SOE are positioning Planetside 2 into a compelling space. It already holds the crown for largest FPS carnage, with thousands of players regulalarly jumping into the game’s ongoing factional war but with the upcoming battle islands it’s bringing the game into close competition with the likes of Battlefield 3.
The arenas allow for 48 v 48 battles between two outfits. It’s a step towards the game’s eSports aspirations.
Compared to vanilla Planetside 2 you could almost call this close quarters combat but clearly SOE are aiming for something slightly different to Call of Duty and Battlefield. While there are interiors, the constructions look vast, large enough for dropships to perform bombing runs over them. The map on show, Nexus, has facilities large enough to fill canyons. With levels that size battles shouldn’t resort to the twitch gaming of the Call of Duty games. And, with the squad tools built into Planetside already, it should foster tighter team cohesion than that seen in Battlefield 3.
Still the battle islands will be quite different from the rest of Auraxis. While all the same vehicles, weapons, and skills will be on show on these small islands, it will be single outfit versus outfit combat. They will become a space for competition play, somewhere for grudges to form and be resolved. If SOE pull this off then they could become a core element to the game.
We still don’t have a release date for Nexus and the other battle islands, we only know that they are on the way.