PlanetSide 2

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PlanetSide 2
PlanetSide 2 Cover Art.png
Developer(s)Rogue Planet Games
Publisher(s)Daybreak Game Company
Composer(s)Jeff Broadbent
Don Ferrone
EngineForgeLight
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • NA: November 20, 2012
  • EU: November 7, 2013
  • PlayStation 4 June 23, 2015
Genre(s)Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter game
Mode(s)Multiplayer

PlanetSide 2 is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online first-person shooter developed by Rogue Planet Games and published by Daybreak Game Company. The game supports battles with thousands of players (up to 2,000 on a single map) and incorporates modern first-person shooter mechanics. Six different infantry classes and over 18 ground and air vehicles are available to players and interact on the battlefield to simulate combined arms warfare. As a "re-imagining" of PlanetSide, PlanetSide 2 chronicles the efforts of three factions fighting for territorial control of the planet Auraxis.

Along with its prequel, PlanetSide 2 is one of the very few massively multiplayer online first-person shooters to have ever released, and is presently considered one of the most successful titles in the genre. The game uses ForgeLight, a proprietary game engine which supports high player counts while retaining performance and graphical fidelity. PlanetSide 2 operates on a games as a service business model and is supported by microtransaction purchases. Since its launch, the game has received regular updates which have introduced new content and mechanics.

PlanetSide 2 received positive attention from critics, and was praised for its scale, innovation, and graphics, but some reviewers were divided over the game's free-to-play model, technical glitches, and difficulty for new players. PlanetSide 2 currently holds the Guinness World Record for "Most players in an online FPS battle," which was set when 1,158 players were recorded in a single battle during an official event. This record was beat unofficially in 2020 when 1,283 players participated in a single battle on the game's live servers.

Gameplay[edit]

NC infantry and tanks near a VS outpost

PlanetSide 2 is an open world first-person shooter that features fights involving potentially thousands of players in close proximity and supports up to 2,000 concurrent players on a single map.[1][2][3] As a re-imagining of PlanetSide, PlanetSide 2 revolves around the same world and factions, but is faster-paced and includes modern shooter elements such as sprinting, iron sights, and regenerating shields.[4] Just like the previous game, players attempt to control the planet Auraxis on behalf of their faction by capturing territories across numerous continents. Players can choose between 6 distinct infantry classes and use 18 different ground and air vehicles, each of which play unique roles on the battlefield.[5][6]

Character progression[edit]

Upon creating a character, players join one of three factions: the New Conglomerate (NC), Terran Republic (TR), or Vanu Sovereignty (VS).[7] Upon reaching Battle Rank 20, players can choose to join the Nanite Systems Operatives (NSO), an unaligned faction of robot mercenaries.[8] Each faction's arsenal has its own distinct style and emphasizes specific traits.[7] For example, TR weapons resemble contemporary military technology, and tend to have a higher rate of fire at the cost of damage per shot. Despite this, comparable weapons for specific niches are available for each faction.

Players gain experience (XP) by killing enemies, aiding allies, and capturing objectives. As players progress they earn levels (Battle Ranks) and currency (Certs), which allow them to unlock ability upgrades and new weapons.[9] Daybreak Cash (DBC), a premium currency, is purchasable with real-world funds and unlocks weapons and cosmetic items; weapons bought with DBC are functionally identical to those purchasable with Certs.[5] DBC can also be used to buy XP and Nanite boosters, which speed up progression and allow access to more vehicles and consumables, respectively.

Upon reaching Battle Rank 100, players are given the option to participate in the Advanced Specialization Program (ASP), PlanetSide 2's prestige system. The option is free for subscribing players and otherwise costs 10,000 Certs.[10] Those who accept have their Battle Rank reset to 1 and earn an ASP Token every 25 ranks that unlocks a perk (such as a Nanite discount for a certain vehicle or access to normally unavailable weapons on a specific class).[10] The ASP system has two levels, meaning players can choose to reset and earn additional ASP Tokens after reaching Battle Rank 100 once more.[11]

Classes and vehicles[edit]

PlanetSide 2 features six classes, each of which possess distinct abilities. Although each class serves a unique role on the battlefield, customization options allow players to specialize into certain playstyles.

