PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 is a sci-fi MMOFPS on a truly massive scale, with excellent graphics and gameplay to match its grand vision of battle.

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Game overview

In the shoes of a member of one of three factions on the planet Auraxis, your mission is simply to conquer as much territory as possible and bring your team one step closer to total domination. The game places a strong emphasis on teamwork, with tactics designed to encourage furious suicide charges in the middle of battle.

The game is essentially devoid of a strong narrative component and prefers to rely entirely on the gameplay, which is fine because the latter is incredibly enjoyable, challenging and well designed.

Graphically, the game is beautiful, staging its battles in the most diverse, well-realised environments. Constant updates bring more content and welcome variations to an already excellent game.

Overall, PlanetSide 2 is the game fans of the first episode have been waiting for, and more.

Full review

In now-distant 2003 the original PlanetSide was released, an ambitious title designed to revolutionise FPS and MMO, and which succeeded in doing so. Certainly a forerunner to the modern MMOFPS, the first PlanetSide embraced the idea of a massive and persistent world with hundreds of players simultaneously fighting for supremacy on the game map.

Times have changed and PlanetSide 2 faces a far more crowded games market than it did a decade ago. So does the series still prove capable of impressing fans new and old?

Pick a side

Oh yes. As in the original, PlanetSide 2 is set on the planet Auraxis, where three factions wrest for control of as much territory as possible – the Vanu Sovereignity, the Terran Republic and the New Conglomerate. Each faction has its own advantages and trade-offs to help you choose, like faster weapon fire, better shields for close combat fights or levitating tanks. The narrative is limited and deliberately uncomplicated, the excuse you’ll need to shoot the first person you see without asking too many questions about it.

Once you’ve whizzed through character customization and a minimal tutorial, you’ll find yourself in one of the game’s rare safe zones – the warp point for your faction. From here, you can toggle the game’s map, a data-packed guide that shows you the areas of the continent you’re on and which faction currently controls what. Hovering the mouse over any of the areas will give you further details on the number of ally and enemy units there, how outnumbered you (or they) are and the status of the area’s defenses. You’ll spend a lot of time on this map, analyzing battlefields and deciding exactly which fights are ripe for the taking.

Battle on an epic scale

Jump into to one of these battles and the true scale of the game becomes apparent. The factions themselves are overwhelmingly enormous – you play as one soldier among many in your battalion. The modern FPS tends to give you time to hone your reflexes and decide on strategy, in matches with 10 or 20 players at a time, but in a game where the players are almost beyond counting and the map is a sprawling territory, you’ll need to change your approach.

PlanetSide urges you towards cooperation, and for good reason. Throwing yourself headlong into the fray as a novice Rambo will only get you cheerfully shot at by fifty different enemies at a time. The greatest satisfaction is found in working with allies, forming a team and honing your pack instincts until you move as one. Called Outfits, the game’s clans can range from a small group of friends to guilds of hundreds, but regardless of their size, the success of an Outfit depends on the specialisation and cooperation of its members. Within an Outfit, players earn ranks which determine their control over the Outfit, defining you as a grunt or a commander, and offering extra motivation for winning glory for your team - the opportunity to one day control it.

Fairly painless upgrade system

The progression system in the game is fairly forgiving, allowing you to acquire upgrades without forking out real money. Fighting for any of the game’s three factions will earn you Certification Points for upgrading your character stats and vehicles, or for purchasing weapons. Weapons are incredibly pricey in CP, so PlanetSide naturally offers the option of paying real cash for them. While there’s nothing like the thrill of a new gun, each class comes with its own free weapons that are perfectly capable of destroying the enemy for players who want to play for free.

Stop and admire the view

The graphics are very good, and looking out over a sweeping battlefield populated by hundreds of other players is a rousing experience. Even with detail set to lower levels, the caves and plains of Auraxis are beautiful settings to explore and conquer. Paired with equally excellent sound effects, from realistically detailed gunfire to distinct engine sounds for each faction’s vehicles, PlanetSide 2 has labored to create an intense auditory experience when you’re in the thick of battle. Unfortunately, this audio-visual goodness comes at a price, and you’ll have to have a pretty souped up computer if you plan to play on the maximum visual settings without a hitch.

Thanks to an established Roadmap on its site, PlanetSide 2 also offers players constant updates, as well as a way to engage directly with the developers on the changes they are most excited (or unexcited) about. The Roadmap page allows players to jump straight into discussions on the latest update, a great way for PS 2 to keep ahead of what their community wants most, and keep fans playing.

Conclusion

PlanetSide 2 succeeds in taking the expectations set by the original and improving on them in almost every way. From mega-scale battles, to the incredible team work and coordination required for victory, to a great progression system and sumptuous graphics, PlanetSide 2 is undeniably one of the best shooters available in the MMO market. Highly recommended.

Ready to enter the world of PlanetSide 2? Click here to play now!

Graphics: full 3D
PvP: guild or factions PvP
Cash shop influence: no cash shop
Exp rate: slow

Originality
The genre may no longer be a novelty as it was in the first PlanetSide, but PS2 still brings it with true massive scale battles, constant upgrades and excellent graphics for a free-to-play

What We Liked..

Addictive gameplay

Colossal battles

Excellent graphics

.. and what we didn't

Not much of a story

Rather exorbitant hardware requirements


Fun factor
3.5 out of 5
Community
3.5 out of 5
Graphics
3.5 out of 5
7.2
Worth A Try

Review summary

  1. Pick a side
  2. Battle on an epic scale
  3. Fairly painless upgrade system
  4. Stop and admire the view
  5. Conclusion

What we liked..

Addictive gameplay
Colossal battles
Excellent graphics

.. and what we didn't

Not much of a story
Rather exorbitant hardware requirements
7.2
Graphics - 70 / 100
Fun factor - 70 / 100
Longevity - 80 / 100
Originality - 80 / 100
Community - 70 / 100

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