This week I’m playing the Planetside 2 beta. Planetside 2 is an FPS MMO which feels similar to Battlefield 3’s gameplay, this ends up being a good thing. The maps are enormous, the combat is fun and intense, and the day/night cycles are a great experience to fight through. There’s a huge sense of scale that you get every time you play. However, still being in beta, they have a few issues in guiding the player in what they should be doing. I’m hoping these issues get resolved with training and in-game tutorials. Right now you get into the game and there’s a lot of “uhh what do I do?”. Having played the first Planetside ages ago my buddy and I were feeling okay, but still a little lost in the inner workings of the game dealing with certs, vehicles, and objectives. The game is still beta and these are the types of things that get added in later. Right now they have some really solid gameplay which accounts for a lot. Afterall, if a game isn’t fun to play, then what’s the point?
You can watch as we spend a few minutes trying to figure out how to meet up and then how to effectively get to some action. This was my friend’s first time playing in the beta, but I had 2-3 sessions under my belt already. Meeting up on the same continent we end up deciding that grabbing a tank and heading out to battle was a decent way to get some quick action together. Unfortunately, I mistakenly thought I was the Terran Republic (the ‘red’ faction in the game) and set a waypoint that I thought was close by. I had been playing TR on the other server recently so my mind was still set on that faction. We were actually playing Vanu (purple) and so the drive out took a lot longer than anticipated. Like 10 minutes worth of just driving quietly through the world…in a slow tank..with no one to shoot.
Not to worry though, eventually we met up with some dirty TR and began lighting them up. Our Vanu forces seemed focused on taking the larger base below at the foot of the mountain while the TR defended it. Occasionally some Terran Republic make their way up to our small base and we’d have to push them back. Tanks, Infiltrators, and even a Galaxy attempt to storm our little foothold. Managing to hold them off, we fight long enough that you can actually see the day/night cycle come into effect. You’re not stuck to just playing one class in the game and I end up switching out classes occasionally to fend off the tanks or to set up turrets. There are 6 different classes in the game each one having a different set of weapons and roles. I mostly played an Engineer this match with a dash of Heavy Assault and Combat Medic. The engineer lets me deploy a turret, repair equipment, and give ammo out. Heavy Assault has a rocket launcher for taking out vehicles while the Combat Medic lets me heal and revive friendly troops. As you level up you gain certificates which you spend to upgrade certain aspects of a particular class, so while you can play many classes, focusing on one nets you the best results.
We battle on pushing our way down into the enemy base and end up kicking the TR out and capturing it. I spend some time running around checking for any remaining troops. With the base cleared out, my friend had to leave and I figured it was a good time for me to bail as well. The game is gorgeous, there are so many cinematic moments that happen as you play that it often feels like a futuristic war movie. I definitely plan on getting more footage as I continue to play Planetside 2.
Posted by Matt Scott