  • The Infiltrator is a stealth-oriented class that has access to a cloaking device, as well as motion detection tools that reveal enemy positions. Infiltrators can also hack enemy terminals to make them useable by allies.[12] The class equips a bolt action sniper rifle by default.[7]
  • The Light Assault class emphasizes mobility and has a jet pack that allows users to reach rooftops and other typically inaccessible flanking positions.[7] By default, the class equips a carbine to combat infantry as well as a rocket rifle capable of damaging vehicles.[12]
  • The Combat Medic is a support class capable of rapidly healing and reviving allies on the front lines using a medical applicator and revive grenades.[7][12] The class equips an assault rifle that remains effective at long range by default.
  • The Engineer is able to repair damaged vehicles, MAX suits and mechanical objects, as well as deploy a number of tools including a personal turret, ammo packs and a sentry gun.[12][7] The class equips a carbine by default.
  • The Heavy Assault functions as a shock troop capable of absorbing large amounts of damage with its overshield ability.[7] The class has both anti-infantry and anti-vehicle capabilities with its high-capacity light machine guns and rocket launchers.[12]
  • The MAX (Mechanized Assault Exo-Suit)[13] can take significantly more damage than pure infantry classes and has two customizable heavy weapon slots. As a hybrid vehicle, the class triggers tank mines and costs Nanites to use.[14]

Players can also spawn vehicles from any friendly terminal at the cost of Nanites. Certain vehicles are common pool, and are available to every player regardless of allegiance. Such ground vehicles include the Flash ATV, Harasser buggy, Lightning light tank, and Sunderer armoured personnel carrier. Air vehicles available to all players include the Valkyrie and Galaxy transport aircraft and Liberator gunship. Players can also use a main battle tank and air superiority fighter unique to their home faction.[15] In combat, each vehicle serves a designated role - for example, the Galaxy can rapidly transport up to 12 players across a continent,[15] while the Sunderer acts as a mobile spawn point when deployed.[16]

Territory control[edit]

Each of PlanetSide 2's main continents are approximately 64 sq. km. in size,[17] and are populated by numerous facilities varying in size and layout. Larger facilities, such as Tech Plants and Bio Labs, provide the occupying faction benefits like access to heavy vehicles, but all territories contribute equally to a faction's continent ownership. These territories are connected by a "Lattice Link" system to direct player flow, where a faction must own a linked and uncontested facility prior to capturing any location.[18]

When a faction gains 100 Empire Strength from capturing territory, an Alert is triggered, which lasts for 90 minutes.[19] Whichever faction controls the most territory by the end of the Alert captures the continent, and all players are awarded in-game currency, with the victors earning substantially more. A global combat advantage is also granted to the winning faction, which is active until that continent is once again unlocked.[20] More than one continent can be open at once if server population increases.

PlanetSide 2 also features a construction system that allows players to build their own bases. Player bases can serve both offensive and defensive purposes, as well as provide front line vehicles, resources, and spawn points to nearby allies. Constructed bases consist of prefabricated fortifications, turrets, artillery, terminals, and modules.[21] The creation of these bases requires Cortium, a mineral that is harvested from natural deposits using the Advanced Nanite Transport (ANT) vehicle.[22]

Player organization[edit]

Due to PlanetSide 2's emphasis on organized strategy, the game features a command hierarchy system. Players can join squads of up to 12 individuals, which can be subdivided into fireteams for specific roles. Up to four squads (48 players) can associate and become a platoon.[23] Each squad in a platoon has its own in-game voice over IP channel, which allow leaders to direct specific groups of players in the same platoon to different objectives.[7] Squad leaders gain access to a number of tools including spawn beacons, smoke signals, waypoints, and access to a faction-wide squad leader voice channel.

