PlanetSide 2′s Faction Trailers Link Politics With RAWK

By Jim Rossignol on December 12th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.


Sony have released three trailers (captured and laid out for your interrogation below) detailing the factions in their free-to-pew MMOFPS Planetside 2. Crudely speaking these are the red dudes, the purple dudes, and the blue dudes. But it’s more subtle than that: the blue dudes also have some yellow detailing, while the red guys actually have a lot of black in their uniform. Also, there’s some kind of underlying political battle-philosophy. My battle-philosophy is that I’d rather die wearing shiny purple war-trousers.

What’s yours?

Am I right in thinking that the factions in Planetside 2 represent these political factions? NC = Democrats, TR = Republicans, VS = The Internet? YOU DECIDE.

You can, of course, join in with the various RPS outfits, in a number of factions, over on the Planetside 2 sub-forum.

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110 Comments »

  1. caddyB says:

    It is my totally unbiased ( lie ) opinion that NC is the best faction you can join. They have free( lie ) beer!

    • Evilpigeon says:

      Why write (lie) next to the truth?

      • Zakski says:

        the NC are awesomely awesome

        • Wreckdum says:

          But their music sucks a big fat monkeys nuts!

          • Antsy says:

            I was NC in Planetside and had every intention of being NC again but as soon as the mutilated strains of the NC Theme hit my ears I had to turn my back on them. So, so bad.

          • Zakski says:

            Traitors of freedom be gone

          • sinister agent says:

            Freedom or no freedom, the NC music is terrible.

          • LionsPhil says:

            What, you don’t like your music layered and crunchy?

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            Devenger says:

            On a vaguely related note, do other people take a critical hit to their nostalgia centre when they hear the old PlanetSide 1 music on http://planetside.station.sony.com/ ? I’m not saying that flashy multimedia websites are actually a good idea, but… that music… it may have actually made me cry a little for a game long past.

            (PlanetSide 2′s pretty good, mind. Just, rose-tinted glasses. And the PS2 TR music is starting to grate.)

          • Xzi says:

            Vanu music (Mass Effect) > TR music (Command and Conquer) > NC music (some dude with an electric guitar).

          • Jenks says:

            I haven’t played the newer C&C games but I remember them being pretty rock filled.

          • jdbcowih says:

            There was a reason why there was invulnerable “Gamemaster” players watching battles the past little while (other than catching cheaters)
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-LyFMCIpok

          • Ozzy13314 says:

            their music is starcraft 2 they are Raynors raiders

          • Phantoon says:

            Oh good, now I have to run anti virus stuff because the spambots have figured out how to spoof websites.

            WELP.

      • caddyB says:

        It’s not unbiased and it’s not free.

    • Tuga says:

      TR until death! Seriously, why would you *not* join the faction which is like a cross between the Galactic Empire, the Redcoats and the Harkonnen?

      • MrUnimport says:

        Didn’t they all lose?

        • Tuga says:

          Only because treacherous scum joined other factions.

        • Crane says:

          Depends on which Galactic Empire you’re talking about.
          Sieg Kaiser Reinhard!

        • Geen says:

          Only because those GODDAMN REBEL/FREMEN/REBELS GOT SO GODDAMN LUCKY

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        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        That’s pretty much what I thought. Also, why go for fancy advanced technology or wibbly alien technology when you can use MOAR BARRELS and FASTER SHOOTING?

        • MrUnimport says:

          I think the biggest joke in the game is that the VS actually manage to perfect working plasma rifles, but they’re less effective than regular bullets.

          • JohnnyMaverik says:

            Hey, my bullet don’t drop because science pixies fly with them, FACT.

  2. MrUnimport says:

    Actually, the TR are a slightly heavy-handed legitimate world government (they only get authoritarian when they’re cut off and stuck on Auraxis) and the NC are backed by big business who are sick of the original TR’s interventionist fiscal policies.

    So no, the TR are Democrats and the NC are the Republicans.

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      darkChozo says:

      I vote that VS are Bull Moose in this strange, strange metaphor.

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      Crimsoneer says:

      So VS are…libertarians? Greens? Communists? Illegal aliens?

    • MrLebanon says:

      NC are rebels backed by behind the scenes money?

      So… the Free Syrian Army?

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      It might be easier to relate these factions to political parties if the governance of this planet involved any sort of non-military activity. Which is probably my second largest issue with this game.

      It goes to so much trouble to create a “realistic” virtual world, but then ignores every human need and desire other than shooting a gun. No one eats or needs to grow food; no one gets injured and goes to hospital; there are no civilian scientists or engineers or factory workers, much less normal citizens or colonists.

