maurdakar's PlanetSide 2 (PC) review

A Promise Fulfilled

Many developers make wild and fantastic claims whilst promoting their product. As gamers we are nulled by the onslaught of positive declarations knowing that the developer merely wants our hard earned cash. Here is where Planetside 2 begins to stand apart. PS-2 doesn’t need your money up front. Toting the new Free to Play business model Planetside is hoping to hook you with its refreshing premise and let its own merits speak for themselves.

The sight of the skies above you filled with deadly aircraft is a horrifying or comforting sight depending on your faction.

PS-2, as the sequel to the original Planetside has a lot to live up to. The original game was well ahead of its time, but now the technology exists to deliver on the promise of a true MMO-FPS. The Planetside 2 team, an SOE studio, promised to fulfill the destiny that the original game deserved, and to reimagine the core concepts into a functional and enjoyable experience. As a fan of the original, beta-tester of the sequel and player of the finished game my honest opinion is thus: Planetside 2 is a promise fulfilled.

Many mechanics of the original have been scrapped. This is alright in my view. Gaming has come a long way in the last eight years and I appreciate that the new devs can respect the original without adhering to it religiously. Planetside 2 is about capturing the spirit of the original game and it executes this flawlessly. There is an enormous persistent world, and three factions using futuristic technology to battle for control of it.

Planetside 2 lacks the depth, precision and personal complexity of a shooter like Call of Duty, and instead delivers BIG. Facilities and territories are massive and the “maps” are literally the size of a small country. Hundreds of players can and do engage in titanic firefights. With aircraft whizzing overhead, tanks rumbling past, troop transports carting or soaring about and people joining the battle with orbital drop pods things can become a tad hectic. Planetside places gambles on huge scale and it pays off. The abilities, vehicles, and tools given to players add a great amount of flavour to a fight and working together is fun. The map feature especially assists new players and veterans in finding a fight quickly, by hitching a ride in an orbital drop pod.

Look out below!
We Vanu Outfits are drawn together by our mutual love for wearing purple...

The bigger picture also matters. Your faction takes control of portions of the map, and every member of it receives resources which they can spend to purchase consumable equipment and vehicles. You can easily add people as friends or whisper them. You can also easily jump into a squad or platoon. In game voice chat is very functional, and helps you co-ordinate. Guilds also exist in the form of Outfits.

You can purchase upgrades to your class and abilities using certs. Certs are gained by earning experience points, awarded when one captures bases, defends them, and kills enemies. You can also buy new weapons which are usually side grades and customize your favourite guns with attachments.

Planetside 2 likes it BIG. If you don't, that's okay and a more personal shooter may be for you. PS-2 isn't trying to be all things.

The spectre of Pay to Win looms large over Planetside 2 as it does all Free to Play games. Planetside 2 deftly sidesteps this danger by offering every piece of equipment and number improving ability to the player for certs. SOE plans to wiggle into your wallet by offering you cosmetic items, and boosts which drastically increase your rate of experience gain. Since some upgrades of your desire may be very high in price, the lure for your dollars is to spend money to not grind. Some players find this sneaky; I on the other hand understand that people need to be paid when they put work into something.

Some Veteran Planetsiders lament missing features or content. I say; "Just wait."

Planetside 2 does have faults. As already stated new players would stand at a disadvantage against veterans who are fully upgraded into their chosen roles. I have also heard complaints about optimization, and balancing between the three factions is a constant forum war. Anyone with a logical neuron however can forgive the few faults Planetside 2 does have as reasonable comprises, which have to be made for the sake of reality, and other bottom line facts.

Where Planetside 2 mimics the modern FPS genre it is well polished and enjoyable. Where Planetside 2 promises new features it delivers, and where Planetside 2 takes risks it WINS. Try it out for free and decide for yourself, it’s definitely worth your time and maybe, your money as well.

Me, I like my MMO's big, and my FPS crazy.
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