Pollack explains, "the meaning and experience of the show." The development team worked with the creative team behind Lost, including J.J. Abrams and Daman Lindelof, to build the basic vision, and did extensive focus-testing with both hardcore gamers and more casual Lost fans to find out what people wanted to see in a Lost game. The result is a game that hinges more on plot, characters and interaction than straight-up action; if people want to play Lost, then they want to feel like part of the show and get involved with the characters they know and love. Myst and Beyond Good and Evil are, apparently, key influences, which should play well to the show's mainstream audience.
Of course, this left Ubisoft with a problem: how do you build a new interactive thread around a series with a large, ensemble cast, an incredibly tangled plot, and a rabid fanbase that will spot any fudges or continuity errors introduced. The answer the team came up with was to introduce a new character with his own plotline and back story. "We decided to play a new character, and wanted to give players of the game a feeling that they could relate to this character and feel like they're having their own unique Lost experience" says Pollack.