GamingBolt’s Oliver VanDervoort goes hands on with upcoming PS4 MMO.
Having heard about the Planetside 2 beta for a while now, I was very interested to see what kind of features and fun the closed beta of the PS4 version of the game had to offer. To some degree, it delivered exactly what I expected. That’s the bad part. The first thing I noticed when I booted up the game is that there doesn’t appear to be any real instructions as to how to do much of anything. Figuring out things like hitting L1 and R1 at the same time in order to launch a grenade isn’t all that intuitive.
Luckily, not every control was that difficult to figure out. I was able to figure out how to aim and shoot the gun and activate my jet pack without much problems. The jet pack was especially a nice touch in order to get over buildings or in order to get away from people who were firing at me quickly. Of course, I didn’t have to use it many times, because there really weren’t that many people on the servers whenever I logged into Planetside 2. The very first time I got into the game, it took me 15 minutes before I found anyone to go up against.
"When I finally did run into a team of my own faction, it was really fun to realize that I was running with a pack. Teaming up, when going up against another faction is as fun as the game hints at, especially considering that teammates can give you extra health so you can get up and keep fighting if you have been taken down."
Obviously, when you’re talking about a closed beta, there are going to be a limited number of people to square off against. Another possible reason the wide open spaces that weren’t filled by too many players is because this is supposed to be somewhat of an open world. The beta allows you to jump from one world to another whenever you’d like. Once the player is in these worlds, there are bases and machinery you are supposed to be able to capture. With this wide open world, and so few people actually on the servers, I was able to run around for quite a while all alone.
Eventually I apparently got on a server that actually allowed me to see another human being, or whatever faction they were supposed to be with. Planetside 2 seems to want to remind people of Destiny and that goes all the way to the factions I was able to choose from at the beginning of the game. The problem with this is that there wasn’t really a name for those factions. There are plenty of ways in which the different factions look different, but those ways don’t really hold up when you are actually in the midst of the battle. The inability to tell the difference between your friends and your enemies at a single glance is an even bigger problem thanks to a feature I’m sure the Planetside 2 developers thought was a great addition. You can get hurt by friendly fire, which means that even if you open fire on someone else you find in the game and they get hurt, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be opening fire on them.
This feature brings realism, but also brings quite a bit of annoyance for those who are brand new to the build. One has to wonder if the closed beta will find that people being able to shoot their friends, especially when there are more people on the servers is something that will eventually go away. At the very least, one of the things that the company should change would be just how easy it is to figure out who is an enemy when you run into someone coming around the corner.
When I finally did run into a team of my own faction, it was really fun to realize that I was running with a pack. Teaming up, when going up against another faction is as fun as the game hints at, especially considering that teammates can give you extra health so you can get up and keep fighting if you have been taken down. Of course, at least in the beta, the reason for your team up is less than obvious. There are a number of different bases I was apparently supposed to be capturing, one piece at a time, but there was very little indication or information as to why this is the case.
"PlanetSide 2 on the PS4 definitely has potential, but still, the closed beta leaves quite a bit to be desired if for no other reason than there just isn’t enough action."
Exactly how to capture something also wasn’t incredibly clear. Sometimes this was simply because the text that was meant to show just how much something had been captured was so small it was hard to read. Other times, I thought I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do in order to actually get the building or the piece of machinery changed over to my side. The same can be said for having to fix something that had been damaged by the enemy. I did what the game was telling me to do, but I wasn’t getting the result I thought I would.
In the end, that could sum up my experience in Planetside 2 as a whole. The game doesn’t stand out from a rather crowded FPS field at first glance. There are some things that make the game something that would be worth playing when it finally comes out as a full game. Certainly having a massive world to play on, in fact a number of different open worlds make the game something that feels new and different longer than something like Destiny, which only has a few worlds. The different vehicles on Planetside 2, only a few of which I was able to figure out how to access and play with makes the game intriguing as well.
PlanetSide 2 on the PS4 definitely has potential, but still, the closed beta leaves quite a bit to be desired if for no other reason than there just isn’t enough action. Even when I hit the very helpful “instant action” button, I still found myself searching large amounts of terrain for someone to shoot. This makes it hard to get a good feel for what’s wrong and what exactly is right with the game.