These past years, first person shooters seem to be the reigning genre, selling millions of units. It's an easy enough formula to enjoy, but it's one that hasn't changed much over the years.
Little nuggets of innovation occur now and then, but even flagship franchises such as Call of Duty and Battlefield change little over the years, only adding new customization options, a new game mode and more weapons. Nothing is truly ground-breaking or innovative. Why fiddle with a popular formula after all?
As a gamer I don't want to play the same thing over and over again, the only difference being the graphics and skins. I want the games I play, like everything else in our society, to evolve. Eventually, I found the next true incarnation of the FPS genre.
I'm talking about Planetside 2.
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(price as of Jul 23, 2013)
Characters Progress through the Certification System
Planetside 2’s characters progress through the certification system, which can be earned in two different ways, over time (online or offline) and through experience. XP on the other hand can be acquired through a number of ways, everything from killing the enemy to merely supplying your team with ammo; think battlefield, where teamwork is encouraged.
Once certifications are earned, there's a wide array of purchasable customization options. Some quick examples are, an extra land mine, added health, weapons and their add-ons and the vehicle equivalents. While there is no limit to the number of certifications a player may earn, the downside is that prices on some upgrades are expensive and the required certs could take days to acquire.
Class System with Weapon Options
Like most FPS games out there Planetside has a class system, each with its own unique abilities and weapon options. Sadly, we've finally found something to hate about the game. The expensive or hard earned weapons feel the same as the initial armaments. Their fire and recoil is almost identical to the other versions of the gun. The only noticeable differences I've noticed are that some weapons have additional attachments or firing modes.
Though to be fair, before buying anything, the option to try them out before hand is always available.
If You can Ride it, You can Customize it
There are a number of vehicles to choose from. They use up resources when spawned and also have a cool down. The cool thing about Planetside is that if you can ride it, you can customize it. Being an ace flyer with all the bells and whistles will require a number of certification points, but that's the beauty of it - we get to choose. We get to balance our points; do we get that anti-personnel rocket or that speed upgrade?
Of course each vehicle has its own designated role. For instance, one particular transport can be deployed and will serve as a mobile spawning ground. Another air transport can be used to paradrop troops. My personal favorite is the gunship, flying around in circles as my crew provides fire support. It's fun until I get an enemy fighter on my tail.
Free to Play - Try it
If you're a fan of the FPS genre, you have to try this game. There's little to nothing to stop anyone from playing, since it's free. SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) has a good business plan. Players are unable to buy certification points, but they are able to buy weapons (which are almost the same as default), XP boosters and aesthetic skins.
In short, it is a far cry from the pay to win games that have infested the world.
Planetside 2 has yet to be out for an entire year, but I must say that if the developers continue to bring new and interesting content, then it has a promising future. History has shown us that the more time a game has to develop the more fun it becomes.