Sony Online Entertainment had a great showing at PAX Prime 2012 for their upcoming massively multiplayer first-person shooter release, Planetside 2. The sequel to the original Planetside game is picking up where the first one left off, but there are some additions and changes that make the second game worth noting, even beyond the new Forelight engine.
I had a chance to sit down with senior art director Tramell Ray Isaac as he gave me a thorough look at the new direction of the series. I immediately noticed similarities to the first game, such as the player’s ability to choose a class suited to play styles other than those typical of soldiers, tanks, and snipers. The game continues to offer support style classes such as the medic and engineer. Aside from including greater customization of characters, the game also encourages freedom in picking your battles. You can head after hotly contested points, or you can make your way to different resource areas. Planetside 2 also features the advanced control mode of piloting aircraft, which can be both challenging and exhilarating.
Massive warfare is another solid staple from the first game, allowing for 2000 players to battle at different smaller points within the same map. The upgrades and customization options available to purchase through the cash store are also available with in game earnings, though this area is still undergoing some major development. Based on what I saw, it could be a very happy day for those who like to fine tune and micromanage their characters. The game also offers the ability to record gameplay and upload it to youtube from within the game.
I was pretty impressed with the features I witnessed at PAX this year, even as a person who is pretty jaded with the typical FPS format. I feel the game offers a lot of innovation to the genre, as well as balancing solid controls within an extensive, open world. Only time will tell if the gaming world feels the same.