Posts Tagged ‘PlanetSide’

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Why I’m excited for Huxley

October 9, 2009
SHOOOOT HER!!!!! SHOOOOT HER!!!

SHOOOOT HER!!!!! SHOOOOT HER!!!

So I’d post this over on Massively, but it would be met with so much Hux-hate that it would probably burn in flames the second it was released on the website.  People are really bitter over Huxley, and I’m guessing it’s coming from the fact that the title has gone from a boxed release to a free-to-play game on ijji.com.  Everyone wanted this big Xbox 360 release (which is pretty much dead in the water at this point, unless they release it as a downloadable title, which would be awesome) and everyone wanted this big game that would kill Planetside.

Well, after getting my hands on Huxley, let me be the first to say that this game probably won’t be killing Planetside.  But let me also say the following: Who the hell cares?

People really need to stop playing rock, paper, scissors with their damn video games.  I’m sick and tired about hearing the phrase “WoW-Killer” or “Halo-Killer” or “Hello Kitty Online-Killer.”  I really am.  Games need to stand on their own merits, and not those assigned to them by another game in the genre.  If they didn’t and every game attempted to one up a prior game using the same systems, then we’d have a bunch of games that were veritable clones of one another.  And if you think I’m making that up, take a look at the MMO genre right now and tell me you don’t see 20 different types of World of Warcraft clones out there.  It’s silly to the point of being ludicrous, and we just keep pushing the developers into these corners by not giving credit to games that break the mold in the right ways.

Ok… that was a rant… sorry about that, but let’s get back to Huxley.  I was in the closed beta test — I can say that because there’s a tag on my forum handle on ijji.com that says “Huxley Beta Tester.”  What I can’t say, however, is anything about Huxley‘s gameplay beyond the information that’s already known.  So I’m going to be a little limited here, but I think I can still give everyone a good perspective.

Huxley is a lot like Unreal Tournament.  I mean, A LOT like Unreal Tournament.  This game cooks.  Everyone’s heard about the freeform deathmatching that you can do at any time in the game, and that mode is pretty much UT3 with your tricked out character.  The only difference is that Huxley characters have unique abilities that you can choose and level up while you play.  For example, Phantoms (the snipers) have stealth.  You could be shooting at the Phantom at one minute, and then bam, she’s gone for long enough to get around behind you and school you.

Then you get into the battlegrounds, which are like Battlefield style matches.  They’re large, they’re full of people, and they give you vehicles.  I can’t say much more about this mode because it’s not really out there, but I can say that I like it.

Then, finally, the mode I really can’t talk about is the questing.  What I can say is that the game provides quests from the city that require you to go out into areas all over the map and perform objectives.  You can do it alone or you can do it in a team.  I can’t say more than “it’s exactly what it sounds like” but I really enjoyed this mode too.  I could see this as being fun for a group of friends who want to hone their skills by fighting side by side.  It’s a great difference from having to go out and get blown up by other people.  Cooperative shooting is always a good plan, especially when it plays like a dungeon crawl.

Oh, and the game has an auction house, and item purchases in-game, and crafting, and weapon/armor modifications.  It’s a full item system with a crafting system.  Take that, other online FPS games.

What’s the best part about this game?  It’s the part that people hate — it’s free.  It looks nice, it plays nice, it’s not too grindy (but there are elements of grind, trust me), but it’s free.  Just to give you an idea how much that blew me away, let me tell you a story.

I threw a Rock Band party one night and just as everyone was arriving I was playing Huxley.  My first friend came in, looked at my monitor, and went, “Dude, what game is this?  Looks nice.”  I told him it was Huxley, and it was in beta.  He never heard of it, but he was shocked to see a FPS that played like an MMO.  He sat down and watched me play for a bit before my next friend came in.  Once again, another person who had never heard of Huxley who was now interested just by watching me play.  He too sat down, and eventually I offered them a chance to try the game out.