      It feels like a lost opportunity to add some much needed depth to the objective structure of the game, but I guess it might feel like a distraction to a lot of people, and would require some complex new systems to be put in place.

      • sinister agent says:

        There is definitely room for a game or ten like that, and I would be right there with you, but Planetside really isn’t it. Planetside is fun precisely because it’s just a flimsy excuse for a great big shootout.

      • Davie says:

        I just assume the Biolabs are massive hydroponics facilities and all the unenterable buildings are places to sleep and such.

        It’s true, it doesn’t explain the complete lack of civilians though. Maybe they’re all already dead.

      • Kuraudo says:

        “If you’re wondering how they eat and breathe, and other science facts,
        Just repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show game, I should really just relax!”

        For Planetside 2…. 3000

      • Snowskeeper says:

        Because everyone is a soldier.
        You know those places you spawn in when you die?
        Those are called Rebirthing Facilities. They’re alien technology reverse-engineered by humans back on Earth, I believe. They resurrect you by putting you back together when you die.
        Medics have guns which essentially use nanobots to heal people, removing the need for a hospital.
        There are no civilians, because why? All dying does is send you to the nearest rebirthing facility, so killing civilians and non-combatants is a non-issue. Especially for the NC, who believe everyone not on their side is either a pig or a religious fanatic, or the VS, who believe that everyone not on their side is a heretic and ‘ignorant.’
        So people who aren’t in the fighting directly are presumably doing civilian things; maybe that’s what your/my/Bobby’s character does when you’re offline.
        And hey! Supposedly more comics are coming out soon. Maybe those’ll give you some background stuff. =D

  3. Rusty says:

    I always thought it was TR = Whigs, NC = Free Soil and VS (inexplicably) = People’s Party of Utah.

  4. misterT0AST says:

    The Terran Republic one DESPERATELY needed more Franz Klepacki music and mussolinian speeches.
    They went too safe with young man rallying/rock music playing in every trailer.
    Get some balls! Show the Vanu prostrating in front of machines, the Terran (at LEAST) marching in ranks, the Smurf swearing without censorship!

    • xGhost4000x says:

      Like this?

      • El_Emmental says:

        damn, it’s actually pretty good :O

        Sony should run a competition for propaganda trailers with some good prizes, it would cost them nothing and would reward the few excellent video makers fans of PS 2 out there

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      jezcentral says:

      There is no choice…..only DOODY.

      *titter*

  5. LionsPhil says:

    The NC get rock music and the best colour scheme. Also chunky tanks. Why would I not want to play as them?

    The stupid thing being that, apparently, one game account can only be a member of one faction per server. What? Why would you make choosing a side permanent like that? That’s even more insane than the locked-to-server permanent separation in the first place.

    • Tuga says:

      As I said earlier:

      “TR until death! Seriously, why would you *not* join the faction which is like a cross between the Galactic Empire, the Redcoats and the Harkonnen?”

    • caddyB says:

      Their infantry guns suck. Otherwise they are the coolest.

      • JohnnyMaverik says:

        Every bodies infantry guns suck. Trust me, ask a cross section of average players if they are happy with their infantry weapons, and they will say no and the other factions have the upper hand. The PS2 forums are fully with NC, TR and Vanu all complaining that they need a buff and faction x is way too OP.

        Try spending a decent amount of time playing the same way as you do with your faction with the other factions, I did, and I stopped complaining, because I had to learn to deal with a whole new set of quirks and problems each time.

      • CPLDANABD says:

        I quite like the NC infantry weapons, they feel more powerful than other factions ones.

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      darkChozo says:

      Lasers man. Lasers!

      And the faction lock thing is because, otherwise, you’ll get a bunch of people who’ll log in to join whatever the winning side is at that moment. There was a lot of that in beta when you could have characters for each empire (there was usually one that was FOTM and maintained 40% pop most of the time), but since release it’s been more balanced, at least on the server level.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The game gives you no chance to get a feel for the sides before committing to a choice, though. Picked the account name your online friends can find you by, your local server, but a side you aren’t so sure about, or different to the ones your friends are on on that server and have already invested characters into? Too bad!

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          darkChozo says:

          That’s valid. You can get around it a bit by either creating characters on other servers to try stuff out, or by creating and deleting characters until you’re good with a side. But that’s really something that should be better supported by the game (either they finally get around to making a VR trainer, or they at least allow side switches for the first five levels or something). New player experience is generally something that’s really bad in PS2, it’s something they really really need to fix.

    • Tayh says:

      Soo… I guess you haven’t heard about the big patch yesterday, the one that enables you to create multiple characters on the same server?

      • LionsPhil says:

        Given my post was dated yesterday, no?

        But cool.

