Title: Planetside 2
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Price: Free to Play
ESRB Rating: T
The recently released PC exclusive from Sony Online Entertainment brings us an all new MMO FPS unlike anything we've ever played before. An unprecedented amount of players at any given time, and some great visuals make this Free to Play game a no brainer.
Given that the game is f2p, I would have never guessed the graphical quality of the game would be so high. If you have the horsepower to sustain the game requirements, you're in for a visual treat. Even if you don't have a monster gaming rig, the medium settings are still worth to look at. If its one thing the game has over a lot of other shooters, has to be its massive scope. The maps are gigantic, able to hold a massive amount of players while still being impressively detailed. Usually when we get these games that can withstand over a hundred players on a map, the visuals would take a pretty steep hit. With Planetside 2, this isn't the case at all. You won't be able to appreciate the full graphical quality until you play the game at night. There are full day and night cycles, with suns during the daytimes. While during the nighttimes, you'll be able to gaze up at moons and other planets. Its pretty spectacular that a shooter was able to pull off something like this. I guess this is another example of how far PC gaming is ahead of console gaming. The developers have already stated that a shooter of this magnitude is not possible on a current gen console, which is a letdown, because I would have loved to have this on the PS3. The music is great, an excellent score from Jeff Broadbent backs up the great action on the field. If you played the original Planetside, then a lot of the themes will sound familiar to you. There are a lot of graphical hiccups that will occur in the midst of battle, frame drops being the most annoying. Even if you're playing on a good PC, the framerate will occasionally drop well below a playable rate. There are a number of other minor technical issues, but none noteworthy enough to mention. Overall, the game's graphics and sound design are top notch.
Core Gameplay and Multiplayer:
With all the cool new innovations the game brings to you, its still at its core, a first person shooter. It has everything you need to make a good one as well, tight controls, fun and diverse maps, and a robust class system that encourages you to spend a countless number of hours in the game. There are three empires you can choose to play as, the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate or the Vanu Sovereignty. Each faction is continually fighting for land, if you played MAG for the PS3, then the persistent fighting will feel very familiar. I have always liked the idea that you're a smaller soldier in a bigger war, it makes you feel like you're really apart of a larger faction. After you choose your faction and quickly make your character, you'll be instantly thrown into the action. Since you can have thousands of players on single server, the action can get hectic really quickly. The main goal is to capture as many bases as you can on the particular continent you're playing on. The steep learning curve is pretty brutal at first, but over time, the game's mechanics will become second nature. Each base on each continent is different in style and looks, you aren't just capturing outpost after outpost. The real fun is when you and your squad decides to work as a team to capture a base freely. Communicating over the game's built in voice chat system, using your creativity to overwhelm an enemy base is just a blast. You can also combine four squads to create a platoon. Its obvious that the game encourages you to work as a team. There are so many ground and air vehicles to control as well, so if you want utilize the infamous Blitzkrieg method and have a ton of tanks assault a base, you can do just that. Or if you just want to overwhelm a base by a large infantry assault, the individual guns feels great to use. The maps all have a nice flow to them, you won't be roaming around aimlessly looking for someone to kill. You can spawn in at several strategic points, making finding battles easier than ever. There are six classes to choose from, all with different abilities and upgrades to unlock with extensive time with that specific class. One being the Infiltrator class, which allows you to cloak yourself for stealthy kills.
For a game thats Free to Play, there is a ton of content to explore. The combat is deep, and the controls are smooth and simple to learn. The world of Planetside 2 is a beautiful one to do battle on, and a war that everyone should participate in.
S&S Rating: 9/10