Planetside is the new massive multiplayer online first person shooter game from Sony entertainment. It incorporates thousands of players fighting it out on gigantic maps trying to take over as many bases as possible.

The game is set in the future on a world cut off from the rest of man kind from the collapse of a wormhole. Over time 3 factions formed the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate and the Vanu Sovereignty, each race with its own specific vehicles and weapons.

As you progress through the game you get experience points which lead to certifications, with these certifications you can learn various skills from hacking to sniping to flying to combat. These skills help to make your character more individual and specialized.

You play the game over a enormous map of over 100 square kilometers, which is split up into smaller islands with a number of bases on. One of the best ways to get experience points is to take over a base by hacking its central computer. When playing you normally join a squad which can be up to 10 players of the same team, the advantages of being in a squad are that you get each others experience points when they are earned and you can keep better track of people on the map.

Playing Planetside is unlike any other first person shooter or multiplayer game, it has similarities to Half Life in that is it a first person shooter but it also has similarities to older games such as delta force with its larger maps.

While combat plays a large part of Planetside it is not the only side of the game, you can quite happily play the game without even shooting a weapon by learning to fly drop ships or hacking which is why Planetside is a very broad game. The game makes it very easy to learn new skills and forget old ones when you get fed up. The other day my squad didn't have any means of transport to the battle zone so I learn't how to fly a Galaxy dropship and soon enough my squad were fighting away.

Planetside does however still suffer from a few bugs, one the other day wouldn't let me do one of the training mission and I have had the game crash on me twice since I have had it which can be very annoying when in the middle of a battle. Not all the bugs are annoying, earlier today I managed to flip my ANT vehicle and it landed so it looked like it was hovering, I got some very funny screenshots of my squad hailing me while upside down.

The graphics are another bonus, they might not run on lower spec machines but they are lovely on my Pentium 4. The effects are nice such as the weather and light levels, trying to fight a battle in the rain can be especially hard giving yet another aspect to the game.

The single thing that makes Planetside for me is that you are playing against real people and not bots, it makes the whole team effort a lot more fun when you are chatting through the game or on voice chat to other people around you trying to coordinate attacking or defensive maneuvers. However with multiplayer games there does come in the increased costs and at about ?7 ($12(US)) a month a lot of people may be put off but in my view its a lot more satisfying to play.

So do I think its a gaming revolution? Well no I don't think it is but it will certainly change the way people think about first person shooters. A lot of people will be put off by the subscription charge like they have with other massive multiplayer games but its what is needed to support the expensive server setups. I do think that Planetside will be very popular and I doubt there will be any direct competition giving the costs of setting up a online game such as Planetside.

All in all Planetside is a great game that you will spend hours playing, if you love playing CS or TFC then you will most likely love Planetside as it varies the game so much more making it more fun.


Reviewers PC Spec:

Pentium 4 ? 2 gig
1024 DDR
120gig Hard drive
GForce 4 MX 420.