Auraxis. A planet consumed by war between three rival factions. The highly militaristic Terran Republic in red and black. Their soldiers are well oiled bullet spewing machines who believe in loyalty until death. The rebel New Conglomerate in blue and yellow. Their high powered weapons show no mercy in their quest for a free future. The technocratic Vanu Sovereignty in purple and cyan. Their soldiers use alien weaponry to prove that technology equals might.
Planetside 2 is the long awaited follow up to the original Planetside, released back in May of 2003. One of the very first – and still one of the very few – MMOFPS games out there.
While most FPS games place you and a few other people in a small map to battle until the round is over, Planetside 2 offers a totally persistent world. You can play for an hour and come back to the same raging battle a while later, or you could end up finding that you lost the territory you were fighting for, but gained new territory in a separate part of the map. Borders between the factions are constantly changing as people log in and out. This is a battle that truly never ends.
There’s so much to do. Whether you fancy aerial bombing runs, or hit and run ATV attacks. If you want to dog fight in the sky, or set up an organized defense against the enemy. Combine arms with others to crush your opposition with an endless amount of play styles to choose from.
So far in beta, Planetside 2 offers one continent for players to fight over, with more in the works. Each base on the map adds a certain amount of resources to your faction, which are then spent on things like vehicles, extra grenades, or new weaponry. Some larger bases allow your faction to access different types of vehicles to aid your cause.
Also on the list of features are six different classes with unique roles.
- The Infiltrator, armed with a sniper rifle. They are skilled saboteurs with the ability to cloak and hack enemy vehicles, converting them to your faction.
- The Light Assault, wielding a carbine and deployed explosives. They are also equipped with a jetpack to give them increased mobility.
- The Combat Medic, armed with an assault rifle, is responsible to healing and reviving downed comrades.
- The Engineer, using a carbine, is able to deploy mounted machine guns, as well as repair friendly vehicles and MAX units.
- The Heavy Assault, equipped with a light machine gun and an anti-vehicle rocket launcher is good for clearing out areas.
- The Mechanized Assault eXo-suit (MAX), armed to the teeth with two heavy weapons, such as miniguns, flak cannons, or flamethrowers. These infantry move slowly, can’t be revived, and deal some serious hurt.
You can switch between these classes at any resupply terminal or between lives, meaning you can switch classes to adapt to situations.
On top of this are ten different vehicles to utilize on the field of battle. There are two vehicles per faction that are specific to each faction, and four “Nanite Systems” vehicles that can be accessed by any faction. These include;
- Flash ATV. Fast and barely armored. Used for hit and run or simple transport between two areas. Nanite Systems.
- Sunderer APC. An armored troop transport vehicle with two mounted machine guns. Best for supporting other vehicles with a repair and resupply aura. Nanite Systems.
- Liberator bomber. A medium armored, three passenger bomber. Includes the passenger, the bomber, and a tail gunner. Great for softening enemy defenses. Nanite Systems.
- Galaxy Air Transport. A large armored, twelve passenger dropship with four mounted guns and the ability to deploy into a spawn point and resupply area for friendly infantry. Nanite Systems.
- Lightning tank. A lightly armored tank, capable of equipping a fast firing cannon or a flak cannon. Very quick ground speed. Nanite Systems
- Scythe. A lightly armored air to air or air to ground fighter. Alien technology allows it to be highly maneuverable. Vanu Sovereignty.
- Reaver. A lightly armored air to air or air to ground fighter. Has very hard hitting weapons. New Conglomerate.
- Mosquito. A lightly armored air to air or air to ground fighter. Has the fastest air speed of the three fighters. Terran Republic.
- Magrider. A heavily armored tank. Utilizes hover technology to allow it to strafe while firing and travel over water. However, it’s forward mounted cannon cannot be rotated very far, forcing the driver to turn the whole vehicle. Vanu Sovereignty.
- Vanguard. A heavily armored tank. Known for it’s hard hitting cannon. New Conglomerate.
- Prowler. A heavily armored tank. Able to fire two shots at a time and is quick moving. Terran Republic.
On top of the base classes and vehicles, new weapons with varied stats can be purchased with in game currency, Auraxium. There will also be cosmetic items available with Station Cash – real money.
Now, I should probably talk about my experience with the beta. It can easily be summed up with this: I’ve never been this excited for any other game.
Between the aerial raids on enemy bases and the organized defenses against both opposing factions, I’ve yet to find a game that gives me a bigger thrill than this. Watching ten tanks, a wing of fighters, a couple of dropships and a whole lot of infantry across the desert is incredible. Even better is when your own faction deploys air superiority fighters and bombers to wipe them out.
The day/night cycle brings new depth to the game as it gets dark – and I mean really dark. Each faction’s colored tracer fire lights up the night sky as explosions rumble all around you. The sound of tanks firing upon the entrenched enemy while you and a few other infantry flank them.
These experiences are unique to this game.
Battlefield is going to have to step aside in the combined arms front. Planetside is here, and better than ever.
If you’re in the beta, feel free to add me as a friend. Always looking for more people to squad up with.