Planetside 2 is a completely free FPS that throws you into the middle of massive open-world battles between 3 factions who are all fighting for control of the planet Auraxis. During the course of your battles, you and your teammates will be capturing strategic points and important production buildings across 4 completely different continents.
Taking part in small-scale raids on less defended territories and being in the thick of a massive 150 person battle consisting of armor, air and infantry are all staples of Planetside 2.
Planetside 2’s gameplay is based around capturing and defending points while you make your way through enemy territory to expand your own. There are 6 classes with unique skills that can be easily customized with new weapons, gadgets, camouflage and helmets (which do nothing but look cool) to suit your play style. In my opinion the classes are similar to what you would find in a Battlefield game, they are: Light Assault, Infiltrator, Engineer, Medic, Heavy Assault, and finally the MAX (Mobile Assault Exo-Suit).
There is also cash store in PS2 where you can purchase new weapons, attachments and anything else, but I don’t feel that this makes it a P2W because everything can be acquired without spending a dime.
Like I said before, there are 3 factions who are constantly fighting for control of Auraxis, each has their own different style, weapons and reason for wanting control of the planet. The Terran Republic is the oppressive and dictatorial regime who holds law & order above all else, constantly flexing their military might. The New Conglomerate is comprised of dissidents who are led by outcasts, pirates, former military leaders and industry titans, they really don’t like the TR. The Vanu Sovereignty is essentially a sect of religious extremists who hate everyone equally and follow the teachings of this Vanu character, but they are super advanced and have really badass energy weapons and other alien technology.
The vehicle gameplay in PS2 is really decent and there is a variety of both ground and air vehicles available to each faction. Just like your character, your vehicles can be customized with different weapons, camo and utilities to aid you in battle. Flying is pretty hard to do with a kb+m, and you’re definitely going to want a joystick to enjoy it fully. There are some people out there who kick ass at kb+m piloting in PS2, but I am not one…
It would be safe to say that pretty much everything in Planetside 2 is controlled by the players, because without hundreds of people to take part in a giant battle over some crazy bio-dome in the middle of a desert, then you wouldn’t really have PS2. I’m not joking when I say hundreds of people either, some of the battles I’ve been in while playing PS2 probably consisted of somewhere between 200-250 people or more!
Wartime on Auraxis
The planet of Auraxis is broken into 4 different territories (Amerish, Esamir, Hossin and Indar), 2 of which are constantly being fought over, and 2 that are always “locked down” by a controlling faction, ultimately delivering massive bonuses that greatly increase your chances of success in other continents.
Locking down a continent happens when a faction either wins an alert (controlling the most land after a certain amount of time) or by capturing 94% of the cap points; with that said it’s usually an alert that pushes a continent into lockdown and it’s pretty rare to see a complete domination. Once a continent has been locked down, another one opens up and everyone has to redeploy.
Each continent has its own somewhat unique climate and they vary from the tropical rainforests of Amerish to the ice-fields of Esamir and the sand dunes of Indar. Hossin is alright also, but it’s pretty much a temperate climate which is what a lot of us live in, and there is nothing really “awe-inspiring” like there is on Hossin. Each of the continents have a ton of cap points spread throughout them, but after playing for a while you start to notice some of the same buildings here and there – which is to be expected in such a massive game.
If I had to pick my favorite continent to fight on, I would have to say it’s a toss-up between Indar and Hossin. I’ve always liked desert climates like Indar has, and I’ve also always been a fan of rain forests and that kind of thing like on Hossin, but Hossin is a bit more of an “alien” rain forest than what we have here on Earth.
There was also two more continents confirmed quite a while ago, but nothing new has been said about those in a while. I’m happy with just the 4 anyways, because adding two more continents would just make battles that much smaller as more people have to spread to other areas – and I love massive battles.
All-in-all, Planetside 2 is an amazing open-world FPS that puts you right into the middle of absolutely massive battles that you would not be able to experience in a game like COD or even Battlefield. The gameplay mechanics are decent, and the recent addition of a newbie tutorial continent has really helped the new players who jumped on the PS4 beta release a few months back.
The class system is really well-balanced and any class can be customized to your style of playing, the unlock system is also relatively balanced but keep in mind that there are a some aesthetic items and a couple of weapons which can only be purchased with real money – but Planetside 2 is in no way a pay to win game.
If you’re looking for a great shooter that happens to be free, Planetside 2 is definitely something to consider. If you’re a fan of the Battlefield series, then you are definitely going to like PS2 also. Something about the combination of armored, air and infantry combat on such a massive scale is satisfying to take part in, sometimes the battles get so big that you just have to find a mountain to just watch it all go down.