Infinite Crisis: PlanetSide 2 Gets Wolfman

By Jim Rossignol on October 12th, 2011 at 11:27 am.


Marv Wolfman is a great name for a person, especially if that person is a comics writer who launched Crisis on Infinite Earths and invented Blade. The same guy is responsible for writing the story for PlanetSide 2, according to Gamespy. Presumably that won’t be too much a stretch for Wolfman because wait… they brought in a pro for the story? Really? They needed to bring someone in to write the story to “three factions fight over planet, forever”? The source Gamespy story comments “Nice. PlanetSide definitely needs a bit of meaning added to its conflict.” And I am thinking: No, it really doesn’t.

I wonder, actually, if this is some kind of commercial response to Firefall hiring Orson Scott Card? Anyway.

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27 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    if this is some kind of commercial response to Firefall hiring Orson Scott Card?

    Well, they could always hire Garry Glitter to do the music.

  2. WoundedBum says:

    You should know that while trying to read this article, the bus I was on broke sharply and I hit my face. So I’m boycotting all their games, NO FACE NO SALE!

    • Heliocentric says:

      If you had pre-ordered the Planetside uber elite edition you would already be wearing your limited edition cushioned helmet.

  3. Matt says:

    i always thought the stories of Planetside were the ones you made yourself, defending that one tower, with your mates, for hours, against everyone. or similar.

    thats the stories that count.

    • Snidesworth says:

      Having a bit of meat on the setting those stories are told in doesn’t hurt, though. I never got into Planetside myself (the computer I had at the time disagreed with it) but I loved reading through all the pre-release info and getting a feel for the factions. It’s ultimately irrelevant detail, but it gives the game world a bit more flavour.

    • thegooseking says:

      I think one of the qualities of a good game writer is to develop a context that supports and enhances those emergent stories, though.

      That’s a lot harder to do than you might think.

    • One Million Monkeys says:

      @Matt You are so absolutly right here. Planetside has been one of the few games where I felt that the players was the authors behind the narrative development of the universe.

      But I think it could be great with some story to back up the motivation of the actions in the game.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Of course, for me, those stories usually went that way:

      1. Find people to climb in your Galaxy for about 20 minutes
      2. Fly to the nearest enemy base (from the sanctuary, so around 10 minutes)
      3. Have half your squad drop in flight over the base while the other half thinks you will land carefully and stays seated
      4. Crash the Galaxy on the base, eject at the last second (and kill more of your own squad than the enemy)
      5. Rush to capture the point.
      6. Meet a MAX and get mowed down in your pilot armor
      7. Return to 1

      Hmm, fun times

    • Matt says:

      actually the more i think about it, the more i like the idea that there *is* no backstory – simply three factions eternally at an unwillable war long after anyone can remember what it is they’re fighting for. after all, no-one dies, no-one can win, it’s just one long stalemate that presumable people fight out of history, and perhaps for the thrill of it.

      that way I can blast TR and NC scum from my glorious, ultra-tech magrider, and partake in a meta-fictional mediation of the futility of war all at the same time. win!

  4. RaveTurned says:

    Rather than simply backstories for the factions, perhaps they want him to write stories around ambient world events that’ll impact on the game or shift the priorities of the factions while the fight rages on. Something like “an asteroid has landed on this planet, secure the three cities surrounding it so your faction can mine alien minerals”, with some reward attached like boosting your factions weapons for the next three days.

    Alternatively perhaps it’s for more permanent shifts to mix up the gameplay that were a bit more plausible than the original’s Core Combat (oh hay, we’ve just found some caverns no-one’s ever noticed before…) or The Bending (uh, what?) stories.

    • dontnormally says:

      Someone who matters: take note of what this guy just said ^

  5. Rei Onryou says:

    I’d like to see what Dave Tosser has to say about this…

  6. bathoz says:

    Weren’t we whining like four posts down about “how hard is it to get a semi-competent writer to make your stuff not seem stupid?”

  7. Heliocentric says:

    If ever a game didn’t need a story.

    But honestly, if he is involved in helping develop character fluff which influences map design/decoration and voice recording (like how deus ex has adverts and media attached or in game characters will have an internally consistent slang and terminology) rather than a 5 minute cutscene that will force you to watch it when you first install than its very welcome to have some talent writing.

    If his only influence is a scripted set of events during the tutorial we are all force fed before we can play the real game, or the manual fluff, which will actually be a PDF he can bugger off.

    Remember, I want a player assigning my missions (maybe that player will be me), not an NPC voiced by Patrick Stewart, this is Planetside, not elder scrolls.

  8. Eukatheude says:

    Well, it could end up like TF2′s backstory. And that’s certainly welcome.

  9. arrjayjee says:

    Honestly, for a game like this, instead of getting someone in to write the game story, get them to do the background work and supplemental material. The first Eve Online novel did a great job of telling a story within the universe in a way that made sense to someone who also played the game. It doesn’t always work, I mean, the Dragon Age books are pretty bleh, but then so is Dragon Age.

    My point is, I like books and video games, and I like when they merge well.

  10. Hellraiserzlo says:

    What’s the point in hiring a professional writer after most of the game is already done? besides the buzz.

  11. oceanclub says:

    When I hear Marv’s name, I think of the Tomb of Dracula comics which I loved as a kid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tomb_of_Dracula

    Can’t see Dracula making a cameo in Planetside 2 though.

    P.

  12. danimalkingdom says:

    Ha when I started reading this, I thought “Absurd! That would be like the Tribes devs hiring… Oh wait.”

    Well, it’s not like they’re getting William Faulkner. I’m sure Mr Wolfman can handle “and then THIS explodes. With a boom!”

  13. Mutak says:

    You guys are friggin killing me with all the Terran screenshots. Show some love to the NC! I’d even rather look at a Barney than those Red and Black bastards.

    But yes, please do keep covering this reboot.

  14. fenriz says:

    Story?

    Is the story the very very goddamn quests with rats, or some kind of general background awesome lore players interact GLOBALLY with it as they go on about their battles? Like slightly influencing their minds? Or like i dunno, stealing documents in bases and old ruins and discovering something about themselves?

    Hint hint: the first is the bad choice, the second is the good’un

  15. YourMessageHere says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I love my MP to have a context. I like narrative and detail in game worlds, and simply plonking the game in a shop with “You can has robot suit and shot the bad mens!!!2″ on the the box is not exactly going to entice me in. I briefly played the original Planetside and loathed it, (mostly due to the dreadful engine and balance, but) partly because the whole thing seemed totally uncontextual. “Here are blue and yellow men, here are purple and green men, here are black and red men, they all hate one another and fight forever” is not really good enough. So in fact, yes, it really does.

    • DK says:

      Except for not having a story was the whole point. No one ever died in Planetside – they all got reconstructed if something fatal happened to them. There was no manned infrastructure to support the whole war, it’s all automated and nanite based. There’s no resources being secured and shipped back to any greater empire. There’s no orders coming in from any greater empire.

      The fun thing about Planetside is, that there’s no way of knowing how long they’ve been fighting, and that the 3 Empires could have ceased to exist hundreds of years ago – with no one noticing. Because the War has long grown self sufficient.

  16. Arathain says:

    Hmm. This seems like the wrong way to go about it: hire someone some folk will recognise to tack a bunch of ill-fitting story-stuff right at the end.

    The best time to hire a writer is when you’re still in the concept stage, so they can guide a lot of the art and design. Things hang together, and give a visual coherence that enhances a game in subtle but important ways.