Planetside 2 is a huge game, so it will be getting a huge review. Or rather a Review In Progress. So here it is: Planetside 2, RIP.
After playing many hours in the beta I have only put in about an hour on the full release, so part one here will be a First Opinion. That first opinion is that Planetside 2 now drops you into the fire at the start, and in my case the line of fire. I was sky-dropped into the middle of a battle on Esamir (the icy continent) and was shot dead before I could get my bearings. Wonderful. This play session ended abruptly due to other obligations but I did get a feel for the the improved performance of the game.
I logged back in later tonight and was able to put some actual hands-on time in. As a Terran Republic heavy infantry, I spawned at our main base instead of a pitched battle. Taking the first warp to Indar (the desert continent) I quickly pulled up the map and found a defensive battle at the Rashinu Bio Lab. I like the spotting mechanic better then I did in the beta because it felt like I was making a difference by doing so. Verbal call-outs and highlights on the target were big parts of that. The other part was the XP I got for spotting enemies that people then killed.
Being in a pitched fight in PS2 feels like no other game. Battlefield matches, for example feel constrained and arbitrary by comparison. In this case I was with a large contingent of Republicans, fending off a New Conglomerate assault on the lower part of the lab. Galaxies and Liberators filled the sky, Vanguards and Lightning tanks roared up to the base to attack, and the blue and yellow soldiers of the NC came out of every corner of the terrain. I – being a rather poor FPS player in general – acquitted myself fairly well. This is the only multiplayer shooter I know of where patrolling and escorting other players is a useful activity and not role playing. When players would come running to the safety of our base for example I would head out and cover them, watching for people trying to shoot them in the back as they ran. I died once because an ally accidentally spawned a tank on top of me but two of my deaths came from one NC Infiltrator.
I saw his fire before I saw him (isn’t that always how it goes?) when I caught sight his sniper trail heading to another player before they crumpled over dead. I knew they were out there but while trying to flank them they caught me. I respawned and came back, and after a while forgot about the sniper until they got me again. Now alert and wary I made it my goal to rid the area of this sniping Smurf. I again saw the gun trail heading towards someone else but this time I trailed it to a small outcropping on a hill, where I saw a quickly cloaking Infiltrator. I was able to spot them and get a few rounds off before I had to hide from their fire. Over the next minute or so I would spot them when they decloaked, unload a few shots at them and try to keep them occupied because I could see a group of three allies flanking them. When they killed my foe I had a satisfied feeling unique for me in FPS. Shortly thereafter, I took a look at my stat screen.
For once, I had a positive kill/death ratio past 1/0! Sure I only had 5 kills, but I had four deaths. That was a minor victory for me. I later followed a large player movement into a canyon to rush a NC base, nabbing another kill before getting killed spearheading an assault. Thus ends my first night with the full version of Planetside 2. I’ll continue to update and review as I play so come back soon for more on Planetside 2, RIP.
Planetside 2 is a shooter. Obviously, right? Right. The reason I bring that up is that it follows the trend of any other online shooter – if you don’t keep up with other players skill-wise and practice-wise then you’ll eventually get mulched up by vets with ease. Case in point: my most recent play session.
I haven’t been playing as much as I should be to keep up with the masses and as a result I got slaughtered. Seriously, 0 kills and 14 deaths in half an hour? Really? That’s abysmal. I don’t believe the game passively makes you stronger as your Battle Rank increases, though there are a number of purchasable boosts and leveling nets you allot of certificates to spend on improvements. What I’m getting at is that I would swear that I, still in my starter gear cannot seem to stand up to folks anymore. Emptying clips into my foes is hard with the wild spread pattern on my TR heavy assault class’ light machine gun, and I can only take about a second’s worth of fire before succumbing.
What does this have to do with the RIP, other than me whining about losing to get it out of my system? The improvements garnered from certificates appears to put people who haven’t upgraded their gear at a disadvantage. I can’t call this definitively because I don’t have hands-on experience with improved gear yet (so far I have only bought a scope for my rifle. I know – control your awe, please) so I’ll have to do more playing to make certain.
f you haven’t seen it already I do have some game play footage I took the other night here. I’ll continue Planetside 2, RIP soon enough.
After another day of being slaughtered at the mere sight of someone with a gun I played with Will of Chaos is Gaming last night. Well, that’s not entirely 100% accurate but that will have to wait for Chaos is Gaming to post the video we took. In any case it put a dent in my crackpot theory that I was playing a bugged version of the game. Seriously I was almost convinced I was dying so much because the game was glitchy or I had a setting turned to ‘I’m a wuss’ or something. I logged on just now (about 8 hours after Will and my game session) to see where I ranked on the leaderboard only to see that there was no leaderboard. Didn’t they fix that during the beta?
It would appear that I may not, in fact, be the worst player to ever play Planetside 2, as I was beginning to suspect. Perhaps not far from it, mind you, but not the worst. Planetside 2’s fun level totally hinges on your ability to find a fair fight and sometimes that’s harder then it should be. I’ve logged on and deployed into too many unsalvageable situations or an enemy’s killing zone, where my faction is either pinned back or funneled into small, easily guarded areas. The ability to redeploy is a big help here but there really should be a way to tell if the area you’re going to is a total death trap or not
I’ll continue this article as I get around to using the in-game store and level up some more. Planetside 2, RIP lives on.
As we begin to wrap up this Review in Progress, I still needed to test out alternate weapons and certifications in greater detail. So, that is what I did today.
Unlike a number of online F2P shooters, when you buy a weapon, it’s yours. In this case, though, I didn’t want to buy a weapon without knowing what it could do, and while the one I was looking at sounded good I couldn’t tell for certain. That’s where weapon trials come in to play. You can try out any weapon for 30 minutes at a time once every 8 hours. You can’t try the same weapon twice in a month, however, since there’s a 30 day lockout on that particular weapon’s trial. In this case I gave the Terran Republic’s MSW-R light machine gun a test. I found that it actually fit my style better then the T9 CARV I started with due to it’s fast reload and high rate of fire. Unfortunately, I’m a dumb ass so about five minutes into my trial I hopped in a Lightning tank for a while before remembering that – oh, right – my weapon is on a timer.
Eventually said timer ran out. At this point had the option to keep the gun by purchasing it with either Station Cash (Sony’s proprietary currency) or the certification points I had earned. The cost of some of the more expensive weapons teeters on crazy if you’re paying in certification points, with costs up to 1000 per firearm. This may not sound like much but if you’re saving for that one gun you covet then you have to ignore class upgrades that may also be about as helpful. It’s a careful balancing act.
This screenshot explains allot about what makes Planetside 2 so intriguing: mass movement of combined arms produce some spectacular moments. With continued play you unlock more customization options for you and your weapons and vehicles, creating a connection between you and your avatar. So far there’s nothing quite like Planetside 2.
Planetside 2, RIP is close to wrapping up. Be here for my full conclusion.
I’ve written my full review now, so be sure to check it out.