Locked and Loaded: A Look at Planetside 2
The battle for Auraxis is almost upon us as Planetside 2 nears the end of its Alpha testing and prepares to move into Beta this week. Those loyal to the Terran Republic are gearing to put down the insurrection of New Conglomerate and Vanu Sovereignty forces. The players are anxiously awaiting what promises to be the most massive FPS experience ever.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, a little background. The original Planetside video game was released in mid 2003 by Sony Online Entertainment. In a world full of MMORPG’s it is one of the only MMOFPS. Unlike your more traditional FPS, Planetside was a game set in a persistent, non-instanced world where hundreds of players could play on the same continent at the same time and fight for control of various facilities and resources on ground, in vehicles or in the air.
Sony Online Entertainment has been working on a new version of the game, taking input with fans and working with an enthusiastic staff (one only has to watch their twitter feeds to see what big fans of the game these guys and gals are) to expand on a concept that was already pushing the boundary of what a modern FPS could and should be. Where once hundreds of players could play on a map, now thousands will be able to fight on the same continent, spread across three different factions.
Yes, you read that correctly. There will be thousands of players on each continent over a thousand for each of the games three factions. Each of the games individual bases will be the size of your average map for your more traditional First Person Shooter with each continent representing multiple environmental types and dozens of bases. The scope of this game is unbelievable and will truly feel like one is in the middle of a war.
War it will be, for fight for territory will be key to the game play of Planetside 2. With three different factions fighting each other, it’ll add even more strategy to the game as you work to play your enemies against each other and exploit their weaknesses. But for those who might be intimidated by this, worry not, for the early footage of the map appears to be user friendly, indicating where the large battles are going on and helping you get into the battle quickly.
Not only this, but players who frequently lead squads will earn points, contributing to what is known as a Command Rank. Those who become Command Rank 5 (the highest in the game) will likewise be able to help direct faction strategy to help guide the flow of the battle. It’s not something I hear many talking about, but in this writers opinion it is brilliant and rewards those who put effort into the game in a way that is beyond the standard progression system.
The game supports a wide variety of classes, each with their own unique feel and skill sets. Each feels very unique and with the extensive customization options you can tailor your game play to whatever you want it to be. And not only are the classes varied, but each faction is fundamentally different. It’s not just a different in color, but the design of their weapons/armor, the feel of the factions and their individual philosophy represented plainly in the technology. This extends into the large variety of land and air vehicles each faction has to play with, a number of which are unique to each group.
There is so much to be talked about with this game, that just cannot be expressed in just one article and over the coming weeks I’ll be writing more articles, providing a more in depth look at the games various mechanics and features. And as the game goes into Beta I’ll be providing as much information as I can for you all, as much as the NDA will allow. For those who wish to have a chance at playing in the beta, be sure to sign up at www.planetside2.com and follow them on twitter at https://twitter.com/planetside2. While you are on twitter be sure to follow me as well https://twitter.com/kelindel.
Are you looking forward to Planetside 2? Are you intrigued by what it has to offer? Are you a Terran Republic loyalist? a New Conglomerate die hard? Or a Vanu Sovereignty stalwart? Leave a comment below and let us know!