Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher:Sony Online Entertainment
Review Platform: PC
Release Date: November 20, 2012
If you are a fan of strategic FPS games, you owe it to yourself to try out PlanetSide 2. With just over 6 months since its release, the community has grown and matured enough to make PlanetSide 2 the new rule for MMOFPS games. Squad combat and teamwork are two of the major highlights, which provide you with an interactive experience that will keep you immersed for hours. And it’s all free!
The driving force behind PlanetSide 2 is the vast scale that it takes on. You are a soldier, fighting in one of three armies waging a constant war for complete domination of a continent. Each of the three continents are made up of smaller “regions”, which give you benefits ranging from cheaper vehicles to a health regeneration boost. Your job is to take over these regions, gradually expanding your army’s territory. This requires a focus on both global strategy as well as squad tactics. This brings us to our next subject – teamwork.
The requisite and ease of joining a squad or larger platoon allows for seamless teamwork. In other FPS games, the best communication I could ever get was when I was playing with two or three friends, and we would act as a small squad. In PlanetSide 2, that scale is multiplied by ten, meaning you can accomplish some serious ass-kickery. The best time I’ve had was when I was part of a well-run four-squad platoon (that’s over 40 people). The platoon leader assigned objectives to each squad, and each squad leader worked with their squad to get things done. When we needed to hit a region hard, all of the squads focused on one region, in a fierce battle. We had lines of battle, and we used natural trenches or cover to constantly push forward, together, until we could box the enemy in between us. It was the first time in any FPS that I could see the forceful power of coordination. For PlanetSide 2, that’s just standard.
Of course, there’s plenty of less-coordinated action for people who want it. You can get into any battle within 10 seconds of entering a continent. Regions list how large an enemy force is in any particular region, from 0-12 to 48+ (it stops counting after that). Maybe you want to instantly join a 100-man battle, or maybe you want to capture a remote outpost by yourself. I personally don’t find it as fun to play alone, but it is possible, especially with the variety of vehicles and specializations you can access. It might seem slightly overwhelming at first, but once you establish a certain play style, your Certification Points are best spent on specializing that class. Like to fly a nimble fighter? Buy it hellfire rockets for a serious boost in firepower. Slap anti-air weapons onto a tank and keep your squad safe from any enemy air support. Boost your cloak so you can stay invisible longer as a scout class. Each vehicle and infantry class is customizable with various specializations, but not to a point where there are balance issues; they just let you do certain things better. The only disadvantage a person who has played the game for 1 hour has against someone who has played for 100 hours is lack of experience. The developers have done a great job keeping the classes and vehicles balanced, and continue to actively tweak minor things based on community feedback.