Outfits are persistent player-run organizations that function as PlanetSide 2's clan system. The dominant Outfit that captures a facility gains resources, which can be crafted into tactical tools which include on-demand vehicles, shield bubbles, and orbital strikes.[24] Outfits can also call down massive spacecraft known as Bastion Fleet Carriers to the battlefield for a limited amount of time, which are capable of providing both ground and air support.[25] Outfit Wars, a limited-time in-game event, allows Outfits to compete against each other in a competitive setting.[26]

Campaigns[edit]

In 2020, "The Shattered Warpgate," a story-focused update which introduced a seasonal campaign and daily missions, was released. The update added a time-limited campaign players could participate in to earn special weapons and cosmetics.[27][28] The continent of Esamir was completely redesigned to complement the story elements of the update.[29] A similar two-chapter campaign, "Expedition: Oshur," was released in 2021 to complement the newly-arrived tropical continent.[30]

Plot[edit]

In the year 2444, a mysterious wormhole forms over a war-torn Earth, and scientists report strange transmissions that all but confirm the existence of extraterrestrial life.[31] The wormhole is predicted to re-open again in a century, and fear of a hostile, alien presence causes the global conflict to end. Nations around the world quickly agreed to a peace treaty and formed the Terran Republic, an authoritarian but benevolent United Nations-like organization that worked toward the peace and prosperity of humankind. As expected, the wormhole reopens after 100 years, but no further transmissions are detected; despite this, the Terran Republic remains in power, as the vast majority of humanity is satisfied with its governance.[32]

Years later, explorer Thomas Connery discovers a segment of the Kuiper belt he dubs "the Moon Belt." Connery is voted into the position of Terran Republic president soon after.[33] Suspecting the discovery of alien technology, multiple business leaders form the New Conglomerate, a libertarian organization seeking to capitalize on the discovery and free themselves from strict Terran Republic control.[34] After his retirement, Connery recruits eccentric xenobiologist Henry Briggs for a second expedition to the Moon Belt, and the pair discovers an alien figurine. Upon touching the artifact, Briggs experiences a revelation and is left with a single message: "Vanu."[33]

The wormhole appears yet again in 2640, and this time Connery leads an expedition consisting of Terran Republic officers, New Conglomerate representatives, and scientists seeking extraterrestrial knowledge. The wormhole collapses before the entire fleet is able to pass through, however, and 40,000 individuals are trapped on the other side, unable to return to Earth.[35] Months pass, and as chances for survival become increasingly bleak, New Conglomerate insurgents begin launching attacks against Terran Republic forces, killing Connery in the process. In response, draconian laws are forced upon all passengers by the Terran Republic.[36] The scientists onboard, led by Briggs, begin to distance themselves from both sides of the conflict.[37]

Finally, a hospitable planet named "New Earth" (later renamed Auraxis) is located by researchers aboard the ships, and the human survivors begin terraforming and colonizing the planet.[38] The New Conglomerate and Terran Republic break off from each other, and no major conflicts occur between the two sides for the next two centuries. Despite this, tensions continue to rise between the two groups, culminating in a declaration of all-out war after conflicting reports of a violent attack. A group of dedicated scientists, inspired by Briggs' revelation and Vanu artifacts discovered on Auraxis, announce they can no longer remain neutral and declare themselves the Vanu Sovereignty.[39] Since the war began, Auraxis has remained in unending turmoil, with each of the three factions vying for territorial control of the entire planet.

Factions[edit]