      • Phantoon says:

        Pretty sure that’s Austrailian servers only. Still can’t make an NC on my TR’s server.

        Curse my traitorous friends.

  6. CobraLad says:

    Those videos are so horribly staged, my brain hurt.
    Also, good job making the most villain sounding people in the world speak for your faction. Even NC guy speaks like jerk.

    • MrLebanon says:

      Staged? the video showed legitimate outfit tactics that are used by outfits fairly regularly

      There was a reason why there was invulnerable “Gamemaster” players watching battles the past little while (other than catching cheaters)

      • CobraLad says:

        Sorry, but gamemaster on field is definition of staged. I dont think you can ever have massive wall on wall action, several tanks staring at each other near forcefield or spaceships exploding behind you, unless you told people on different faction to assist you, while you killing them.

        • MrLebanon says:

          yes ’cause my experience in game must be totally staged without me even knowing….

          it’s just SO uncommon for my outfit to be fighting a battle against another outfit which involves infantry, tanks, and air working in tandem to win a battle

          /sarcasm

        • Kuraudo says:

          With regards to at least the TR trailer, you see a lot of that actually happening in-game. Keep in mind, it’s actually a terrible, terrible idea to stand together in a group like that as it’s just begging to be shelled, but people do it anyway.

        • gritz says:

          “Sorry, but gamemaster on field is definition of staged.”

          I think you should look up the definition of the word definition because I saw plenty of GM’s out and about last weekend without being told to be anywhere or do anything specific.

        • Svant says:

          Yes of course they staged moments in the videos to look a bit more epic. But the game looks bloody fantastic when you have a full platoon charging up a hill with aircraft battling overhead and tanks shelling the enemy positions it looks staged… but it is all happens ingame regularly.

          Columns of tanks driving down a road? Happens all the time.. hell we had traffic jams yesterday with people getting stuck in queues trying to get to the front with armor. Sure it might not be lined up nicely with infantry running between the tanks, but it happens.

  7. billyphuz says:

    I have a fever, and the only cure is more wub.

  8. Brise Bonbons says:

    For the short time I tried this game out (the performance was simply too bad for me to stick with it – I need a new PC), I found myself torn. The Vanu were legitimately intriguing, what with the whole alien cult thing, but their unique vehicles felt uninspired and left me cold. The other factions were just the same tired old SF tropes, unless I missed something.

    That said, one of my biggest gripes about PS2 is the fact that other than color scheme and effects assets (sound, bullet particles) I couldn’t really discern any difference between the factions. It seems a game that would benefit enormously from increased asymmetry and more obvious faction-specific mechanics that kick in early – to give new players some insight into their team and more concrete reasons to pick one over the others.

    Frankly, I found the world PS2 dropped me into pretty bland, though the scale was immediately impressive. The planet didn’t show much in the way of personality, the bases were all ultrageneric SF fare (if extremely tall), and neither “authoritarian SF empire” nor “plucky upstarts with freedom loving rock soundtrack” exactly stood out as novel concepts.

    I do look forward to experiencing the big battles properly once I have a PC that can handle it, however.

    • jonfitt says:

      I’ve been getting into it, but while I can distinguish between factions, I cannot tell the different between the classes. Their minor physical differences don’t show in the 0.2s it takes for us to shoot each other.
      TF2 has spoiled me for quality class distinction.
      .
      Even Tribes managed it better and there you need to be able to tell the difference while flying by at 200kmph.
      .
      Also all the rifles feel all identically pew-pew yet hyperlethal.

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      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Conversation with a TR pickup squadmate during a 3-way firefight:

      “There’s a squad of blue guys coming towards us.”
      “What do you mean by a blue guy? You mean NC? Or TR?”
      “What? They’re blue.”
      “You mean he has a blue triangle over his head, or he’s wearing blue armour?”
      “Forget that, there’s a red tank coming!”
      “*sigh* You mean a tank painted red who has come to save us, or a guy in a tank with a red triangle over his head who we should shoot rockets at? The difference is important.

      • jonfitt says:

        Ha, I hadn’t thought of that. Being VS, I’ve never equated the triangles with side, it’s just goodie/baddie.
        BTW you are a baddie.

      • fish99 says:

        I tried TR briefly last night to see if there was any truth in the whole NC underpowered thing (didn’t really notice anything major), and man it’s confusing playing TR. You’re red, but the enemy have red triangles, the NC are blue, but the guys with blue triangles are TR friendlies, but the cap points held by the NC are blue, and the ones you hold are red.

        Aggghhhhh… it nearly made my head explode. Then I switched back to my main NC toon and everything made sense again. Blue = good, everything else = bad.

