Free to play without pay to win. There are micro-transactions, and it’s possible to unlock some equipment for real money, but that mostly serves as a way to speed up progression or customize your character with cosmetics.
- Your starting infantry equipment is absolutely competitive, and the few performance-enhancing upgrades can be unlocked within first few minutes of playing.
- It is possible to unlock new weapons with real money, but they will not be directly better or worse than weapons you get for free. In PlanetSide 2, all weapons are sidegrades to each other – they trade effectiveness in some fields to be stronger in other fields.
- Apart from cosmetics and cosmetic versions of some weapons, you can unlock everything simply by playing the game.
- Premium account (membership) gives certain benefits, but they are by no means gamebreaking.
Freedom and massive scale. PlanetSide 2 has huge, persistent world, and can easily have hundreds of people in one fight. At any time you can go almost anywhere and do anything. After experiencing that, sessional shooters like CoD, Titanfall and Battlefield seem shallow and insignificant.
Using the Construction System, players can build their own bases, adding even more to the sandbox nature of the game.
Camaraderie and competitive scene. PlanetSide 2 has an amazing community. Playing as a part of an outfit (clan or guild in PlanetSide 2) makes this game truly shine. Organized outfights often exchange blows on the battlefield. In that regard, PlanetSide 2 is a non-stop LineAge 2 siege without a death penalty.
Not easy to pick up
Fortunately, PlanetSide 2 is blessed by a very friendly and mature community, which created a number of guides for beginners, and is always willing to help new players learn.
It’s important to mention that most of the “competitive” equipment is readily available, and most of the performance-enhancing upgrades are easy to get. Newbies are not disadvantaged against veterans as far as equipment is concerned, but they will have more limited playstyles available.
The negative side
- No matchmaking. Except for complete beginners, players of all skill and experience levels are fighting on the same map. It’s totally possible for a player on his first day to come against a player with several years worth of experience and equipment. The game tries to balance the number of players on a continent, but each continent usually has multiple fights happening, so participating in fights where one side is vastly outnumbered is a fact of reality. Strategically deploying troops where they are needed is part of the game.
- Air game is hard to enter. All aircraft in PlanetSide 2 fly like a weird mix of a helicopter and a jet. Flying in PlanetSide 2 is a completely different skill set from anything you have done before, and an experienced dogfighter pilot will dominate any number of newbies, even if they have a fully-equipped aircraft.
- Death is everywhere. Tank cannons, snipers, aircraft missiles, nearly invisible soldiers – there’s a thousand ways to die in PlanetSide 2. Often it is outside the player control. Fortunately, there is no death penalty of any kind, and you can get back into the fight just in a few seconds. But it takes a thick skin.
- Hard to play solo. It takes a lot of experience for a solo player to be able to find a good fight for himself, and do well. A lot of things in PlanetSide 2 require teamwork. You must be willing to work with other people. At least on the level of observing common courtesies.
Is PlanetSide 2 worth playing?
Best played in a company
All that said, playing in an outfit squad compensates most disadvantages mentioned earlier. Organization and teamwork mean a lot more than how many certification points you have invested in this or that role. A squad of newbies led by a competent officer will stomp the equal amount of experienced, but disorganized players, in almost any field.