Left to right: NC, TR, and VS soldiers at the E3 2012 PlanetSide 2 showcase
  • Terran Republic (TR): An authoritarian colonial government that leverages military might to maintain strict control over the colonial citizens of Auraxis, ostensibly on behalf of the mother Terran Republic back on Earth. The Terran Republic is obsessed with the preservation of law and order, and see the insurrectionary war against themselves as all the more justification for strong-armed countermeasures. They are thus seen by their opponents to be an oppressive and dictatorial force, but many also view the TR as the only hope for lasting security and peace. Their colors are red and black. TR forces are distinguished by their use of rapid fire conventional weaponry, large-capacity magazines, high speed medium tanks and fast flying fighter aircraft.[40][41]
  • New Conglomerate (NC): The New Conglomerate operates as a loosely organized band of self-proclaimed freedom fighters. Viewed as corporate-backed terrorist guerrillas by their adversaries, they violently oppose the stranglehold that the Terran Republic has on Auraxis. Led by an unusual quorum of outcasts, frontier industrialists, pirates, and turncoat military leaders, the New Conglomerate is unwavering and prepared to achieve freedom from oppression by any means necessary. Their colors are blue and gold. NC forces use hard hitting electromagnetic weapons such as gauss and railguns that are devastating at short and medium range but are bulky and unwieldy with moderate reload speeds. They employ durable, heavily armed shock troops with slow, well-armored heavy tanks and heavy fighters loaded with arrays of crushingly powerful ordnance.[42][41]
  • Vanu Sovereignty (VS): The Vanu Sovereignty are a secretive and cult-like group who believe that only through the untapped power of alien technology can humanity truly evolve towards the next phase of its existence. They are a technologically advanced and cunning faction, employing powerful reverse-engineered alien technologies on the battlefield. Their singular purpose is to uncover secrets hidden away in ancient artifacts scattered over the surface of Auraxis, and fight only to seize and retain exclusive access to research sites and materials. As such, they view the war with its shifting territories and militarized zones as a pointless impedance to their infinitely more important work. Their colors are violet and cyan. The VS use advanced plasma and laser weaponry, characterized by lack of bullet drop, high accuracy, low recoil, and quick-reloadable energy cells. They deploy highly maneuverable, levitating battle tanks capable of efficiently traversing almost any terrain or incline, as well as anti-gravity fighters capable of inertia-defying breakneck aerobatics.[41]
  • Nanite Systems Operatives (NSO): Nanite Systems Operatives are not a unified group of soldiers, but rather robot mercenaries who hold no allegiance to any faction and fight on a contractual basis for the highest bidder. Nanite Systems staff operate these robotic units remotely by proxy, much unlike the fully human combatants the three factions typically employ.[43] NSO units are automatically assigned to the Terran Republic, New Conglomerate or Vanu Sovereignty depending on which faction has the lowest population, but can also remain loyal to one faction unconditionally (available only to subscribed players in-game).[44] Although they lack access to other empires' weapons and vehicles, NSO units can use all common pool equipment, which emphasizes versatility and utility, in addition to their own unique arsenal of weapons and vehicles.

Development[edit]

John Smedley was heavily involved in the game's development

The first official indications that a PlanetSide sequel was in development appeared in 2009. On September 25, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) sent a mass e-mail to current and former PlanetSide subscribers, asking them to fill out a survey that would help SOE design the next installment of PlanetSide.[45] On October 11, SOE president John Smedley posted on his LiveJournal account that the sequel's working title is PlanetSide Next.[46][47]

Little was revealed about the sequel until December 2010, when Smedley said that SOE would be launching a first-person shooter in March 2011,[48] which was soon confirmed by Paul Williams of SOE as referring to PlanetSide Next.[49] On March 31, 2011, SOE announced that it would be ending development of their spy-themed MMO The Agency and refocusing efforts on EverQuest Next and PlanetSide Next.[50] Smedley confirmed that PlanetSide Next had been delayed – the result of recently switching to a new game engine – and would be available later in the year.[51]

Vehicle designs for PlanetSide Next, including those of the Galaxy aircraft and a New Conglomerate tank, were teased in early 2011 by Smedley.[52][53] The game's working title was changed to PlanetSide 2 later that year, shortly before the game's website was updated with a trailer showing early gameplay and the new graphics.[54] The game was revealed to be a "reimagining" of PlanetSide, with faster-paced first-person shooter mechanics, "triple-A" graphics, and a greater focus on capturing and defending territories.[55] During the 2011 SOE Fan Faire, Smedley announced that both PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest Next would use ForgeLight, a proprietary MMO engine supporting seamless worlds and realistic physics using Nvidia's PhysX API.[56][57][58] SOE announced later in 2011 that comic book writer Marv Wolfman would be authoring episodic stories to establish the game's background and expand upon PlanetSide's original backstory.[59]

