PlanetSide 2

An imposing but brilliant free-to-play gem that everyone should try, even if only a few will make peace with its off-putting nature.

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PlanetSide 2 review

RecommendedPlanetSide 2 review

The few. The proud.

PlanetSide 2 may well be the greatest war game ever. Not because it has slick mechanics, memorable technology or even innovative ideas, but because it understands and portrays war in a way that few other games have managed.

A free to play first-person shooter, set on an open and persistent online sandbox world, it plunges you into an ongoing conflict between three rival factions in a way that truly makes you understand what it means to be a single soldier in a vast war. This is the first-person shooter as a sausage machine, and you're the meat.

As detailed in last week's first impressions piece, PlanetSide 2 is also a game that makes very little effort to explain itself to new players. It is very different to most shooters in important ways, but it's up to you to work these differences out for yourself through brutal, punishing experience. It's a failure of game design that becomes, in a weird way, the game's stroke of genius. You feel the confusion and terror of a raw recruit, frozen by the sheer scale of the war around you, in a way that simply wouldn't happen if the game gave you a hand-holding tutorial and eased you in.

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PlanetSide 2 gets a June release date on PS4

PlanetSide 2 gets a June release date on PS4

Destiny competitor to share a platform.

Popular free-to-play sci-fi FPS PlanetSide 2 is coming to PS4 on 23rd June.

It won't even require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play with other folks.

As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, this console port will feature a the new map Koittyr.

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Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with PlanetSide 2 on PS4

From the archive: Daybreak Game Company's MMO shooter makes its console debut.

We originally published this article on the PlayStation 4 PlanetSide 2 beta on April 26th, and were all set to produce a new piece for the game's launch. However, once the EU servers came online, we found that our thoughts on the game - along with its overall performance profile - remain largely unchanged. That being the case, we're re-publishing our original piece for those that may have missed it originally.

PlanetSide 2 PS4 closed beta starts next week

The PlayStation 4 version of massively multiplayer first-person shooter PlanetSide 2 goes into closed beta on Wednesday, 25th March, its developer announced on the PlayStation blog.

To register your interest, head over to the PlanetSide 2 website and pop your name down. If selected, you'll get a beta voucher you can redeem on the PlayStation Store.

Sony sold PlanetSide developer Sony Online Entertainment to an investment management firm in February. The newly-independent developer was renamed Daybreak and set free to make games for non-PC and PlayStation platforms. It later suffered a round of layoffs.

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With just a minute left on the clock, the battle for Hossin is a dead-heat. The jungle-continent is split almost straight down the middle, between shades of red and blue. The heavyweight New Conglomerate faction are just a single point ahead of their lighter, more agile Terran Republic opponents, who are throwing everything they've got right across the NC's front-line. A single captured base would swing it for the Terrans, who dominated the battlefield for almost an hour-and-a-half.

PS4 PlanetSide 2 closed US beta this month

PS4 PlanetSide 2 closed US beta this month

Europe "slightly delayed".

The triumphant PC online shooter PlanetSide 2 is nearly here on PS4 - it enters closed beta in the US later this month, 20th January.

As for Europe: "We are working on our [Sony Computer Entertainment Europe] beta submission," wrote PS2 exec producer Clint Worley on the US PlayStation blog. "It will be slightly delayed but it is on its way. Once we have a confirmed date we will let our SCEE players know. I would still recommend signing up for the beta via our webpage just to be sure."

This is the sci-fi game of huge perpetual war in an open world, where hundreds of players - up to a server cap of 2000 - do battle, on foot or in vehicles of all varieties. "This is easily one of the most ambitious online games ever," we wrote in our PlanetSide 2 PC review.

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Two years ago Sony Online Entertainment launched massively multiplayer online first-person shooter PlanetSide 2 on PC - and it's still going strong. It's a game where hundreds of players work together to complete objectives on huge battlefields. Soldiers jump around firing assault rifles as others pilot futuristic helicopters overhead. For PlanetSide 2's battles, big is definitely better. Eurogamer recently tried to work out just how big.

PlanetSide 2 PS4 beta planned for 2014

PlanetSide 2 PS4 beta planned for 2014

SOE shooting for 1080p60.

Sony Online Entertainment has been quiet on the PlayStation 4 version of massively multiplayer first-person shooter PlanetSide 2 for some time. But it's still on track for 2014 - in beta form at least.

Creative director Matt Higby told Eurogamer a beta will launch on PS4 by the end of the year. More information is expected to be announced during December's PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas. The PC version of PlanetSide 2 turns two-years-old later this month.

The PS4 version, announced in June 2013, has taken time to develop because the designers want PlanetSide 2 on PS4 to feel like a "full-on console experience" and not just a port of the PC original, Higby said.

