Planetside 2 Beta Impressions at a glance

In a moment of weakness I bought into the Planetside 2 beta via the Alpha Squad Benefits.  I think the six month 10% XP and resource boost implant, on top of the $40 station cash were the cause — the value was there, and I wanted in.

Luckily SOE gave me a second key, giving Graev a free chance to try it out on his older comp.  We both loved the original Planetside.  It is, to my knowledge, the only true MMOFPS to ever exist.  Everything since has fallen short — quite short — of the mark being either not a true open world MMO or not at all a true FPS.

The point of this entry isn’t to give you an all-encompassing look at the game, but instead to give you a quick look at the game through the Keen window of insight.

Here’s what you’re getting in Planetside 2:

  • Truly, without any smoke and mirrors, an open-world capable of accepting massive amounts of players.
  • A real FPS game with gun mechanics that feel like Battlefield’s past two entries.
  • A game driven entirely by the players.  No NPC’s.  All PvP.
  • Solid character progression with plenty of ways to improve your character.
  • Fun gameplay (I want to focus on this one quickly)
Planetside 2 Textures
Graphics are okay. They’re not horrible, but there is plenty of room for improvement. I hope it can be done without ruining the good performance.

The fun gameplay is key for me.  Despite any current shortcomings, Planetside 2 nails the cooperative, teamwork, and map control elements crucial to the model.  Nothing beats entering your team’s main base seeing 5 galaxies filling up with 12 passengers each, lifting off the ground with aerial escorts, and assaulting a base in an all out battle with hundreds of players.  There’s nothing else in the world that gives the same emotions.

  • So-so graphics and animations.  You’ll see in the screenshot to the right that the walls look muddy.  Terrain looks muddy and sometimes untextured.  My weapon looks okay, but at times the models look wonky as well.
  • Good performance, not great.  At times the game suffers from network lag issues, although I’m happy to report that when running on the proper video settings I do not experience slowdown.
  • Moderately aggressive cash shop.  There will be a reason to use it but that’s inherent to the cash shop model.

Planetside is a classic — a true pioneer and standard setting game.  Planetside 2 attempts to remake the original with some modernization.  I am proud of SoE for not attempting to reinvent or change something that works.  So far, well done.

  • I have had my key but haven’t used it. You have me wanting to install it now. I have been holding off for my GW2 addiction but maybe tonight I will give PS2 a try.

  • Keep in mind they are still optimizing the servers and changing a lot on a daily basis, so some days the current build plays great and on others you’re falling through the world.

    This is a true beta much like GW2 and not a ‘preview beta’. Graphics may yet improve. I have to play with everything turned down on my old pc because playing and FPS slide show is no fun with ‘twitch’ games.

  • Are the cash shop items required to keep on par with everyone else? Are they required to enjoy the game? Are they game breaking in any way?

  • @Steeldragoon: I don’t think they’re game breaker, and I don’t think they are required. I think that those who use them will have many more tools at their disposal, and have an advantage because, for example, they can gain a ton more experience. I don’t think it’s game breaking, though. A baddy with an awesome weapon can be smoked by a pro with the basic pistol.

  • Been in it for a while but just don’t have time to play it much. Lots of fun the few hours I have spent there, and probably would be even more fun if I had a) any clue what I was doing and b) any degree of ability whatsoever!

  • @Keen – Well it sounds like better weapons are only available with cash. To me, this makes it a game breaker. I’ve never been a pro at FPS games so I’m more likely to be the noob/baddy with a pistol which means my odds are screwed. 🙁

  • I do not have a key, but I am willing to try it.

    What I do want to know: It seems similar to tribes ascend.
    What is so different about it??

  • You can buy new vehicles with station cash OR with in game currency you get for capturing bases, killing etc.. The only weapon in the shop right now available though is a better rocket launcher for the heavy and it’s like 7500 in game currency and the SC amount is currently

  • Infantry * sorry on my phone lol. So guns can be bought with SC or in game currency.. Obv it would be easier with SC.. But soe has said that their would only be a 20% diff in power between a brand new player a fully certed best gearred character on multiple occasions.

  • @Bartillo – What is your estimated time for a player to make up the 7500 needed for a weapon? Also, lets say I suck so bad, I never kill a person. Can 7500 be earned? Can the game be fun for a sucky person? Or does one need experience and skill with FPS games to enjoy this one?

    Why would I bother asking if I generally suck at FPS games? Because I love WvWvW … RvR .. etc. Perhaps I can enjoy it even if I suck. But I won’t enjoy it if I really need a good kill percentage to get a weapon just because I refuse to spend cash on the game (or if it takes me two months to do so). After all, that 20% can make a huge difference in 1v1 battles especially if you are of already poor skill level…

  • @Steeldragoon Not sure but I played for prob 2 hours or so yesterday and had like 600 in game currency by the end of it. Not sure how it was obtained exactly though or what gives more etc..

    Also this game isnt about 1v1 battles I can tell you that.. Its mostly about hundreds of players fighting over bases / territory.

  • Man videogames are just getting the best of me tonight. Just dropped a cool $500+ to finish off my nvidia 3d vision 2 setup then saw this post and jumped on board with another $40 lol. I’ll def be playing with you guys when this launches.

  • @Steeldragoon The resouce you use to buy new weapons is called auraxium. All bases that you capture grant one of 4 resources ( for more info.) The 3 that aren’t Auraxium are used to buy vehicals and powerful equipment like spawn beacons and grenades, so as to put a cost on spamming. The 3 resources that aren’t Auraxium cap at 750, Auraxium has no cap, or a cap so large as to be not much of an issue. Some of the bases in the game that you capture grant auraxium as a resource.

    So the only situation where you wouldn’t be able to earn the auraxium is if faction balance is so borked on the server you play that your faction can’t hold any bases at all. There is a mechanic that if you play on the underdog faction, you gain a boost to your resource generation, but wouldn’t be super useful if your faction can make zero headway. Currently, you can easily make a new character on any server that isn’t full, so this really shouldn’t be a super limiting factor.

    You also gain certificate points (read as experience points, although it’s more like talent point in an MMO as you slot them for character upgrades as you see fit) over time. I have over 400 last time i checked on the first character I made. When I last logged on I had over 50. Obviously you’ll get them quicker if you play the game.

    Actually achieving kills and helping capture bases gives you battle rank. There may be certain things limited by battle rank like orbital strikes and what not, I’m positive on that.

  • “When I last logged on I had over 50.” What I meant by that was when I last actually played the character for real. I ended up switiching servers early on.

  • Ugh. “There may be certain things limited by battle rank like orbital strikes and what not, I’m positive on that.”

    That was a typing mistake. I meant to say I am NOT postive on that. I would assume there is since it was like that in the first Planetside. Sorry about the multi-posts.

  • I loved PS and played it a huge amount, but the PS2 beta is just not doing it for me.

    My biggest problem is the animation of the people – it’s not just aethetically poor, the animations don’t match up to movement speed so people seem to slide about and sometimes they flicker. Could be beta bugs.

    Vehicles are far more impressive and the landscapes are at times quite stunning.

  • Just got the dumb fire missiles on my Scythe (Vanu VTOL fighter). I’ve spent every drawn out hour at work thinking about just how many people I’m going to pelt with plasmy hell fire when I get home.

  • cant play ps2 for a while due to building a website here are some keys i have access to, use before they go

    regards duane bonas