Video critique: the launch of PlanetSide 2

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After PlanetSide 2 launched, Evan and Tyler took to our foam-walled microphone palace to discuss the early days of the massive three-faction war: the battles, the guns, the certification grind, and the amazing things that happen when you pit 2000 knife, gun, and rocket-wielding players against each other at a time. See and hear what we love, and what we want from PlanetSide 2 after the break.

Planetside 2 will have urban maps and balanced ratio of indoor and outdoor environments

Chris Perry at

Forge Light, Planetside 2's built-from-scratch graphics engine looks like it'll be able to fill our online shooting frenzy with some serious visual candy. But the change in rendering power will also mean a change in gameplay. SOE wants to use the new graphics engine to build PS2's battlefields with a much better balance of indoor and outdoor environments, according to president John Smedley. He'd like to see the maps have a 50/50 ratio, or maybe even 60/40, in favor of indoor environments.

Planetside 2 was originally going to be a free-to-play graphical update to Planetside

Josh Augustine at

SOE president John Smedley revealed at the Planetside 2 community panel at Fan Faire, being held this weekend in Las Vegas, that the game announced as Planetside 2 this weekend started off as just a graphical update and a shift to a free-to-play business model for the original game.

However, once the team started working on the project, Smedley revealed, they got so excited about its potential that they decided to scrap their plans and make a full-fledged sequel instead. That's why the original teasers for "Planetside Next" talked about release dates that have long since passed at this point--they were originall talking about a simple graphics revamp.

Once the decision was made, SOE started to work on building a new graphics engine entirely from scratch in-house to support it, and the modest graphics and business model upgrade became the impressive Planetside 2 we're currently drooling over.

SOE will release a three-year development plan for Planetside 2 before launch

Josh Augustine at

Three years from now, I could be a bum dancing for spare pork chops on the side of a windswept road in South Dakota. Hopefully that's unlikely, but 1095 days is a long period of time and anything could happen. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't plan for the future.

That's (roughly) SOE's reasoning for creating a massive three-year plan for Planetside 2's development, which they're going to share with gamers before PS2's launch to give them the big-picture perspective.

Planetside 2 announced (officially) at SOE's Fan Faire kickoff event

Josh Augustine at

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The large convention hall is bouncing with dance-club music as roughly two thousand gamers find a place to sit at the launch event Las Vegas for SOE's latest Fan Faire. I'm waiting for John Smedley, SOE's president to walk on stage to tell us about PlanetSide 2. But instead, a lady in a full horns-and-hide-and-dog-hair-bear dwarf costume marches on stage laughing about drinking and pool parties in a thick Scottish accent.

It's a tough act to follow, but John Smedley knows there's a sure-fire way to one-up a dwarf: lasers, futuristic jet fighters, and explosions. In other words, the official announcement trailer of PlanetSide 2.