So after years of hearing about ‘how good Planetside would be if they just updated it’, I finally got to lay my grubby little mitts on Sony Online Entertainment’s latest MMO offering, Planetside 2.
I’ll be the first to tell you that you can’t really write a thorough review of an MMO game unless you’ve played it for a lot longer than one day. So if you want a comprehensive review, look elsewhere. What I’m giving you is my initial impressions of the game about 6 hours in.
- Pick your faction – which really doesn’t appear to change anything other than the theme music you hear in the background.
- Pick a face – White Guy, Black Guy, Asian Guy, and Brown Guy. (Or girl.)
- Enter your name.
That’s it. You’re done. (City of Heroes, it ain’t.)
If you’ve ever played an FPS before, you know the basics. WASD to move, C to crounch, mouse button to fire. Anything else? You need to go digging in the menu to see how your keys are set up. Basically, you go straight from character creation to a short video sequence simulating an orbital drop to “OMG! WHAT DO I DO NOW?”
After a few minutes of running around doing nothing, you eventually follow the crowd (at least the crowd that is moving… there is also the “crowd standing around with their thumbs inserted into painful orifices.”) to an area where you see names that are a different color than all of the names you saw when you spawned. Assuming “Red means bad guy” is probably best. May as well start shooting.
I thought the vehicle controls were a bit “wonky” and unintuitive. The most egregious example of this was in the aircraft controls. Now my pilot’s license is no longer active (yes, I really had one), but down to pitch down and up to pitch up is just plain wrong. The fact that you have to keep moving your mouse to hold a banking turn is also a bit “wonky”. A tutorial mode where you can get used to moving in vehicles, particularly aircraft, would be a HUGE plus.
As FPS games go, it’s fairly solid, but the lag with a large number of players is just annoying enough to be frustrating. As a free “MMOFPS” is concerned, I’d put it at the top of the heap. (Of course, I can only think of one other MMOFPS that I’ve ever played, so that’s a pretty small heap.) Since it is F2P, I have no particular reason to uninstall the game, and if I get an itch to kill something, this will be my go-to FPS for the time being. If you are a hardcore FPS junkie, I’d stick with Battlefield Something or Call of Duty: Black Ops Whatever. The novelty of this game seems to come from the fact that battles are fairly epic in scale. That’s not insignificant, but time will tell if it is enough.