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PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 is a massive persistent state world (PSW) MMOFPS where three factions fight to capture and hold as many territories as possible. Large, open-world battles with hundreds of players on the field at once are commonplace in PlanetSide 2. With up to 1,200 players fighting on a continent at once and an excellent variety of weapons and vehicles, PlanetSide 2 offers FPS-style gameplay on an epic scale.

Publisher: Daybreak Game Company
Playerbase: High
Type: MMOFPS
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2012 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Huge maps. +Epic battles with up to 1,200 players on a single continent. +Fluid gameplay. +Beautiful graphics. +Great customization / progression.
Cons:  -Steep learning curve. -Latency issues.

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Overview

PlanetSide 2 Overview

PlanetSide 2 is an innovative MMOFPS that thrusts players into the middle of a global all-out tug-of-war between three factions. Experience massive-scale battles between thousands of troops in real-time. Test your mettle in persistent, dynamic, and fast-paced infantry, ground vehicle, and aerial combat across four vast continents. Work together with your team to use the unique terrain, environment, and structures of each continent, along with the huge arsenal of weapons and vehicles at your disposal, to gain strategic advantage over the enemy and conquer territories for valuable resources needed to dominate rival factions.

PlanetSide 2 Key Features:

  • Persistent State World Gameplay – factions vie for control over continents (Amerish, Esamir, Hossin, and Indar).
  • Large-Scale Battles – PlanetSide 2 supports hundreds of players on the screen battling at once in massive battles.
  • Three Factions Waging War – fight for the Vanu Sovereignty, New Conglomerate, or the Terran Republic.
  • 6 Playable Classes – Infiltrator, Light Assault, Combat Medic, Engineer, Heavy Assault, and MAX.
  • Varied Gameplay – players can switch classes at will and wage war using land and air vehicles.

 

PlanetSide 2 Screenshots

PlanetSide 2 Featured Video

Full Review

PlanetSide 2 Review

By Marc Marasigan

PlanetSide 2 is a free-to-play sci-fi MMOFPS developed and published by Daybreak Game Company (previously Sony Online Entertainment). The game was officially released for Microsoft Windows on November 20, 2012 and is currently in closed beta for the PlayStation 4. The game holds the Guiness World Record for the biggest FPS battle with 1158 players participating in a single battle.

PlanetSide 2 is an improved version of the original PlanetSide game that came out in 2003. PlanetSide 2 is set in roughly the same time frame as the original game and takes place on the same planet, Auraxis. The game also features the same factions as the original: the technologically-advanced Vanu Sovereignty, the freedom-loving New Conglomerate, and the militaristic and authoritarian Terran Republic. The game is heavily rooted in science fiction and features massive industrial complexes, massive exoskeletons, force fields, and futuristic versions of real-world weapons.

Dropping Into The Fray

Players start off by choosing their faction and creating characters. Free-to-play players can create up to three characters per account, while subscription players can get up to three additional slots. These additional slots won’t be deleted, even if the player cancels his subscription as long as they have characters in them. There’s nothing special to be said about PlanetSide 2’s character creation process. It’s a no-nonsense process of choosing a faction, server, gender, face style (the game offers a measly choice of four), and name, then clicking on the finish button. The character creation screen also offers players an option to skip the tutorial for more seasoned soldiers.

PlanetSide 2’s tutorial system does a good job of teaching new players how to move, fire different weapons, and gameplay mechanics like how to capture facilities, redeploy, and how to acquire vehicles. What it doesn’t do is prepare players for the confusion, short life expectancies, and utter frustration that new players experience when they join the game’s large-scale battles. This, however, all slowly goes away within a few days of playing. I remember wandering around the vast facilities and getting killed without even firing a shot or even knowing where the killing shot came from. I think it took me about a week of this before I could finally function decently in combat. Even then, veteran players would just run over me without even breaking a sweat. Don’t let this discourage you, though  things start to get fun once you get the hang of things.

Auraxis

PlanetSide 2 is set in a persistent state world made up of four vast continents. Each continent features different terrain and is roughly a dozen square kilometers of contestable area. Players can use the terrain to gain advantage over their opponents. They can snipe opponents from atop the canyons of Indar, roll up in tanks across the dry tundras of Esamir, hide in the lush vegetation of Amerish, or lob grenades at enemies spawning by the roots of Hossin’s massive rainforests. The game also features weather and day/night cycles that can also affect how battles play out. Coordinated attacks on multiple enemy territories can be most effective under the cover of night, as enemies won't see them coming till it's too late. Despite the game's vast scale, a small group of players can capture outposts extremely effectively if they remain unnoticed.

Each of these continents look absolutely stunning, from the dry deserts of Indar, to the bio-luminous swamplands of Hossin. The player models are also incredibly detailed and realistic, including the weapons, armor, and, vehicles. The sound effects are spot on and the music fits the theme of the game perfectly. However, one thing that annoys me is the amount of ambient chatter. Shouting, “Frag-out!” or, “Medic!” may make the game seem more realistic, but 20-30 people shouting it at the same time, coupled with in-game voice communications from other players, plus music and sound effects, just makes everything comes out as noise. Turning the game volume down and turning your music player up seems to help, though.

