PlanetSide 2's Right Hook
Header Video: An awesome video showcasing how far you can push your piloting skills.
Wow, PlanetSide 2
As an avid MMO and multiplayer gamer, PlanetSide 2 somehow slipped under my radar. I have run an online gaming guild for quite a while now and we have some roots in similar class-based shooters such as Global Agenda, Tribes: Ascend, and Team Fortress 2. Needless to say, some of my guild mates were tuned into this game long before I got to try it. Just recently I finally sat down and played with them and was not expecting to be up until 3AM playing -- It was just that good.
There is a lot to take in when you first start up PlanetSide 2. To start with, there are three factions to choose from: Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, and Vanu Sovereignty. These each have their own bonuses, weapon variations, and ESV (empire specific vehicles as they are called in-game) but largely just serve as a way to group players and have them fight against one another. It is a free-for-all as each of the factions competes across the three different continents on the planet. Each one of these continents serves as its own resource struggle where battles are constantly being waged.
That is effectively the premise of the game. There is no peace time, no schedule for when "guild vs guild" takes place, or anything like that. Straight up, it is a persistent territory war game that is going on 24/7. You can hop right in with your friends, pick your classes, get in a vehicle, and head to the front lines. While there are a lot of details you can worry about, the game is as simple as that. The map is well done with a lot of ways you can get into the action.
The hook of this game really comes from a lot of different areas, depending on what you are looking for. For me personally, I love gaming with my friends. That's why I run my guild and why I continue to play MMOs. PlanetSide 2 lets you do that in a way that feels natural and meaningful. You don't actually level up in the game. You get certifications that you can spend on different gear or skills. Part of that is the ability to level up vehicles that you can cart your friends around in, such as the Galaxy. It's a monster that can hold 5 crew and 7 passengers for a total of 12 people flying.
Beyond that, it's a very skill-based game. Sniper play in this game can be a crucial and underrated part of assaulting a base. The piloting mechanics in PlanetSide 2 let you do anything from a full-fledged dogfight to carpet bombing tactical points (see the video in the header!) With so many class options, you can customize your load out to fit your play style and have it impact the fight in a meaningful way.
There is always something to do in this game. A lot of other implementations of zone control have down times where you can just enjoy your spoils and not worry about getting attacked by an opposing faction. Not this game. The war is going on as long as the servers are up and you constantly have a fight you could be in. If you are the kind of person that needs to be in the action all the time, look no further.
The Take Away
PlanetSide 2 is a great game. They have succeeded in doing territory wars in a way that feels meaningful and persistent, while trimming a lot of the fat that holds it back in so many other games. That being said, the distilled game is not for everyone. If you don't like fast-paced, tactical shooters then it would be hard to recommend it. However, the game is free-to-play so you don't have a lot to lose.