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'Planetside 2' feels right at home on PlayStation 4

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Planetside 2 is one of the most ambitious first-person shooters out there. Currently out on PC, this free-to-play massively multiplayer online game developed by Sony Online Entertainment holds over 1,000 players on a single server, as they join together and compete with other squads to gain control over territory and other resources. PlayStation 4 owners will soon be able to jump into the action when PS2 makes its console debut later this year.

Examiner went hands-on with the PS4 version of the game last week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The game is not much different than its counterpart, which is exactly what we were hoping for.

“What we’re showing here at E3 is our transition from PC to the PS4,” Luke Sigmund, lead game designer on Planetside 2 explained to Examiner. “With our main focus for the PS4 version being making the controls and the [user interface] feel native to the console, like the game was made for console.”

Right off the bat we could tell exactly what Sigmund was trying to tell us about the console-friendly UI. The screen wasn’t polluted with stuff to click on and it felt very much like we were playing a console game, unlike some MMOs -- say Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn for example -- that transition from PC to the console space and still feel like they were meant for the former. Of course, PS2 arguably had an advantage since it’s an FPS.

We chose our class, Light Assault, and jumped right in. The E3 demo was limited to only one base, which was about the size of a Call of Duty map. Sigmund informs us that there are hundreds of bases, hand crafted just like the one we were in, spread around three continents across the game’s massive world; an additional continent will be included by the time the game launches on PS4.

It didn’t take long for us to get a feel for the controls. If you’re accustomed to the average console FPS then everything should feel relatively the same -- standard console additions like aim-assist contribute to true that familiarity.

“I think the big thing is, even though we’re bringing [PS2] from the PC, we really wanna make sure that it feels right for the console players,” Clint Worley, executive producer on Planetside 2 told Examiner. “And so, things like aim-assist are typical on a console environment, like with Battlefield or Call of Duty, [developers on those games] spend a lot of time just perfecting that way it feels, that moment-to-moment, where on the PC, it’s just one-to-one, like, your mouse is where you’re aiming. It’s not necessarily about making it better or worse, it’s just about making it right for the PS4.”

Our class came with a jet-pack that allowed us to leap to areas that would otherwise be inaccessible, so our strategy was to strike from above. We managed to get in a few kills before an enemy using a cloaking ability snuck up on us and finally took us out.

After respawning we tried out one of the many vehicles offered in the game, driving around the map in search of other players. The driving feels like that of Halo or Borderlands, with the direction the player is facing indicating the direction they will drive in...but we weren’t exactly in our vehicle long since a nearby enemy tank decided to send us into oblivion.

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