Combat

PlanetSide 2 is first and foremost a first-person shooter. Thus, FPS rules apply, such as aiming down sights for accuracy or using cover and concealment to your advantage. Choosing the right weapon, class, and vehicle for the situation is just as much a part of the game as learning to keep the crosshair on the enemy you don’t want to be the lone medic staring down the barrel of a Lightning tank. On the other hand, Light Assaults with C4s, Heavy Assaults, and MAXs will make quick work of that tank. Working together with a team to accomplish objectives also makes things a lot easier. The game isn’t as tactical as military simulators like Arma, but teamwork is still pretty much required. Trying to claim a facility on your own just isn’t going to work unless it’s practically undefended and going Rambo will just get you killed. It’s also worth mentioning that friendly fire is part of this game and getting shot by a trigger-happy squad mate or getting run-over by a friendly tank is not uncommon.

PlanetSide 2 also allows players customize their characters to match their playing style by unlocking and upgrading abilities using Certification Points, or Cert Points, which can be earned by reaching a set number of experience points or accomplishing in-game achievements. These abilities add more variety to the basic combat classes and give players bonuses such as increased armor points, faster healing for medics, additional grenade slots, or the ability to carry and remotely detonate C4 charges. An Infiltrator, for example, can have the ability to stay cloaked indefinitely as long as they don’t move or one that allows them to stay cloaked while moving. The option the player chooses depends on whether he wants to lie in wait or hunt down the enemy. While this system gives higher leveled players a bit of an advantage, skill still plays a vital role in the game.

Locked & Loaded

In addition to abilities, players can also customize their gear the way they want. What PlanetSide 2 lacks in character customization, it more than makes up for with its vast selection of weapons, weapon attachments, camo patterns, as well as an array of unique player-made items. Planning to get up close and personal with the enemy at night? Slap on thermal optics to your SMG. Planning to fight from further away? Try a 4x scope instead. Weapon choice, however, is limited by the chosen combat class. Bolt-action rifles can only be equipped by Infiltrators, for example, and rocket launchers by Heavy Assaults. Available attachments also depend on the type of weapon equipped.

Divide & Conquer

Capturing the various facilities around Auraxis is the core of PlanetSide 2’s gameplay. Different facilities grant the occupying faction different benefits. Tech plants allow spawning of main battle tanks, Bio-labs grant increased health regeneration for the whole faction, and Amp Stations generate resources that are used to spawn vehicles and load up on grenades, C4, and other explosives. Each faction also has their own warp gate which is usually located on the corners or edges of the continent. Warp Gates are safe-zones where players start out and the only place where they can warp between continents. Outposts make up most of the contestable areas in a continent. While they don’t grant any benefits, outposts are still vital to capturing other facilities because they provide strategic locations for amassing troops, spawning vehicles, and changing loadouts.

To capture a facility, players must control all the security terminals in a facility. Depending on the type of facility, this might require the player to simply stand uncontested near a terminal or may require secondary objectives, like disabling shields, to be completed first. Facilities can also only be captured if it is connected to the Lattice network. This means that an adjacent latticed network, marked by lines on the map, must be under the factions control before they can capture a facility.

Station Cash

Apart from offering subscriptions, PlanetSide 2 also has an item shop where players can buy gear, weapons, and weapon or vehicle attachments with real-world cash. Players can also buy cosmetic items, like unique camouflage patterns, helmets, and vehicle designs from the item shop. Non-paying players need not despair – except for the cosmetic items, almost all items found in the item shop can be bought with cert points and a bit of patience.

Final Verdict - Excellent

PlanetSide 2 is an innovative and revolutionary MMOFPS that delivers just what MMOs are supposed to: real-time massive battles in a persistent state world. While the learning curve is a bit steep, even for veteran FPS players, things definitely begin to improve once players get accustomed to the chaotic, sensory-overloading battles in the game. This is a must-try for both hardcore and casual players. Great graphics, vast sandbox continents, as well as fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping combat make this game one of, if not, the best MMOFPS of all time.

Screenshots

PlanetSide 2 Screenshots

Videos

PlanetSide 2 Videos

System Requirements

PlanetSide 2 System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
CPU: Intel Core i5-760 or Better / AMD Phenom II X4 or better (Quad Core CPUs)
Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTX 260 or better / ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
RAM: 4 GB for 32-bit / 6 GB for 64-bit
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
CPU: Intel Core i5 or Better / AMD Phenom II X6 or better (Quad Core CPUs)
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 540 or better / AMD HD 6870 or better
RAM: 6 GB
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB

A 64-bit operating system is strongly recommended for optimal performance in PlanetSide 2.

Music

PlanetSide 2 Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

PlanetSide 2 Additional Information

Developer: Daybreak Game Company (Previously known as Sony Online Entertainment)
Game Engine: Forgelight Engine (Developed by DayBreak Game Company)
Other Platforms: Playstation 4
Composers(s): Don Ferrone / Jeff Broadbent
Closed Beta Date: August 6, 2012 - November 17, 2012
Open Beta Date: November 20, 2012 (Full release)

Foreign Release(s):

China: June 25, 2013 (The9)

Development History / Background:

PlanetSide 2 was developed by American game developer Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) with an estimated budget of ~$50 million USD. Initial development for PlanetSide 2 began in 2009 with the game being mentioned publicly for the first time on December, 2010 when the Sony Online Entertainment CEO mentioned that they would be launching a new shooter sometime next year. PlanetSide 2 was called PlanetSide Next before being released as PlanetSide 2. The initial release date for PlanetSide 2 was delayed because the company opted to switch to the newer Forgelight Engine mid-development. The game launched to much fanfare on November 20, 2012 and quickly became to the most popular "MMOFPS". Unlike the original PlanetSide, PlanetSide 2 was developed from the get-go as a free-to-play title. The game's first foreign release in China saw enormous success as well. The CEO of SOE tweeted that the Chinese version of the game, which was licensed to The9, saw even more success on launch day than its U.S. counterpart. PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 version entered into beta on January 20, 2015.