Throughout the game's development, John Smedley and creative director Matt Higby have cited Eve Online as well as both the Call of Duty and Battlefield series as major influences for PlanetSide 2. Smedley, an active Eve Online player himself, took inspiration from the game's sandbox-like freedom, resource management, offline progression system and its ability to support a high number of players on one server.[60][61] Higby has specifically named the vehicle combat mechanics of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 as a major influence, stating that the game had "done the best with vehicles. I want [PlanetSide 2] to be at least that good."[61]

During the 2012 Game Developers Conference, a playable in-development version of PlanetSide 2 was showcased by SOE. Early versions of the game's environment, vehicles, and character progression system were demonstrated, and it was also announced that the game would be free to play.[62][63] Smedley announced that a closed beta test would begin July 30 or 31 2012 "barring any unforeseen circumstances."[64] On July 30 Smedley announced that the beta testing would be delayed until at least August 3 "to make sure some stuff is awesome."[65] On August 2, Smedley mentioned during a Reddit AMA that a Mac version was planned post-launch, writing: "No you aren't going to see PlanetSide 2 on Linux. You will see it on Mac though".[66] On August 3, Smedley announced that the closed Beta would commence 2pm PDT (GMT-7) Monday 6 August.[67] The beta closed on November 17, 2012, pending the game's official release November 20, 2012.[68]

PlayStation 4 version[edit]

Early in the game's development, the ownership of PlanetSide 2 by a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment led some to speculation regarding a release for PlayStation branded consoles.[69] Smedley hinted at the possibility of a release for the PlayStation 3 throughout 2011 and 2012.[70][71]

The success of free-to-play games like PlanetSide 2 led Sony to announce that the PlayStation 4 would support free-to-play titles in addition to retail games.[72] On June 5, 2013, SOE announced that both PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online would be available to play on the PlayStation 4 later in 2013.[73] It was also announced that a PlayStation Plus subscription would not be required to play the game.[74] The developers planned for the games to be as similar as possible between the PC and PlayStation 4 releases aside from a different UI and support for DualShock 4 controllers, and said that console graphics would match the "Ultra" preset on PC.[75] Cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and PC versions of the game would not be possible due to update delays, but the ability to transfer player accounts between the two platforms would be considered.[76][77] Creative director Matt Higby also mentioned the possibility of porting PlanetSide 2's mobile app to the PlayStation Vita with additional interactive features.[77]

In October 2013, Smedley confirmed that the game's PlayStation 4 release date had been pushed to 2014, but did not provide a reason for the delay.[78] In January 2014, Smedley stated that the game's release was targeted for the first half of the year.[79] Higby confirmed that the game would run at 1080p resolution with a high frame rate in May 2014, and a picture of an in-development version of the game was tweeted by the game's PlayStation 4 producer Clint Worley.[80][81] Throughout development, the ForgeLight engine used by PlanetSide 2 was modified to better support multithreading to better use the PlayStation 4's processing power, which improved PC performance as well.[82] More information was revealed at E3 2014 - lead designer Luke Sigmund stated that the game would run between 30 and 60 frames per second, and a new launch trailer was showcased.[83][84]

SOE stated that a beta for the game be arriving by the end of the year in November 2014, and beta signups opened in December 2014.[85][86] The beta for the PlayStation 4 version opened on January 20, 2015.[87] The game was officially released on June 23, 2015.[88]

Post-release[edit]

During the 2013 Game Developers Conference, more PlanetSide 2 features were unveiled. A companion app for iOS and Android devices in development would allow players to view guides, use the in-game voice chat, track their character, and see a real-time PlanetSide 2 world map.[89] Future updates to the app would allow users to affect battles by launching "drone strikes or orbital strikes" according to senior art director Tramell Isaac.[90][91] The app was released in April 2013.[92]

In 2019, PlanetSide 2 was upgraded to use DirectX 11, while it had previously been using DirectX 9. This update provided significant improvements to performance and hardware compatibility.[93]

Linux support for PlanetSide 2 was enabled using the Proton compatibility layer during November 2021, which had not been possible prior to anti-cheat service BattlEye adding Proton support.[94][95]

Business model[edit]

[Paying customers] won't suddenly have a super tank that lets them crush all the puny free player tanks, their success on the battlefield is still entirely player skill based, they'll just be less impacted for re-deploying to the battlefield. That is a huge benefit, no denying it. Is that 'buying power'? Well, that depends on your definition.

