E3 2012 Closer Look: Planetside 2
By Michael Dunaway (Spunkify), MMOHuts Chief Editor
There were few titles at this year’s E3 that had me itching to play again and again but PlanetSide 2 proved that it could still scratch that obscure but profound itch I’ve had for all these years. I am of course talking about the itch that can only be satisfied by engaging in battles with thousands of other players simultaneously. Not only are there battles massive in PlanetSide 2, but they keep coming like a freight train with no breaks.
There is no lobby system in Planetside 2. PlanetSide 2 is an open world MMOFPS and a free one at that. Not many games have succeeded or even tried to reach its level of scale in the past and one of the only ones that has was its predecessor. It’s a daunting task to place so many players in one persistent world and something altogether different when you consider that these aren’t players using hotskill abilities but in fact aiming and shooting thousands of rounds of ammunition with real time bullet tracking.
In PlanetSide 2 you choose from one of three factions to play as, the Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, and the Vanu Sovereignty. Each faction possesses faction specific armor, weapons and vehicles. From here you will fight for territory over dozens of square kilometers of seamless gameplay space. PlanetSide 2 battles can last for days as your faction struggles to conquer the enormous maps. To do this you capture bases which solidify your foothold in an area of the map. The more bases you own the more bonuses you get ranging from ammo bonuses to tech bonuses and more.
At E3 we tasted just one area, an area that could be considered a mere blip on the enormous PlanetSide 2 map. Yet this area alone was at least twice the size of a Battlefield 3 64 player map and offered plenty of space for players to shoot those of the enemy factions as infantry or in vehicles. Bringing me to my next point, THIS GAME HAS TONS OF VEHICLES!
As a huge Battlefield fan I always love it when shooters implement vehicles. In PlanetSide 2 vehicles aren’t a gimmick or just another source of transportation. These vehicles range from small ATVs to tanks, gunships, mobile outfit and spawn stations and even robotic exoskeletons all armed to the teeth with customizable weapons and abilities.
I found myself spending the most of my time in a MAX suit. A MAX suit is sort of a pseudo vehicle class that spawns you inside a faction specific mechanical exoskeleton. You are a fair bit larger and slower then everyone else but you posses 2 weapons mounted on each arm as well as increased health. Depending on what my team needed I would often spawn in with double infantry machine guns or opt for a machine gun/rocket launcher combo. This allowed me to either be completely focused on crushing the enemy infantry or help deal with incoming tanks. While the MAX suit may make you feel like you are a one man army, you are still susceptible to focused gunfire and enemy rockets, and you cannot initiate the capture of a base. This makes the MAX class more suited for providing defense/cover-fire for your team mates.
One of the most important things to find out about a new title going F2P is its pricing structure. Thankfully PlaneSide 2 won’t be offering any sort of Pay 2 Win alternatives. Everything in-game that affects gameplay will be purchasable via resources earned in-game through actual gameplay. Players can choose to pay real money to unlock cosmetic camouflage patterns and armor paint jobs as well as the typical XP boosts.
Overall PlanetSide 2 is shaping up to be the most innovative shooter this year. To say I am excited for PlanetSide 2 would be a gross understatement, I am ecstatic!
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