I’ve played tons of different MMOs over the years, ranging from World of Warcraft and Perfect World to Allods Online and Alliance of Valiant Arms. When it comes to the MMO genre there’s not a whole lot of room for variety. Games like Tera helped to change up the normal grind, and lately more FPS titles are making the move to online play. Games like Team Fortress 2, Combat Arms, and Quake Live have become online multiplayer games, and they’re all free-to-play.
Just like with MMORPG games, these MMOFPS titles can become a little lackluster over time. Games like this all follow the same framework: you’ll either play free-for-all or team deathmatch against other players. The games remain fun for a while, but before too long it feels like the same drab over and over again. I’ve had the chance to play a few different games, and the developers behind them have done a lot to keep them interesting over time. Still, there’s a lot of potential to have the genre sitting in stagnant water.
That’s where Planetside 2 comes in. This game will certainly open up a fresh can of “Hell yes!” to the entire MMOFPS structure. The original Planetside was a huge hit back when it released, and it’s about time we saw a sequel. The game takes everything players loved about the first Planetside, adds some sweet new features, makes everything bigger, and throws it right at your face.
Unlike the traditional MMOFPS, or just FPS games in general, the multiplayer in Planetside 2 doesn’t just follow the same old song and dance that we’re used to. In this game players will participate in continent-wide battles that can last for weeks. Instead of limiting the combat to around 12 players, Planetside 2 ramps it up to hundreds of players fighting all at once.
The idea is simple: across the continents of Auraxis, thousands of players will come together to take part in enormous battles to win control of critical territories and key resources for their empire. There will be three factions to choose from, each with their own special traits and abilities. These factions are:
Once you choose your faction you can create and customize your soldier. There will be tons of weapons, armor, and equipment to choose from, all of which can be upgraded over time. Through playing you can unlock combat roles that can be leveled up through a skill tree system. As you unlock new roles, you can switch between them at any time on the battlefield. This way you can adapt a soldier to your play style, or build whatever your squad needs at the time. Each role, vehicle, and weapon will have trees of their own that will allow players to unlock new weapons, attachments, equipment, and more. There’s really no limit to how awesome you can be in Planetside 2. I am definitely going to build a Universal Soldier.
The battle dynamic in Planetside 2 has to be the most interesting and awesome feature in the game. Battles will last for days on end, and when you finally take control of a base it means it’s yours until another squad can rip it from your fingers. There will be ongoing tactics that will force squads and Outfits (guilds in Planetside 2) to formulate offensive and defensive strategies for playing. Something else that makes this crazy is that if and when you log off, your team is still in the fray. Leaving your squad can mean the loss of a base and resources, so you need to play wisely! With both air and ground combat, you’ll need to push your team to the limit to protect and maintain your bases and resource strength.
Planetside 2 will reinvent the MMOFPS genre. It will breathe some much needed fresh air into the genre at large and offer up some brand new features that a lot of players have been asking for. The game takes a new look at multiplayer shooters, and offers up a brand new way to experience tactical gameplay. The game is almost set to launch into its beta, which has no release date as of right now. You can still sign up to participate though, and if you’ve a beta code from either a promotion or giveaway you can enter it on the game’s official site. I’m ready to jump headfirst into some massive combat with Planetside 2 and I’m excited to see a game like this launch to revive a genre.