Matt Higby[96]

PlanetSide 2 is free-to-play and includes microtransactions that allow players to purchase in-game convenience items and cosmetics. The game also offers a monthly subscription that provides cash shop discounts, an XP multiplier, and increased resource generation.[97]

The game's developers have indicated an admiration of the freemium business model presented in League of Legends.[98] During PlanetSide 2's development, SOE president John Smedley said the game would "not sell a more powerful gun or vehicle," with purchases using real-life money being only an alternative to unlocking items through gameplay.[99] In 2012, creative director Matt Higby elaborated on PlanetSide 2's business model, stating that "no weapon, vehicle, attachment, continent, class or certification" would be inaccessible by free-to-play characters post-launch.[96]

In 2017, implants were released, which are time-limited perks obtained through loot boxes that grant players advantages in battle.[100] The system was received negatively by players who believed it moved the game closer to pay-to-win territory.[101][102] Implants were later overhauled to last permanently and can now be directly purchased using an in-game currency.[103]

Players are able to create cosmetic items (such as helmets, armors, and decals) for the game with the Player Studio, a revenue sharing program where the creator of the item is paid each time their in-game item is purchased. The most successful participants have earned tens of thousands of dollars from their creations.[104]

Release[edit]

PlanetSide 2 showcase and developer panel at E3 2013

PlanetSide 2 launched on November 20, 2012.[68] The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 officially released on June 23, 2015.[88]

The game was published in Europe by ProSiebenSat.1 Games, and a retail version of the game with special bonuses was released in 2013 by ProSiebenSat.1 and Koch Media.[105] ProSiebenSat.1 ended their partnership with Sony Online Entertainment in 2014 and allowed players to transfer their progress to SOE starting July 1, 2014.[106]

Multiple localizations of PlanetSide 2 have been published in Asian countries. A version of the game localized for China was released in June 2013 by The9, and had higher initial player counts than the US servers according to SOE president John Smedley.[107] The Chinese release was shut down on May 31, 2016 by The9 to focus their efforts on the release of Firefall.[108] A localized version of PlanetSide 2 was published in South Korea in 2014 as part of SOE's partnership with Daum Communications.[109] Due to incompatibilities with the game's cash shop and low player counts, the Korean service shut down in 2015.[110]

Promotion[edit]

TotalBiscuit (John Bain) promoted PlanetSide 2 and covered its development stages

Prior to the game's launch in 2012, demos of PlanetSide 2 were showcased at numerous gaming conventions which included the San Diego Comic-Con,[111] ChinaJoy,[112] PAX Prime,[113] Gamescom,[114] the Game Developers Conference,[115] E3 2012,[116] and SOE Live.[117] The official cinematic trailer for the game produced by Blur Studio titled "Death is No Excuse" was unveiled at ChinaJoy.[112][118]

Shortly after PlanetSide 2's official release, Sony Online Entertainment partnered with Internet personalities TotalBiscuit (John Bain), SeaNanners (Adam Montoya), and Tobuscus (Toby Turner, later replaced by LevelCap Gaming) for the "Ultimate Empire Showdown", an event where each YouTuber represented one of the game's factions.[119] Bain, a long-time PlanetSide fan, had begun working with SOE to promote PlanetSide 2 before the game's release and hosted a live showcase of the game during E3 2012.[120] Bain was allowed access to the game during its development stages and regularly livestreamed early gameplay with the developers.[121][119] Prior to the game's launch in 2012, footballer Didier Drogba was involved with the promotion of PlanetSide 2 in China.[122][123]

SOE also partnered with esports organization Major League Gaming in an effort to establish PlanetSide 2 as a competitive video game.[124] The game was featured at MLG's Winter Championship Pro Circuit event in 2013, and both the event and additional programming were broadcast on MLG's own network and Twitch.[125]

PlanetSide 2 was also showcased at E3 2013.[126] In 2014, the PlayStation 4 release of the game was showcased at PAX Prime and E3 2014.[127][128]

World record[edit]