Before long, two more people showed up, walked into my room, asked what was being played, and then they sat down as well.  I now had 5 people stuffed into my tiny room, all watching Huxley.  Finally, after doing a couple deathmatches and giving everyone the chance to try the game, someone asked me, “So 15 bucks a month, right?”

It was then when I went, “Nah, it’s free.”  Everyone was like, “Oh sweet!  Good deal!  I have to grab this from GameStop when it comes out!”  Another friend went, “Yeah, I’ll pre-order this.”  Then I laughed and got to say, “Nah, you guys don’t understand.  This game is free-free.  Like free-to-play item shop free.”

It was then when everyone turned to me and said the following, “WHY WOULD WE NOT PLAY THIS?  HOLY CRAP?  WE’RE ALL GETTING TOGETHER AND WE’RE GOING TO OWN THIS GAME.  CRAZY STATIC PARTY TIME!”

And that’s how I got a static party for Huxley with the game not even being out.  That’s why I’m excited for Huxley.  As for you, you should be excited because it’s a solid free game.  It looks nice, it plays nice, and it will certainly be worth your time.  Why?  Because it’s free and running on the Unreal 3 engine, that’s why.

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Ok, you have no excuse to NOT get PlanetSide

September 22, 2009
MMOs for 5 bucks! SWEET!

MMOs for 5 bucks! SWEET!

So this week is MMO week for Direct2Drive’s anniversary, and they’re offering a selection of games for five bucks.  Now, normally I wouldn’t devote a post to this, but one title kinda stuck out at me on the list (aside from Age of Conan, of course.  Speaking of which, you should buy that if you have 5 bucks.  It’s not an amazing MMO, but it’s damn well worth 5 bucks.  I’d make a mention about EVE being 5 bucks too, but you probably jumped on that like a rabid wolverine.)

You should spend the 5 dollars and pick up PlanetSide.  No, I’m not joking.

PlanetSide is one of the games that has been trucking along quietly in the background for years now.  Not too many websites cover it, there’s not that many updates anymore, and it kinda gets boring after months of gameplay, but if you ever want an amazing game to jump into quickly and enjoy from day 1, then you want PlanetSide.  No questions asked.

For those not in the know, PlanetSide is the first (and pretty much only) MMOFPS.  The game sports multiple continents that can hold 100 players from each of it’s three factions, meaning you get to have 300 person battlefields.  There’s ground vehicles, air vehicles, hot dropping (first game to introduce a orbital drop as part of the action), mechs, battle armor, hacking, command abilities and more.  The action of PlanetSide has the tendency to quickly escalate into feverish firefight fits of action, where you don’t even know who’s shooting you from where.  All you know is that the sky is full of lead, and if you stick your head up it will probably be blown off.

Some of my best stories come from PlanetSide, and I wasn’t even a high level character.  Leveling in PlanetSide (yes, killing people gets you experience) means nothing more than more certification points that you can spend on gun licenses and implant slots for specialized abilities.  There’s no money in the game, just need to be certified for a gun (or vehicle) to use it (or drive it.)

The graphics, even for being a couple years old, still hold up just because the game will drive your computer nuts during intense firefights.  If the graphics were any better, you wouldn’t be enjoying the 200 person sieges.  You’d be watching a slideshow that ends in your character’s painful death.  But, lucky for you, that’s not the case.  Plus, even the smaller skirmishes are something to write home about, because the battlefield is persistent.  Capturing bases gets your side special benefits for battles on that continent, and capturing a continent means that you get to warp to the next continent in the line.  Every week, the map resets to neutral, and it’s once again a furious land grab.

The point of PlanetSide is to just have fun.  It’s like Battlefield 2 meets Team Fortress 2 meets World of Warcraft, except no endgame.  No raids.  No grinding.  Just having fun from day one.  That’s why I recommend this game to you, my readers.

For five bucks, it’s a steal, and now you have no excuse to not get it.  The monthly fee… well… that’s a bit iffy, but if you really enjoy the game, you’ll find the 15 bucks a month is well spent.  Plus, you can always cancel if you don’t want it past the initial month.  But, for five bucks, you have to try it.  Seriously.