E3 2012: Planetside 2 (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
With all the FPS games on display at E3, it will be hard to justify gaming dollars to a lot of the games that are quite similar to each other. Sony Online Entertainment looks to have learned from the Free to Play business model and is applying it to a number of their games, including Planetside 2 which had a rather large presence at their booth, and with good reason, it was actually a pretty fun experience. My short time with the game showed that the development team is determined to bring a quality experience to FPS gamers.

Planetside 2 features three factions from players to choose from, the Terran Republic fixates on being a speedy force that is proficient in getting in quick to do as much damage as possible and is built for mobility. The New Conglomerate is all about brute force, choosing to specialize in heavy damage dealing builds. Lastly is the Vanu Sovereignty, which is all about building the latest and greatest tech. Each faction has the same loadouts available, which means some will be more specialized than others when it comes time to play, depending on the faction chosen. 

There are six different loadouts players can use, the Infiltrator class offers players the ability to perform recon and offers a cloaking ability. The Light Assault class is built for movement and has a jetpack for increased mobility. The Heavy Assault class is all about being armored in the middle of a firefight. The Engineer gives players the ability to run support and defense. Combat Medic is fairly self-explanatory, and lastly is the Max class, which lets players step inside an armored suit and wreck havok amongst units. There are also plenty of vehicles that players can drive around in that will offer different ranges of firepower and mobility. All units and vehicles can be customized to a players preference as well, offering up special colors and patterns.

The demo had a large collection of players trying to take security consoles in a place called Zurvan, that will offer up large arenas that players can get in to at any time. Players can also track their level progression in game or through an app available later for iOS and Android devices.

Planetside 2 looks to be a bit different from the typical Free to Play game, offering up mostly cosmetic changes that don't affect gameplay. Gamers interested can apply for the beta going on now at http://www.planetside2.com and those interested in seeing how the game looks can check out the screenshots below.

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