On January 24, 2015, PlanetSide 2 broke the Guinness World Record for "Most players in an online FPS battle" when 1,158 players simultaneously took part in a fight.[129][130] The event was organized by Sony Online Entertainment and community organization PlanetSideBattles, and took place on the game's Jaeger competitive server.[131] The record had been previously held by Man vs. Machine, a browser-based first person shooter.[132] This record was beaten unofficially in 2020 when 1,283 players participated in a single battle. While the 2015 record had been set as part of a sponsored event, the new record resulted from a player surge driven by the "Escalation" update and global COVID-19 lockdowns.[133][134]

Even larger unrecorded battles have occurred throughout the game's lifespan, with up to 2,000 players fighting at a single location.[2] Rick Lane of Eurogamer estimated that 7,000-28,000 players could have participated at the same conflict simultaneously during the "Battle for the Bastion," a cross-server event.[2]

PlanetSide Arena[edit]

On December 13, 2018, Daybreak Game Company announced PlanetSide Arena, a spin-off of PlanetSide 2. The game would similarly feature massive battles and combined arms gameplay, but mainly support game modes such as battle royale and team deathmatch instead. PlanetSide Arena was released for Early Access on September 19, 2019.[135] It was shut down on January 10, 2020 due to low player counts.[136][137]

Reception[edit]

PlanetSide 2 received "generally favorable reviews" from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[138]

Critics praised the large scale battles, impressive graphics and free-to-play model. Charles Onyett of IGN gave the game a score of 9/10, writing that the combined arms warfare of PlanetSide 2 is "often breathtaking, as lines of tanks fire at bases while aircraft light up the sky and hundreds of players fill the scene with healing beams and lethal weapons fire." Onyett also praised the game's "versatile classes, deep progression systems and various styles of air and ground vehicles," but noted "some polish issues" and small glitches present in the game.[147] Writing for GameSpot, Tyler Hicks held the same opinion, writing that "the massive scale of battles to the detail put into the sprawling continents" allowed the game to "[surpass] its predecessor in nearly every regard," but similarly noticed small issues with "population disadvantages or the occasional crash."[142] In his review, Craig Pearson of GameSpy praised the game's "gorgeous lighting and huge draw distances" and "intense, multiplayer battles," but noted that the game's leadership and coordination aspects could use improvement.[144] Richard Cobbett of Eurogamer enjoyed the game's "epic scale," and regarded the game as "not quite the best of both worlds, but certainly the best attempt anyone has ever made to fuse [an MMO and FPS] together."[148]

Patrick Hancock of Destructoid found issue with the game's business model and need for grinding, writing that PlanetSide 2 is a "wonderful game, hampered by the fact that it’s free-to-play." Hancock noted that the game "doesn’t do a great job of explaining the many systems at play" and criticized the lack of long-term goals for a player to achieve.[5] Though Griffin McElroy of Polygon praised PlanetSide 2's gameplay and scale, they noted that, for microtransactions, "prices escalate quickly" and that the amount of time needed to unlock a single item with in-game currency could be "excessive."[23] Jonathan Leack of GameRevolution noted frequent glitches, with "people teleporting and rubber-banding," which led the game to feel like a "rushed job" at times.[143]

The PlayStation 4 release of the game received similarly positive attention from critics. Multiple reviewers found an increase in technical bugs. Jeff Marchiafava of Game Informer praised the game's player progression speed and "solid" gameplay, but found that the game can feel like it "lacks a point" and noted that its "technical implementation [was] far from perfect."[141] Likewise, Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot praised the game's "fantastic massive battles" but found that its enjoyment "rests on how forgiving you are of technical hiccups you would properly expect to be vanquished."[149]

Awards[edit]

PlanetSide 2 won several awards from video game publications at E3 2012. IGN awarded it "Best MMO Game";[150] GameSpy awarded it "Best Shooter", "Best Free-to-Play" and "Best PC Exclusive";[151] Digital Trends awarded it "Best MMO";[152] Polygon awarded it "Editor's Choice";[153] and from PC Gamer, "Best Shooter", "Best MMO", "Best of Show" and "Most Awards Received".[154] The game received numerous other awards and nominations as well.[155]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]