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PlanetSide 2 is a game of moments. It's a titanic, perpetual sci-fi war that sees thousands of players battling it out over the four continents of the planet Auraxis, its spectacle driven entirely by player action. It's where you can witness dozens of tanks roll out into an icy valley on the frozen continent of Esamir, or watch laser fire from a hundred players light up the night on an Indarian plain.

PlanetSide 2 Hossin update finally released

PlanetSide 2 Hossin update finally released

Two years in the making - but it's not finished yet.

The Hossin update for online first-person shooter PlanetSide 2 has finally been released.

Hossin, two years in the making, was released overnight as part of the game's latest update.

However, despite it being live in the game now, Hossin is incomplete.

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Time to move for EU players of SOE games

PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online and EverQuest 2 accounts affected.

European players of massively multiplayer online games PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online and EverQuest 2 will have to transfer their accounts to Sony Online Entertainment in the near future.

PlanetSide 2 patch shoots for 30% frame-rate improvement

PlanetSide 2 patch shoots for 30% frame-rate improvement

Phase One of OMFG enters the fray.

Sony Online Entertainment has issued a patch for massively multiplayer online shooter PlanetSide 2 that aims to optimise performance.

Optimised by the patch are the user interface, physics, sound, player processing, rendering code and other technical gubbins. The patch notes in full are over on the PlanetSide 2 website.

SOE said the patch should result in a "significant" increase in frame-rate and performance, and that many players will see a 30 per cent improvement in frame-rate.

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PlanetSide 2 review

PlanetSide 2 review

Auraxis to grind.

War in PlanetSide 2 isn't hell, though your first experience of it probably will be. You create your character and pick a faction. Then you're unceremoniously dropped - literally, from space - right into the biggest battle the game can find, surrounded by enemies and tanks and anything else that happens to be around, with a life expectancy measured in milliseconds.

Somehow beat the odds and things don't get better. You stagger from death to death in a haze of confusion and unexplained icons, not as some elite soldier of legend, but simply one more fleck of gristle in a planet-sized meat grinder that never, ever stops churning. At some point, you will be run over by a tank. Probably driven by someone on your team.

It's nothing personal, of course. PlanetSide 2 is far too busy for that. In most shooters, 16 players counts as a party. More advanced ones might push the limit to 32, or 64. In Sony Online Entertainment's free-to-play massively multiplayer game, you're dealing with 2000 players per continent - thankfully not all on screen at once - locked in a three-way tug of war that doesn't simply take cues from the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, but has a good go at stealing their thunder.

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Planetside 2 release date announced

Planetside 2 release date announced

Third continent unlocked on launch day.

Planetside 2 launches on 20th November 2012, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.

The sci-fi MMO FPS launches on that date free to play for all, and brings to an end the closed beta and character wipes players have become accustomed to.

Meanwhile, SOE revealed that the game will launch with all three planned continents in place. Two are available in the closed beta: Indar and Esamir. On release a new, third continent, will be unlocked. Amerish is described as dark and swamp-infested - check out a video of it below. Other continents will be released after launch.

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Planetside 2 beta begins Monday night

Planetside 2 beta begins Monday night

I feel like I've heard this before...

MMO shooter Planetside 2 is opening up its doors to those with beta keys this Mon, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.

SEO president John Smedley tweeted, "Looking like it's going to be Monday at 2pm for the start of Beta. Still a lot of work to do tomorrow and this weekend but looking good."

He later clarified that he was referring to PST, so that's 10 p.m. BST.

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Sony shows off fancy new PlanetSide 2 CGI trailer as beta nears

Sony Online Entertainment has released a shiny new CGI trailer for MMOFPS PlanetSide 2.

It follows the journey of a soldier who battles on Auraxis to fulfil his mission. He's got some skills, that bloke.

SOE is after beta registrants for the game. The first invited will be PlanetSide 1 players who are encouraged to update their Station Account with their most recent email address. SOE boss John Smedley took to Twitter to explain further.

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PlanetSide 2 Preview: Tomorrow's Shooter, Today

FeaturePlanetSide 2 Preview: Tomorrow's Shooter, Today

Talking apps, technology and longevity.

It's Sunday evening when you get the call. You're putting out the bins, ready for rubbish collection, when your iPhone gives an urgent beep. It's the PlanetSide 2 app, telling you that one of your bases is under attack, that Vanu tanks are within firing range, that your squad has swung into action. A few taps of the screen tells you which squadmates are already en route. A friend messages you, urging you to join them because, hell, you're the most qualified Prowler pilot they've got. You rush to the PC, and you fire up the game.

