PlanetSide 2 - COMPETITON

Since launching in November last year, over 5 million people have been battling it out on PlanetSide 2’s distant alien planet of Auraxis. First discovered and colonised in 2643 by the heavily militaristic Unified Earth governing body The Terran Republic; Auraxis has now become a persistent war zone following the collapse of the wormhole through which the original Terran expedition party travelled, cutting off all communications with Earth.

Planetside 2 Lab

Tensions about the collapse fractured the Republic into three forces, all with opposing views about what some deem to be a strict, overly oppressive and tyrannical government. The Terran Republic see the new forces as rebels that would destroy their democratic way of life and form an oligarchy under their corporate masters whilst The New Conglomerate are a mega collective of civilian corporations who worked alongside the Terran Republic until they felt that the Republic's rules were too strict, and now fight for liberty and freedom as believe that any form of control is "oppression". Finally, a Transhumanist cult of academics, intellectuals and technology worshippers called The Vanu Sovereignty see their rivals as unenlightened about the benefits that harnessing alien technology their way would bring. They reject the oppressive Terran Republic rules about alien technology research and want wrestle control over human interrogation and alteration from the New Conglomerates, believing that human destiny lies in the further development of alien technology.

The continuous war between these three empires rages across the magnificent ice, desert, cities and wastelands of Auraxis’ three huge continents where not just dozens, but thousands of players face up to each other daily; be it on foot as ground troops, swarming the land alongside various types of armoured vehicles slugging it out, or whilst intense air battles bellow overhead between heavily armed aircraft. It’s a never-ending epic struggle for ultimate control and territory domination on a massive scale.

Planetside 2 Air

Choosing which class in which outfit in which of the three empires to sign up to is the first big decision any player has to make. Planetside 2 uses a class system for character progression and abilities and there are 6 classes available including Light Assault, Combat Medic, Engineer, Heavy Assault, the cool Infiltrator which is the only class with access to sniper rifles and cloaking technology, and finally our favourite, the MAX (Mechanised Assault Exo-Suit) class which despite reduced versatility, equips players with a booming big weapon on each arm for unrivalled firepower!

Planetside 2 Max

An important aspect of Planetside 2 is that new players will be just as deadly when joining up alongside those who have clocked up more than 500 hours of gameplay. A player’s skills are planned to only make between 15-20% difference during confrontations and any weapon is able to damage another player. It eradicates any ‘noob’ connotation that might get attached to newcomers and means every soldier is valued. Dropping into the heat of battle might be bewildering and bloody on a first outing, but win or lose, on Auraxis, there is no such thing as going it alone. The more people feeding into, defending, attacking, supporting, and engaging within an outfit, the better the outfit, the more the rewards, and the stronger the community. It’s a major factor in why Planetside 2 continues to have such a fun appeal.

Also impressive is the lack of ‘Pay-To-Win’ options. In fact there are none as Planetside 2 is completely free to play. “What we do have is ‘Pay-To-Bling!” Creative Director Matt Higby told us when we caught up with him recently to chat about the future of the game. “Any payment in game only ever goes on cosmetics so different outfits can customise their game with new weapon skins and looks.” There are sometimes “Alerts” which are timed objectives and offer huge rewards whilst anything that can be upgraded or unlocked in game can be without ever handing over a penny.

Planetside 2 Jump

“Another great thing is there are no ‘You Win’ messages going to pop up after a battle” explains Higby. “It’s a persistent game. After a battle, the base might become yours and you’ll get the resources it gives but you must keep defending or capturing. Battles of control are taking place all the time and players can join in any time. Some battles have been seen to last for hours and even days, as two teams strategically chip away at each other. Bigger, more organised outfits head for power plants and ammo depots to try and create long-lasting effects that will influence future encounters yet the thing that really drives the game is the spirit of the outfits, and sharing the war stories, both the good and the bad.”

With the iOS or Android app, players can also see in real-time if one of their bases is being captured. Outfit leaders can let people know what’s happening by directly calling their outfit from their phone and rallying them to action!

The fact that every player counts and can become important contributes to the ever-growing, clan-building community. Higby observes “Team players make the game. Rivalries and camaraderie create great characters. We see that different cultures emerge in different outfits. Some are very militaristic and serious, constantly sharpening their tactics, teamwork and communication whilst other outfits are simply drunken vehicle racers playing together for fun!”

Planetside 2 Tanks

Matt is genuinely passionate as we chat. With design credits including EverQuest 2, Star Wars: Galaxies and Free Realms to his name, he’s certainly familiar with epic sci-fi titles. “There’s a big Starship Troopers influence to the game and we want to keep giving to our players these big experiences, but we also want to keep it looking great. We’re really proud of our latest level Hossin. It took 6 months to work on the dense, overgrown jungle as we wanted to make sure it feels just as great to play, no matter what the scale of players.”

Since its release, there have been 14 updates to this free-to-play game and Matt told us the plan is to keep running the game at least 10 years into the future. “An average play session at the moment is around 57 minutes. Some players have logged over 500 hours yet they still haven’t quite managed to see everything the game has to offer or unlock everything!”

Planetside 2 Fight

With plans to also launch the game on the PS4, it’s a great time to join in the PlanetSide 2 action.

Thanks to Matt, he has signed two limited edition PlanetSide 2 aluminium gaming mousemats to help get you started.

The aircraft-grade aluminium mat is tamped flatter and smoother for an unhindered glide. With a high-resolution performance surface to provide precise cursor control and some awesome artwork, they come with a 10 year warranty which should keep you battling on Auraxis for years to come!

Each winner will also receive an Exclusive Bonus Content disc with over 40 Euros worth of in-game items including 3 golden SMGs, in-game cash and XP boosts to share with friends.

To enter, simply hit the big red button below! Good luck.

This competiton has ended

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