Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced the launch of PlanetSide 2 on Thursday, the studio's follow-up to the popular massively multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS) released for Windows PC way back in 2003 (time flies like bullets).
Now available in North America and Europe, the new installment combines all the "groundbreaking" traits of the original with new features that current fans of FPS and MMO games have come to expect. Players are now invited to enlist in one of three Empires – Terran Republic, New Conglomerate or Vanu Sovereignty – to fight in an epic war for control of the planet Auraxis.
According to SOE, players can opt to serve as one of six classes and fight for control of key territories and valuable resources on three playable continents – Indar, Esamir and Amerish. As they gain experience on the field, their certifications will also increase, allowing them to take on new roles and perform extensive customization options. Players will also unlock a variety of weapons and vehicles.
"With an extensive skill tree and free-form class-based system, players will be able to customize their soldier, weapons and vehicles to match their play-style, as well as the needs of their squad, outfit or empire," SOE said. "Battles can last for days or weeks, so players will need to build alliances and specialized combat outfits to take on long-term strategic and tactical initiatives. With aircraft and ground vehicles, as well as infantry combat, the battles will be larger and more intense than ever before."
With PlanetSide 2, SOE has added a free-to-play tier for PC gamers who don't want to commit to a monthly subscription. The premium membership costs $14.99 USD per month (pricing includes 3, 6 and 12-month payments), but grants 25 to 50-percent increased resource gain, 25 to 50-percent increased XP gain, priority login, early access and more. Members receive even more passive experience points the longer they remain a member.
"We set out to create a massive, unprecedented game, and we succeeded. PlanetSide 2 will break records for its size and combat," said Matt Higby, Creative Director of PlanetSide 2 at Sony Online Entertainment. "Now, it's the players' turn to make history. The war stories of brutal combat, acts of valor, casualties and victories from beta testing have been epic. But, the slate is clean, and the game has launched. It's time to create legends."
For more information about the new PlanetSide sequel or to login and play, head here. The client can also obtained via Steam here, and SOE has even uploaded a set of Basic Training game tutorial videos here to get old and new fans up to speed with the sequel.