The squad leader's already barking out orders through voice over IP. That's funny, you say, you thought she was on holiday. She tells you she is; she tells you she's issuing orders from her hotel room, tablet in hand. She tells you things won't be quite so funny when the Vanu capture those vital resources and turn them against you. She's squinting at a battle map that fills the tablet's screen, trying to anticipate the enemy's attack, and she has instructions for your deployment.

You do a quick background check on the incoming forces, because you swear those custom decals are familiar. Yeah, that's right, you tangled with this unit back at that research facility, about a week ago. It didn't go well, but since then you've unlocked a few more certifications on the Prowler, a few more surprises to stuff up your sleeve. The tank's engine roars into life and the moment your gunner climbs in, they've auto-joined you on voice chat. "What's our orders, boss?" he asks, and for just a moment you stare out the window at your neglected bins. "It's time," you tell him, "To take out the trash."

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Planetside 2 Preview: The Classic Online Shooter Returns

The joy of the massively multiplayer sci-fi shooter Planetside was the war stories. In another life my name was Commander Batsphinx, and I fought for the New Conglomerate. Sometimes when I find myself drinking with old comrades we reminisce - telling tales of war that the younger generation don't seem to understand. The time we defended that vital bridge with hundreds of our brave boys against those bastard Vanu. The time we defended a fort when outnumbered by Reavers and won the day. That time we camped that spawn tube again and again and again.

The perpetual war of Planetside 2 is being built to recreate this heady experience, and on the basis of what Sony Online Entertainment showed yesterday at GDC in San Francisco, it looks set to kindle war stories that will bore grandchildren the world over.

"We've identified a lot of things as 'Planetside moments' that we're trying to encourage." explains Creative Director Matt Higby. "It's always the large-scale co-operative things: a dozen Galaxies flying full of troops and all dropping off in a co-ordinated way, or five Reavers flying over a hill in formation. A lot of games replicate that through a cut-scene. I mean, Modern Warfare 3 from a cinematic standpoint was incredible, you'd see airplanes flying overhead, submarines surfacing and buildings collapsing. You felt part of this enormous fight. Thing is, in Planetside 2 all that stuff is actually player-controlled."

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Interesting Sequels of 2012

Tom's already offered you a rundown of this year's Actual New Games - the ones that are offering, in their own ways, something unique - and now here's the slightly less glamorous look at the other side of the coin.

They're big business, these blockbuster sequels, and for all that we lament the lack of innovation it's these big-budget series that inevitably garner the most attention and inspire the most devotion from the majority. That's nothing to be scorned - iteration's an important thing in games development and indeed the development of games - and a composite of evolved features designed to fulfil a particular desire, be that the needs of a sports fan or those wanting a fresh shooter fix, can be just as important to the progression of the medium as the advent of a new game mechanic or control concept.

Sequels take many forms and capture our attention for many reasons. Some build their features up year by year, like FIFA and Call of Duty, and will continue to be brilliant when we encounter them later in 2012. Others build on the storytelling or world-building of games a few years past, like Gearbox's brilliant-looking Borderlands 2 or the sure-to-be-spectacular finale to the Shepard's tale in Mass Effect 3. And some are interesting because of their circumstances - Halo 4, for example, is another big-budget sequel on the near horizon, and with a new and as-yet unproven developer filling Bungie's big boots, we're just interested in that out of morbid curiosity as devotion to the series.

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Sony accepting PlanetSide 2 beta applications

Sony accepting PlanetSide 2 beta applications

"Next year is going to be HUGE for Planetside 2."

Sony is accepting applications for the PlanetSide 2 beta.

You need a SOE Station account to put your name down at the revamped PlanetSide 2 website.

"Next year is going to be HUGE for Planetside 2," creative director Matthew Higby said. "We have a lot of seriously exciting stuff planned and hope you'll join us for the ride."

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SOE unveils PlanetSide 2

SOE unveils PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide Next evolves.

Sony Online entertainment has unveiled PlanetSide 2, once known as PlanetSide Next.

The massively multiplayer first-person shooter sequel was announced during SOE's Fan Faire, which kicked off last night in Las Vegas.

In its description of the game SOE mentions an online persistent world, diverse combat roles and deep skill trees. Several classic roles from PlanetSide return.

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Sony: Expect PlanetSide Next  Q1/Q2

Plus: The Agency, Free Realms PS3 launches.

Sony Online Entertainment has offered Eurogamer updates on the launches of three new MMOs: The Agency, Free Realms on PS3 and PlanetSide Next, a working title.

Imminent PlanetSide 2 reveal hinted

Is Sony's MMOFPS sequel finally ready?

Sony is preparing to take the wrapper off a PlanetSide sequel, comments from Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley suggest.

SOE president outs "PlanetSide Next"

"REALLY MASSIVE," shouts Smedley.

Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley has written a blog about "What PlanetSide Next means to me", revealing the first scraps of information and possible title for the game.