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Planetside 2 Review

Planetside 2

Planetside 2 is what the MMOFPS genre should be striving for. This isn’t an FPS with social features, designed to run on everybody’s computer and with a visual style that harks back to the turn of the millennium. This is a battlefield, a field of war filled with places to capture, people to kill and war to wager. For some this will be massively overwhelming and not at all an enjoyable experience. For others, this will give a reason to return to the FPS genre, and perhaps even stick with it.

But for all it does to push the genre forward, does it deliver on the basics? Is Planetside 2 a game worth checking out just so you can be part of the latest, greatest thing, or does it stand on its own two feet?

Planetside 2 Gameplay Video

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Positives - Planetside 2

Real Warfare – Planetside 2 is currently the closest you can get to real warfare without needing a first aid kit. Storming a building with a group of allies around you will absolutely never feel old, and when the moment comes to celebrate a victory, it’s one that you celebrate with everybody around you (even if you’re not directly communicating). There will be drama, friendships, and rivalries as you fight for a common cause.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 1

Shooting the Sights – Although it’s not the most gorgeous shooter on PC, it’s certainly incredible when you consider just how much is going on at a single time. The map is absolutely massive, and to have hundreds of people occupying that map is just amazing. You’re unlikely to be exploring the sights, but when you have a minute to look around, you’re unlikely to find anything to complain about.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 2

Tactical Teamwork – When you play a game on this scale like Planetside 2, there’s absolutely no way you can play without teamwork. Whether you’re running around as a lone wolf or if you’re playing with friends, there has to be a level of reliance on other people. You might not use the chat box and you probably won’t end up speaking with them on headsets, but you’ll end up standing alongside other people and reacting almost as a single mind. It ties into what I was saying before, but it really is impressive.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 3

Battle FocusThe map in Planetside 2 is absolutely huge, and you team must capture it all. This is going to take an awful long time and a lot of patience, but with well-trained troops and a little luck, it just might happen. You can spawn to any captured point and help fight the good fight on the front line. Maybe you’ll even manage to push forward and alter the borders a little.

Neutrals - Planetside 2

Pick a TeamSo many shooters seem obsessed with putting you into a team as soon as possible and making you stay there. When loading Planetside 2 for the first time, you’ll be met with three teams to choose from and a brief description of each. How do you choose which one based on a single paragraph of information, when obviously there’s a deep lore concerning each? You can either look it up on a Wiki, check out the developer’s website or do what I did: choose based on the music that plays when you highlight a group.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 4

Patience – Although Planetside 2 feels like an FPS, it also has an element of strategy with it. Your team, against two others, will attempt to expand their control of the map through capturing points in certain areas. This can take a very long time, and there’s very little chance that you’ll ever see the end of a game. If you can play without needing to see the fruit of your labour, you won’t be disappointed. If you need to be patted on the head for every little thing you do, expect annoyance.

Negatives - Planetside 2

“What’s Going On?!” – You spawn. You check around you. Your allies are everywhere. You walk out onto a balcony to check the world around you and end up dead. You spawn and return to the place you died, hoping that moving slowly and checking quickly will allow you shoot your killer. You die again.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 5

My biggest problem with Planetside 2 – and it’s a biggie – is that it’s an FPS… just bigger. If you find Call of Duty, Blacklight or Battlefield frustrating, you’re going to find Planetside 2 frustrating. You can still die with a single shot, only now there are over 1000 people waiting to kill you, rather than 6-12. The developers have made the impossible possible – big battles – but they haven’t really considered how to expand the FPS rulebook to accommodate this big battle.

Planetside 2 Gameplay Review Screenshot 7

Planetside 2 Review - Conclusion

Planetside 2 is a fantastic shooter, made more impressive by the scale of it. This is what MAG wished it could be. While it plays a little too much like a regular shooter – it’s doable but not ideal on this scale – there’s an awful lot of fun to be had here and playing with other people is rewarding and, most importantly, fun. If I had to sit here and nit-pick, I could find plenty of reasons not to play, and checking a few message boards this morning I’ve seen that people really are nit-picking. On the whole though, this is a game that’s worth checking out. It’s free, it has massive potential and you might just be impressed.

Similar Games

Blacklight Retribution , MAG

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by M. Growcott

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