Planetside 2 now live and free
Sony have given us the signal. Planetside 2 has now cleared the launch pad and is now shooting towards the sky like a rocket made of tank parts and badly-designed metaphors.
You can join up now by picking a side from the endearinlgly ugly crew on show: Terran Republic, New Conglomerate or Vanu Sovereignty. Most classes and items are open to you from the beginning of the game, but investment in particular disciplines is rewarded with Certifications, which can be used to unlock new passive bonuses and greater destructive potential.
The newly shined and polished sequel retains the heart of the original, with three-way battles over persistent landmasses featuring hundreds of participants and emphasising combined arms and synergy of tactics over brute force and individual skill. I’ve attached the impressively overblown trailer below, for your edification.
The team at Sony Online Entertainment are not shy of promising big things, either.
“We set out to create a massive, unprecedented game, and we succeeded. PlanetSide 2 will break records for its size and combat,” according to Creative Director Matt Higby. “Now, it’s the players’ turn to make history. The war stories of brutal combat, acts of valor, casualties and victories from beta testing have been epic. But, the slate is clean, and the game has launched. It’s time to create legends.”
I’ve had a bit of a poke around the beta phases of the game, and I can promise you I’ll be taking a closer look once the inevitable launch hiccups are smoothed over. For now, I can tell you that there are occassional moments when that magic combination of personal responsibility, group awareness and sheer human randomness combine to create something pretty special — like storming a Vanu bastion at the tip of an armoured spearhead, gunships blazing away overhead while artillery falls all around you.
One aspect that I haven’t played with yet is that all-important cash money store. SOE are promising “priority log-in queue access, early access to new cosmetic items and a monthly Station Cash bonus” to members who sign up to a monthly subscription, but its too early to say whether they can strike a balance between profitability and maintaining competitiveness for non-payers.
You can sign up and test it out for yourself at the Planetside 2 site.