Planetside 2: The story so far.
Well so far I have been playing Planetside 2 since launch, and suffice it to say I am quite pleased with it. There were certain incidents where my gun became a sort of wielded jelly blob, but the game is quite massive and it is constantly being patched, so I can let that one slide (humor intended). Coming back to the main point, Planetside 2 has not failed to deliver when it comes to that sort of massive capture point warfare that I have been looking for these past years.
Some of you may remember from my post yesterday that I stated I play for the Terran Republic: this is true. Some games I like to play a sort of mercenary – where I can switch around and not feel somewhat guilty for leaving the other faction in the dust. However there are other titles out there that I feel I can safely sink into a particular faction and develop a sort of faction loyalty which helps immerse me into the game as I spend hours upon hours in it (currently I have clocked in 268 hours according to Steam). Thus one might ask: “what makes’ this game so interesting? Is it not just another capture point game of which almost every first person shooter has in their game types?”
Yes Planetside 2 is largely a territory-based game where you capture key points on the map – such as Tech Plants, or Bio-labs – but the way in which the game is set up allows massive battles consisting of thousands of players to occur. Thus far no other game in the market can give such an experience where thousands of players on each faction battle it out for points in a given “province” – if you will – all the while reinforcements are coming in, and tracer-fire can be seen lighting up the night sky as the battle rages through the day and night cycle in game – which translates into real-time hours – until someone emerges victorious. Kill/Death ratios are no longer of concern in Planetside 2, where team work is key to victory, and where everyone can play a part in the fight. See the key feature in Planetside 2 is it is one giant war for a planet via three – soon to be four, not including Virtual Reality Training – continents. Each continent is unique in environments and overall tactical gameplay: allow me to explain. Esamir is the snowy, Hoth-like continent where everything is buried beneath snow and ice. However with that snow and ice, comes greater mobility when using land vehicles as a tank or Harasser can traverse the terrain with no difficulty, seeing as there is barely any obstacles on that continent. Now if you go to Amerish – the sort of Vietnam-like map – but instead of jungle you have massive rock spires – vehicular combat is almost impossible, and bottlenecks and choke points are easy to set up. Combat is therefore funneled into key bridges and valleys, and air support is always in demand on Amerish.
Indar is a mix of the two continents; though the deep canyon near the south-eastern portion of the continent is evil and it needs to die in a hole somewhere far off in the outer worlds. The point I am trying to stress here with a bit of humor is that the canyon offers players above the fighting a good vantage point for sniping, while being exposed to air assaults. Subsequently the aircraft cannot dive into the canyon without risk of being caught on a cliff face, flipping over, and exploding: anti-air turrets therefore have a distinct tactical advantage when facing against the Galaxies (dropships), Liberator gunships, or the various, faction-specific fighter craft. The war for Auraxis has never been so enticing, and they did not even give me an enlistment bonus!
Planetside 2’s vehicle combat is varied and well polished for the most part. The tanks all have customizable turrets, and the defensive weapons, abilities, and armour slots make it so that no two tanks are the same – at least in theory. The Sunderers – the all-faction troop carrier, and if certified properly a mobile spawn beacon – are built tough and flexible, making troop movements fluid and fast. Finally we come to the Flash – an ATV-style bike – and the Harasser – a humvee-style recon vehicle. The Flash really is not useful for anything else other than getting a lone soldier from point A to B in a hurry. Weapons can be prow-mounted, but if your aim and driving is trash, do not bother with this feature. Those certification points are better spent on your class’s weapon, suit abilities, or other upgrades for the vehicles in the arsenal. The Harasser by far is a very fun little toy added to all three factions: it features seating for three with the rear seat big enough to accommodate a MAX suit – the power armour suit for all factions – and it comes with a defensive turret for the co-pilot if you will. The gun can be upgraded, and if used properly, the Harasser is definitely a lot more enjoyable to fight with than the Lightning Tank which – to be honest – should be a back up in case your faction specific tank is blown up by a roadside IED, enemy rocket, or air strikes.
Thus far the free-to-play model for Planetside 2 is working well; I must admit I did purchase some items from the in-game store, because vanity is all so important and fashion is always in style (humor intended). Sony definitely made the right choice when developing this game, and it certainly shows as a ton of players in-game has camo paints from the store, as well as different guns, armour bits, and headgear. However I would like to see a bit more weapon variety in the game as some of the weapon sets are the same models just with slight variations: examples being magazine size or gunfire sounds.
Auraxis is definitely an interesting place to be, especially if you have nothing to do on a Friday night. The new Alerts system makes gameplay more hair-raising as factions race to capture key objectives, and there is always fighting going on in the game so even in the dead of night, on some server soldiers are burning their midnight oil to kick some serious ass, and take point in the name of (insert respective faction here). Pandora, and Auraxis are the two places out here in the border worlds where I will be spending most of my time: after all the life of a mercenary who secretly gets attached to certain factions is one of adventure, danger, loot, and glory. Now if you folks will excuse me, I am off to do my part for the Republic, before I disappear to Pandora for some treasure hunting – yes I just strung two games together, deal with it. Thanks for reading folks, and I will see you next time.