This guest post is written by Cohen of PC Gaming Guru blog.
First of all, let me very kindly thank Iridar for letting me guest post on his blog! My name is Cohen and I’m the owner of the PC Gaming Guru – a blog where I write about all things PC gaming.
This article will be the first in a series of articles in which I’ll go over Planetside 2 from a complete newbie’s perspective. I have no prior experience with the game, and I’ve done no prior research, in order to fully evaluate the game for all of its strengths and weaknesses – as a newbie might see them!
Today’s topic will simply be going over the things I like about the game. Further topics will cover the things I don’t like, and ways I think the game as a whole could be improved to make it more welcoming to new players.
Let’s get started.
A Little Background
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a bit of background on me as a player. Typically, I prefer RPGs such as the Witcher 3 – basically, single player games in general.
I’ll occasionally play a game like Overwatch, Paladins, etc., but usually only for a couple weeks at a time. I’m just not a very competitive person, usually.
However, Planetside 2 caught my eye for its MMO-like elements and its persistent open environments that truly seem to be affected by player decisions and tactics.
PlanetSide 2: What I Like
Jumping into Planetside 2 for the first time, I was obviously a little overwhelmed. PlanetSide 2 throws you right into the action (Granted, in a “newbie” map where you can get used to the game with other new players), giving you access to all of the classes and gameplay mechanics right from the start. This leads me into my first point.
No Shortage Of Content
As I said, PlanetSide two throws you right into the thick of things. The benefit of this is that you realize just how much content is available right from the start – weapons, outfits, armor, vehicles. All of these can be purchased or unlocked in the future, and it seems like the game has a solid progression system (Though I’ll explain some of my issues with this system in a future article). This gives you several goals to work towards right from the start!
My major complaint with games like Overwatch is that you don’t feel like your character is getting any stronger over time, or that you’re unlocking better equipment – just cosmetic outfits.
I understand that the developers of games like that have reasons for making decisions like that (Balancing, mostly), but it just never really appealed to me as much as the RPG-like sense of growth over time. I’m OK with being absolute garbage at first and getting dominated by everyone else so long as I can even the score eventually.
Tense, Heated Battles
Another thing I like is the sense of urgency in the game. As soon as you drop into a massive, pitched battle, you feel tense – in a good way. The battle feels almost real, in many ways. Allies who run out of cover get shot dead right next to you, and player-controlled aircraft can swoop by for some devastating airstrikes. It feels like you’re a part of an actual war.
Your allies will often set up siege positions outside of enemy fortresses, behind large rock formations or other obstacles. I remember one of the most recent battles I was a part of involved my faction (the ) trying to take a massive enemy fortress – we had a spawning vehicle behind a bunch of massive rocks, and our team would constantly pour out of it when we died. We would peek out from behind cover and fire towards the base, attempting to take down turret nests and snipers, so that our light infantry could circle around and get into the base.
It was a good plan – or so we thought. After about a half hour (Real time) of this going on, the enemy team got sick of our shenanigans and sent a tank (As well as several smaller vehicles) to circle around us and destroy our safe haven. Though we ended up losing that particular siege, life went on – there was no “game over” screen, and there was no overall winner or losers. We simply got up, dusted ourselves off and found another location to attack.
The bottom line here is that the game feels fair – despite there being a few pay-for-convenience elements, in some ways (Veterans who have spent real money on top-tier equipment might have an advantage over the F2P newbie who has to grind currency for the same gear).
Even an absolute newbie can survive in the game if he is sufficiently clever. If you get the drop on even the most well-armed veteran in the game, you have a solid chance attacking him down. The surprise factor is key in Planetside 2.
A Persistent World
That leads me into my next point, and that’s just how organic and “alive” the game feels. This is largely thanks to its persistent worlds, where territory shifts from one faction’s hands to another depending entirely on the players involved in the battles.
When you drop into a massive, ongoing battle on a huge map, there are skirmishes happening all over the place. You are one cog in a machine – whether you’ll do great things (Leading a small group of allies to flank the enemy and take an objective) or simply be another gun in your faction’s arsenal depends entirely on you and your own intelligence.
If you want to be a heroic medic who runs around, dodging bullets and reviving allies, you can do that. If you want to be a jetpack-equipped light infantry who can land on an enemy’s roof to rain fire from above, you can do that.
Or be the stealthy sniper who picks off key targets from a distance – the choice is yours, and each player can make a difference in the outcome of a fight. Entire sieges have been held back because of one clever sniper sitting on a roof, picking off the enemies who filtered through the same entrance over and over again.
Intelligence and quick thinking are key traits for Planetside 2, it seems. I’m sure that over time, as I adapt myself more to the game’s systems and mechanics, I’ll start to get a sort of sixth sense for where enemies might be, how I can get the drop on them, and how to work together with my allies better.
This article is just going over a few of the key things I really love so far, but there are plenty of smaller things I didn’t discuss here. For example, I love that each faction has unique equipment, armor, and vehicle designs, and I love how many customization options (Cosmetic) there are for players to play around with.
I also really like the vehicles in the game, and that they have different strengths and weaknesses (Tanks are completely immune to gunfire, for example, but very vulnerable to powerful explosives).
All in all, the good definitely outweighs the bad for me in Planetside 2 so far, but I’ll go over that bad in a future article.