PlanetSide 2: Revisiting The Action
Games in this Article: PlanetSide 2
Sony Online Entertainment launched PlanetSide 2 officially last Tuesday, arming the free-to-play world with a new take on a classic MMOFPS. In September, MMOHuts took an early look at the game in PlanetSide 2’s closed beta, and this week, we returned to give some additional post-launch impressions. While the game’s core hasn’t changed since our first visit, many additions are worth reviewing.
While during beta, new PlanetSide2 characters were dropped at their faction’s base, new players instead now find themselves thrown directly into the action. You’re also automatically joined into a squad (a similar system to a group in most MMOs.) The game still lacks an in-game tutorial, although SOE did create several beginners’ videos on how to play. Still, since most people want to play the game, they’ll skip those videos and jump right into the action.
Logging in after your first foray, however, might be a little jarring; after your first experience with the game, you’re instead transported to your faction’s base first, not dropped mid-action. This first warpgate experience would be a perfect place to insert a VR Training mode from the original PlanetSide, letting players learn about each weapon and class type, plus how to handle certifications, vehicles, and combat.
The most obvious additions to PlanetSide 2 since our experience in early closed beta are two new worlds: Esamir and Amerish. These worlds were added in a later part of closed beta, and both are a stark contrast from Indar’s mostly barren lands. Esamir is a frozen world, with spectacular crystalline structures jutting from the landscape. Amerish, on the other hand, is a lush world with oceans and forests to look forward to. Unfortunately, there is no difference in how the game plays on these two continents, so they exist squarely to give players more territory to capture. Adding in some differences, even subtle, will go a long way to making each world unique.
Another major change is being hotly contested in the PlanetSide 2 forums: the sharp increase in certification cost for character and weapon purchases. Weapons can take a very long time to unlock strictly through certifications, as most cost 1,000 certs. Since items can now be unlocked with Station Cash, players are protesting that the ability to unlock things faster through real world currency is unfair and unbalancing.
The world of PlanetSide 2 feels much more alive since the game has launched, and battles are constantly raging across all three continents. Factions can now capture an entire continent, giving substantial boosts to their forces across all worlds. This provides more incentive for players to band together and capture key areas and bases.
PlanetSide 2 is off to a great start for its first week, but it’s not without problems – many of which have been mentioned by players before. Air support is practically ineffective given the prevalence of anti-air measures; in fact, Galaxy ships have been made obsolete since their role of transport and providing a respawn location has been delegated to the Sunderer, a ground transport vehicle. There are also valid complaints about the lack of direction entering the game, as well as the steep climb that new players face against veterans who possess a high number of certifications. Still, SOE seems confident in PlanetSide 2’s success, and has been actively working to address some concerns.