  9. sinister agent says:

    My philosophy is that the utterly awful NC (Blue) music can be muted, and their guns feel like they can do some actual damage, so the others just aren’t as fun. Although I originally picked them because their summary wasn’t about fascism or weird cultism.

    The Red Terrans get the best music, though. In the game, I mean. The music in these is pretty cringeworthy across the board.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Agree that none of the music is especially inspiring. During my time as a purple gentleman, I’d always think I was spawning into some weird 80′s-themed retro platformer demake, only with less characterful synths.

      I do find it troubling just how frequently discussion of faction preference boils down to which team’s guns sound best. :/

      Psssst. PS2! Differentiate your teams more!

    • Kuraudo says:

      This is weird as hell; my outfit has 300 guys regularly show up for operations every night as TR and we all think the NC music is the smurf’s only redeeming quality.

      No accounting for taste I guess?

  10. navyknight says:

    TR is my faction of choice, mainly because I hate blue(Wildcats) and love red(Cardinals). I don’t expect yall to get to reference but that is my reasoning. Oh and the VS remind me too much of Scientology to ever be apart of their faction.

    • DyingTickles says:

      I’m assuming you’re in Arizona and are a fan of ASU.

      • navyknight says:

        No sir, I attend the University of Louisville, and our instate rivals are the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

  11. Olofthered says:

    None of them really quite fit a political party. Except for maybe the NC who are more uncontrolled libertarians. Both republicans and democrats are in favor of some political control but, in different aspects of the government. The VS are more of a super religion in my opinion.

  12. Nintyuk says:

    Am I The only one Who really Likes the NC Music?

  13. Dominic White says:

    Bah, Smurfs. Who needs em?

    Join Vanu – they’re basically the Third Street Saints in space, and totally not scientologists at all.

  14. jonfitt says:

    The RPS American outfit is Rock, Planet, Scythe on Connery (US-West). We’re VS, and most of us don’t have VD.
    .
    To be honest I had no clue about the differences so I joined VS to get into the RPS outfit.

  15. yabonn says:

    And my faction is WTF Video Card Requirements, Back to TF, Arrumf.

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    Aerothorn says:

    NC are actually not Democrats. If you read the backstory posted on the previous version of the Planetside 2 website (which seems to be gone, but you can get some background at http://wiki.planetside-universe.com/ps/New_Conglomerate) you’ll see they are actually a libertarian corptocracy; it’s corporations backing a fight against the Republica. Not really representative of either political party, but closer to Republicans.

  17. fish99 says:

    The intro movie I saw described the NC as freedom fighting rebels, the TR as an oppressive regime and the VS as technological cultists (who wear spandex). Seemed like an easy choice.

  18. JonClaw says:

    The scientist in me had me sided with Vanu in the beta before joining the 666th. The accountant in me goes “SPACE ‘MURICA CAPITALISM FUCK YEAH” so my allegiance with the NC is justified, though sometimes I wonder that you can take any video of NC ops and play the Benny Hill theme in the back it’d be oh so fitting. The TR reminds me of the Federation from Starship Troopers, so there’s that.

    All in all, pretty awesome promo vids.

  19. SuicideKing says:

    You know, i wish i had paid for PlanetSide 2 what i paid for Battlefield 3, because i can’t really stop playing the game for too long.

    Oh and, the NC seem to have the only weapons that fire properly, VS weapons handle too awkwardly.

  20. Arglebargle says:

    How about the Hacking faction?

  21. junglist 69 says:

    Space Hulk?

  22. Anders Wrist says:

    Honor, Justice, Duty, Freedom – Such hollow concepts.

  23. zaygr says:

    HAPPY OPPRESSION DAY!

  24. LurkInTheDark says:

    According to the wiki:
    TR=Fast Firerate/vehicles | less damage/armor
    NC=Powerful weapons/armor | short range effectiveness.
    VS= LAZERZ

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    cpt_freakout says:

    Everyone knows red fascism WINS IN THE END.

  26. Poita says:

    Is there a setting for us us colour blind types that changes the purple dudes to green or something as I can hardly tell them apart from the blues (except that they are shooting at each other).
    I loved Rome:TW but not Medieval2 as once they joined in battle I couldn’t see who was who.

    I would have liked to have seen a Humans v Aliens v Robots manage-a-war.

  27. drunk_monk2 says:

    The Vanu are reptoids go to http://www.reptoids.com to find out the truth behind the vanu.

  28. kombatunit says:

    I tried TR in beta. Kept TK’ing my mates because any hint of red in a FPS gets a burst. So, back to NC. Damn, it feels good to be a smurf.

  29. Phantoon says:

    NC are SCUM! Vanu are ALSO SCUM, but LESS so.