There are a lot of first person shooters out there, and with Battlefield 4 giving me a whole lot of bug-related headaches I decided to step into a different arena to indulge my itchy trigger finger. This time my poison of choice is Sony Online Entertainment‘s PlanetSide 2. While this game has been out for some time, it’s no less fun than when I first tried it out. Truth be told, I left it alone for longer than I should have, a lot has changed in the six or so months I’ve been away. The changes are great but some of you may be wondering why I choose this shooter amongst many to spend my time on, well – just read on.
Easy to Get Into
Let there be no mistake that PlanetSide 2 is a complex gaming environment filled with all kinds of innovative features, the kind of things that aren’t usually encountered in the typical shooter. Despite that though, it’s remarkably easy to get into your run of the mill firefight. Clicking on the map and finding a big ‘deploy’ button, is a rather effective way to give every single player a quick and easy way to get right into the action.
The controls are intuitive to anyone who’s played a shooter game, point and click to fire and number keys to move between the equipment. It’s this familiarity that makes it easy to just sit down and play but at the same time the sheer scale and scope of the game leave for an interesting experience.
There’s also a surprising amount of freedom. The game allows players to decide how they tackle the world around them; it doesn’t get easier than that. A player can move in small-organized groups picking off undefended locations or joining a massive assault on some fortified location; ride a tank or a fighter or just continue with a jet pack. While it sounds that there are a lot of options, it’s up to the player to discover how to enjoy the game.
There is a wide array of futuristic war machines in the game, and it truly adds another dimension to the gameplay. There’s just something about combat vehicles that adds depth to a shooter, like that streamlined flexibility that gives players more options to tackle any situation. Then again maybe, it has to do with the simple feeling of having the bigger stick when a fight breaks out; at the right time with the right tool, a single player can grab a boatload of virtual kills.
There’s nothing quite rolling down in a tank and finding some poor sap wide open for easy picking or manning a gunship overhead raining down destructive salvos on anything that moves. In short, Planetside’s vehicles provide further opportunities to satisfy a player’s burning desire for simple carnage.
No man is an island and that is no less true in the realm of PlanetSide 2. There’s no one man wrecking crew in this game or single ninja base captures. In order to achieve victory here, everyone needs to help each other, from the engineer rushing into to the fray to make battlefield repairs to the fighter pilot circling overhead keeping the skies clear.
For me there’s nothing quite like getting together with a group of people and coordinating our skills and talents to win. It’s a lot more thrilling than lone wolf gameplay and whenever an objective is met, there’s that bit of satisfaction that comes along with it; it only lasts for a moment though because before you know your group is already moving towards the next destination.
PlanetSide 2 is big, no that’s understatement, the battlefields in this game are the biggest I’ve ever seen in a shooter. It would take an ungodly amount of time just to walk from one end to another; heck flying is only slightly faster – still taking a handful of minutes.
Of course that gigantic map has a purpose; you see PlanetSide 2 is a whole different animal compared to any other first person shooter out there. Where other games have opposing teams numbering up to the thirties, Planetside makes that paltry number look like a little bitty insect. That’s because the game often involves raging fights where having fifty people on each side is not uncommon; it’s the norm, and that’s about what I’d call a medium sized battle.
When I factor in terrain and things like maximum view range, things can get chaotic awfully fast. It’s a big battlefield but that’s part of this game’s allure.
What more needs to be said, than it’s free. It costs nothing to try out. Progression is done by scoring points and accumulating certificates. These are the game’s progression currency and are used to play around with the game’s deep customization options. A player can purchase everything with them, from additional weapons to add-ons and improvements with the minor exception of cosmetic skins like camouflage. Obtaining them is as easy as playing, shooting at the enemy, capturing points and helping out allies; fair warning though it’s a bit of a grind.
Money can be used to buy the weapons faster, but a good deal of the game’s firearms feel the same so there’s no real loss there, however, more importantly the improvements cannot be bought with cash ensuring that there’s no pay to win mentality that can turn a great game rotten.
What are your favourite elements to PlanetSide 2? Don’t be shy to leave your comments below.