Project of Planets
UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Project of Planets Overview
Project of the Planets is one of few free-to-play MMORPGs with a Sci-Fi theme. Rather than battling monsters with swords and spells, players take on hordes of robots with powerful mechs. Despite the unique theme, the basic gameplay elements and interface should be familiar to gamers. Experience is gained largely through questing (especially during the early levels), and the three mech types each correspond with one of the skills and weapon types. The ability to switch between a first and third-person view, along with the real-time combat system help Project of Planets stand out.
Assault - Relies on high stamina to absorb blows. Assault mechs generally use bullet-type weapons.
Raider – A high mentality attribute gives raiders a high hit rate and plenty of MP, which allows them to use powerful skills. Raiders use laser weapons.
Commander - With a high handling stat, Commanders have high defense and crit rate. Commanders use EM powered guns.
Project of Planets Screenshots
Projects of Planets Featured Video
Projects of Planets Review
By Erhan Altay
Project of Planets is an oddly titled Sci-Fi MMORPG from the Chinese publisher Miracle Castle, best known for their previous fantasy game Talisman Online. Unlike most free MMORPGs flooding the market these days, Project of Planet dares to be different. Players won’t be slaying orcs or dragons in this game. Instead, they’ll command giant mechs into battle against hordes of droids, bots, and other player-controlled mechs in massive PvP battles.
Project of Planets has been under various states of beta testing for most of 2009, and as of December is still in an ‘open test’ phase. While not yet officially released, the game has been available to the public for months. New players won’t have a difficult time getting started; the game has a simple registration process that doesn’t require email verification, and the 810 mb client can be downloaded from multiple third-party sites. Here at MMOHuts we always recommend filefront for client downloads, since they are the fastest and don’t require users to log in. After installation and a short patch process, players are good to go. Graphic options are limited, but players are given several resolution options, along with the choice to play in either full screen or windowed mode. There is only a single server currently in service, which is enough for the game’s relatively low population.
Cyber Boot Camp
Character creation is a very limited affair in Project of Planets, players chose either male or female and are given a total of four options for skin color, hair color, face style, and hair style. Two nearly identical costumes are also available for each race, but, considering players never leave their mechs, none of this appearance customization matters. Players do not chose their class or starting mech, but are instead given a default one and must wait until they leave the tutorial area to select a specialization. Project of Planets has a relatively simple interface, and despite the sci-fi theme, pretty generic gameplay. It is a wonder why the developers made the tutorial so long. Players must literally travel back and forth between a half dozen NPC robots, each explaining a different part of the interface. Guns are equipped by opening the inventory screen (b) than right-clicking on the weapon. Bullets are assigned the same way . So are other pieces of equipment. All this could be explained by a single NPC, but instead PoP makes it a multi-step affair. Fortunately, there is an auto-navigate feature which makes all of this much less frustrating. Instead of manually seeking out the next NPC to chat with, players can simply click its name in the quest log (opened by hitting L.) After ten to fifteen minutes of mostly auto-navigating, players will hit level 5 and be ready to leave the beginner area of Abergate Cellar.
Movement in Project of Planets is done via the keyboard, while attack commands are issued with the left mouse button. This FPS style control scheme fits the game perfectly since PoP has a real-time combat system. Unlike most MMORPGs (where players simply right-click to initiate battle), players in Project of Planets must constantly aim and fire their weapons throughout the battle. Of course, the aiming system is much more generous than in FPS games; firing while the curser is anywhere near the target will likely register a hit. Another innovative feature in the game is the ability to switch between third and first-person camera views. The default third-person view should be familiar to anyone who’s played an MMORPG before, but by hitting tab, players can experience the world as if they were driving their mech themselves. Besides looking cooler, first-person view allows players to hit multiple targets at once with their weapon. Skilled gamers will switch between these modes depending on the situation. When taking on single, powerful foes it’s best to stay in third-person, but if you’re taking on a mass of lower level mobs, switch to first person.
Winter Base Abergate
As players complete quests and level up, they’ll earn two attribute points per level. These points can be spent freely among three stats: Stamina, Mentality, and Handling. To see what each stat does, players can simply hover their curser over their names in the character menu. Beginners need not worry about messing their character up since the game makes it incredibly easy to determine where to pour saved up points. There are three mech types in Project of Planets, with each serving as a sort of class. The mech types and their corresponding primary states are: Assault (stamina), Raider (mentality), and Commander (handling). New characters start with nine points in each attribute, but this base amount increases naturally as players level up. This natural increase helps keep the stat distribution balanced, regardless of where earned points are spent. After selecting a mech type, players have one last step to complete before heading out into the snow covered wilderness beyond the gates of Abergate Base. During the tutorial, players are given a default bullet type weapon, but there are two other types available: laser and EM (short for electromagnetic.) Again, mech type largely defines which of these three weapons players should chose. The standard build is for Assault mechs to wield bullet type weapons, for Raiders to use laser weapons and Commanders to equip EM weapons.
Dare to Compare
After getting settled into the game, it becomes obvious that Project of Planets isn’t all that different from the standard Asian fantasy MMORPG. Familiar sounding quests instruct players to hunt down ‘scout droids’ or ‘mechanical chariots’ which just happen to spawn outside the base areas in large clumps. To the game’s credit, it is much more playable than the other major free-to-play Mech MMORPG, Age of Armor. PoP is much faster-paced, and there’s even a boost feature activated by hitting the space bar. The game has decent graphics, but far too few graphic options. Additionally, the auto-navigate system needs a lot of work. The pathing is way off, causing movement to feel clunky. Besides grinding off of NPC droids, players can participate in PvP in several ways. After reaching mid levels, players can turn on their PvP flag, which enables them to attack and be attacked by players who have done likewise. Skills add some variation to combat and are unlocked via a skill tree. The game world is still relatively small, with only eight zones (counting the small tutorial area.) English translations are generally lousy, but most players tend to skip quest text either way. Project of Planets is a game with potential and it seems to developers are serious about polishing the game up before moving from open testing to full release. Players looking for an approachable F2P MMORPG with a sci-fi theme should definitely check this one out, but be warned, even with the real-time combat, this is no Exteel.
Final Verdict: Fair
Project of Planets has a unique Sci-Fi environment in which players command giant mechs. With straight forward gameplay, aim-and-shoot combat, and plenty of quests to provide direction, PoP is an easy game to get into. Poor translations, buggy movement, and limited customization options (especially for a mech game) keep Project of Planets from earning a higher score.
Project of Planets Links
Project of Planets System Requirements
OS: Windows 98 / XP / Vista
CPU: 800 MhZ Pentium 3 or better.
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 1 GB
Graphics Card: Any 32 MB Graphics Card
OS: Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7
CPU: 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or better
RAM: 512 MB or more
HDD: 2 GB or more
Graphics Card: Any 64 MB Graphics Card