By Jim Rossignol on November 21st, 2012 at 4:00 pm.
I’ve been playing lots of lovely fresh organic Planetside 2. Sometimes during this process my eyebrows were raised. Sometimes they were furrowed in a frown. Other times they were sort of neutral. And other times still they were gyrating up and down like tiny face-wings.
What does this mix of expressions mean? I’ll tell you.
Jim, Should I Play Planetside 2?
Sure, I mean why not? It’s free, and you get to run around in a ludicrously pretty sci-fi world that is vast and spectacular, while playing a reboot of the 2003 territory capture game made by devs who have clearly spent the past decade playing a lot of Battlefield.
BUT – and this is a big but, I cannot lie – it seems to be having some serious teething problems right now. Particularly in Europe. Try, but I’d advise patience. It’s not pretty.
Battlefield? Surely it’s nothing like Battlefield 3?
Well it’s very different, granted. It’s lasers and persistence and hovertanks and dudes with jetpacks. BUT there’s a lot here that can be seen as in the same first-person ballpark: the class-based system (the original game just allowed you to unlock different equipment types), the overall battle ambience (which is brilliant), and subtle things like being able to use Q to spot enemies for your team.
Tanks? So it’s vehicular? Will I be able to compete as just an infantry type? Will I get tanked and air-dominated right up?
Not at all. I killed a tank as an infantry guy the other day. I’ve not shot down an aircraft on foot yet, but I am sure it’s possible. And of course infantry are necessary to take and hold the capture points across the map. While the vehicular battles are incredible when they kick off (especially between organised groups of tanks) the real work is done by the grunts.
Why do they call them grunts?
I don’t know.
Aha, actually I tricked you. I played the beta for a bit and didn’t think much of it.
Well you already have an idea about what you did or didn’t like about it, then, haven’t you? But I would say that it has evolved a bunch during that time, and that stuff like the capture mechanics and teamplay have evolved a bit in the past few weeks alone. It should continue to change, too, given its live status. SOE are plotting player-built based down the line, which makes me unduly excited.
Pah, evolution. It’s hardly any different to the 2003 game!
You’re not wrong there. It is a direct remake. And that’s no bad thing. The original was far ahead of its time, and was brilliant despite SOE making a bit of a mess of it. I’m genuinely glad it got a second chance – it’s perfect for F2P. I am a sucker for extreme prettiness, too, and this has to be one of the best looking games on the PC right now. The original game didn’t even look good for 2003… And there are serious refinements, too: not just to the overall feel of the thing (combat is way slicker this time) but to the territory systems, and the way that the battle is directed into specific areas. It took the original PS months to get into this sort of shape, and it was always a bit awkward. This works far better.
And isn’t the performance dodgy?
Sure, it’s madly CPU hungry and there’s intermittent lag. It’s particularly cruel to AMD users. These aren’t reasons not to give it a try, of course. I’ve had some of the most entertaining battles of my long digital career in just the past few weeks, and that’s had ups and downs.
Okay, fine. I will play. But can I solo it?
It’s pretty open to those people who just want to drop in and shoot some stuff. I’d expect you to take a couple of hours to really get orientated, and that’s faster if you work with a squad. Voice comms are a good idea. An even better idea is joining up with the RPS outfits, who are getting organised in this thread. They’ll see you right.
So we’ll see you in there?
But What About All That Eyebrow Stuff In Your Intro?
I needed something to put above the cut, didn’t I? But basically I was trying to convey that the course of the game does not run smooth. It’s not perfect, and it’s basically 2003 remade with modern fancies, but it is a lot of fun. Also I have fantastic eyebrows, and like to draw attention to them.
Thanks for your time!
Isn’t that my line?