Planetside 2 Free-to-Play Shooter Playtest (Part 2)

The concluding part of the Planetside 2 playtest by the Old Pond Regulars, in which they probably die. A lot.

The moment we arrived at Stillwater Watch we became embroiled in a pitched battle, fighting house-to-house against enemy infantry. Our forces had taken control, allowing us to respawn there, but it was far from secure.

We helped to flush out remaining forces and joined the push north to the enemy held Northpoint Station.

Sadly, our trusty Sunderer had perished in the combat and due to my inadequate certifications, our new Battle Bus was incapable of deploying as a spawn point.

Onward Christmas Soldiers

Arriving at Northpoint Station, once again a frantic battle was being fought. This time the larger facility was held by enemy tanks, fixed position cannons and infantry. We ditched our Sunderer away from enemy eyes and headed in on foot. I spied a fallen friendly and charged over to revive him, only to be run down by an enemy tank. Fortunately, Toenailgoblin had deployed a spawn beacon, allowing me to get straight back onto the front lines.

We managed to take the enemy facility, but their attempts to take it back were fierce and relentless. With the assistance of some other infantry, we managed to hold out until the enemy onslaught died down. In that time, we developed a fairly solid 4-man defence-chain strategy involving a MAX-suited SingingBush standing just outside a doorway shooting all-comers whilst the engineer-equipped Bootneck repairing him from behind cover. I hid further indoors healing Bootneck of any stray damage that got past the MAX-suit and Toenailgoblin covered the back door. As a result, we held out and another battle was won.

A glance at the map showed our next available areas of conflict, onward to the sprawling Mani Bio Lab or back to Stillwater Ranch which was once again being contested.

Getting Too Old For This Sh...

It was at this point that a certain amount of battle fatigue started to set in. As thrilling as the ebb and flow of the theatre of war is, it soon becomes clear that it was an endless hamster wheel of combat. There is a brief sense of victory as a location is taken and held, but within seconds the battle begins anew as you push on to a new objective or stay to hold onto your hard-fought territory.

Planetside 2 is undoubtedly a slick and polished experience, with instant gratification and/or death only moments away, supported by the long-term motivation of earning equipment upgrades (and revenge). However the MMO-style persistent universe concept applied to a FPS game has its drawbacks too. Most non-MMO FPS experiences come with more well-defined victory conditions.

Yet, unlike those contained match-based competitions, Planetside 2 never quite allows you to walk away with the same sense of total victory.

Next: World of Tanks (Part 1)


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Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.

Published Apr. 3rd 2020

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