Planetside 2 is a Free-2-Play First Person Shooter done in an MMO format which is currently in a Closed Beta. While at PAX East I saw a booth for it and I passed it up. I had heard of the first one, never ended up playing it and was not really interested to do so despite my love for the FPS genera. The other day, I was given a beta key, so I figured I'd give it a try. After about 10 hours of play, I'm actually pretty surprised. A huge world, great character customization and a system that makes it very easy to jump into combat has made me very excited for the rumored full release in December. In this post we'll take a look at some of the highlights from my experience with Planetside 2 so far.
Planetside 2 features 3 factions to choose from, the Terran Republic (Red Team), New Conglomerate (Blue Team) and the Vanu Sovereignty (Purple Team), which are locked in a battle for the Earth's resources. The obvious goal to take over as much territory for your faction as possible. This is done through the capturing and defending of key locations within sections of the hexagonal grid that makes up the world map. These locations vary from simple supply outposts which you can take to disrupt the flow of supply to adjacent tiles or major bases that provide a variety of vehicles (both air and ground) or spawn points to the controlling faction. The method used to take certain positions can vary. Larger bases require that you disable several shield generators around the base to give you access to the inner areas, while some will simply have an area in the open that you'll need to occupy long enough to eventually capture. While in the world, you are free to wander the entire map as you wish. This means that you can go deep into enemy territory and work your way to the front cutting off a team's supply line as you go. Supplies are used to purchase vehicles and to resupply your secondary weapons while in major bases.
Combat in the game is great. It's fun running around with your squad, taking strategic locations on the map while defending base from two opposing teams though there are a few things they can do better for the release. One thing is, since friendly fire is on, you need to avoid hitting your own team, which is fine with me. However, the cursor that comes up when you hit a teammate is hard to differentiate from when you hit an actual enemy. In the image to the right, you'll see both cursors, the one on the left is what you'll see when you hit a teammate, the one on the right is when you hit an enemy. It's just tough to pick out when you're in the middle of a large firefight.
Overall, I think it's a good game that I'll likely keep playing after release. This is a highly recommend game for anyone who is into the Battlefield series of games as the playstyle is very similar, just on a much larger scale. Thanks for reading!