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Gamescom 2012 Hands-on: Planetside 2

Planetside 2 Logo

Size always matters. At least that’s what Planetside 2 wants you to know, because it’s battles put Battlefield and M.A.G. to shame. Three factions, hundreds of players in the same server, dozens of different objectives, vehicles…the list goes on. It’s one of the most anticipated shooters of the year, and the best part, it’s free-to-play.

Unfortunately, customization was pretty limited, only giving you the option to chose between a handful of classes. Which was a shame as the almost limitless customization and specialization the full game will offer is simply breath-taking.

When I spawned as a light assault serving under the Terran Republic, the battle was already in full swing. The good news was that we were winning, both points wise and captures wise. Our objective was to reach a certain number of resources. The more bases we captured, the faster we would reach that objective.

Planetside 2

I dropped from the sky in a pod, Section 8 style, and landed in the midst of battle. Whilst I was trying to get a feel for the controls, I spotted an enemy. Maybe one from the New Conglomerate, another of the playable factions in Planetside 2, but it matters little so I started shooting. I missed a lot and didn’t manage to do much damage as I was shooting from the hip, so the enemy turned around and made quick work of me.

It was night time in our server, meaning enemies are harder to spot at a distance. Also, friendly fire is always on, meaning you can’t just shoot at first sight. I spawned again, this time I avoided crashing down in the middle of battle with a pod, and decide to go for the main spawn room. Out of eight spawn points, we had five under our control. The other teams were struggling to keep a hold of the other ones. I decides to head out into the dark and capture a control point. As I reached the base, I hear gunfire. To my left, an enemy player appeared- Vanu Sovreignty, the third and last playable faction. Before he knows it, he’s looking at the respawn timer. I infiltrated the base and hack the terminal. The base was in our control. Only two to go. Unfortunately, as I head out, a Conglomerate soldier shoots me before I can react. Back to the spawn room it is.

Planetside 2 2

I headed out towards another control point. After I made quick work of a few other enemies, I find a tank. I get in and headed towards the enemy control point. The tank I had was very powerfuly and I was able to cross the map much faster than if I stayed on foot. The best part: my cannon could obliterate most enemies in one hit. Needless to say, my trip from my base to the enemy’s was a breeze. I was unstoppable.

After capturing my second control point, I realized we only needed one more to be in control of every point on the map. We must have been just a few minutes away from filling our resource quota. The enemy teams start to realize this a bit too late, and launched an all-out assault on my control point. With the help of a few engineer turrets, and good team work, we held them back enough to secure our win.

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But the matches don’t just “end” in Planetside 2, we won an objective, a battle, but not the war. The war is always evolving and changing, with different objectives and goals every time. Before I could see what we had to do next, my time with the demo was over.

I wanted another go, but there is still so much more I haven’t been able to see. Maybe it’s for the best. We were only about 30 players, 10 per team, and the battlefield did feel kind of lonely and empty at times. I can’t imagine how frantic and chaotic it can get with 10 times that player count. Maybe it’s best I just got a small taste of the game with a few players before jumping in with both feet.

I can’t wait to continue my war, maybe as the New Conglomerate this time, when the game goes open beta later this summer.

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