Sony teased E3 attendees Wednesday with a new trailer for the PlayStation 4 version of its massively multiplayer online “Planetside 2” and a promise that it will launch for the PS4 sometime this year, but we got to see the MMO first-person shooter up close with Sony Online Entertainment Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac. Reflecting the extreme pride of the title's development team, Tramell gave IBTimes a hands-on PlayStation 4 demo of “Planetside 2,” which is currently available for the PC.
“One of the main changes with the PS4 is the [user interface]. The UI is a little different, more console-centric. We spent a lot of time making sure it feels like a console game, as opposed to a PC game,” Isaac told IBTimes. “The bulk of our focus is making sure it feels like a console game from start to finish.” Isaac was also the lead art director for “Planetside 2” predecessor “Planetside,” which launched for the PC in 2003.
“'Planetside 2’ allows thousands of people to play on single maps in its current PC version,” Isaac explained. “But when the game shifts to the PS4, there will be no cross-platform play.”
How will the popular title’s sequel be better than the original version, which launched over a decade ago? “When it came down to making the next version, we wanted to take it to the next level visually, to allow more people to access the game as we thought it was at the beginning, turn it into something people had never seen before,” Isaac explained “Even with the original ‘Planetside,’ we had thousands of players fighting against each other. But the PS4 allows us to give that same action to a larger audience. They don’t have any first-person shooter games that allow you to play thousands of other people.”
Isaac is also excited over the major advancements in PC gaming over the past 10 years. “We had thousands of people playing the game [in 2003], but it was right before everybody got broadband. With the PS4, we can give that same action to a larger audience. Now everyone’s got broadband.”
Isaac also discussed the challenges of making a sequel that would resonate with fans. “What we went for the second time was a more visceral first-person shooter feel. The first one was more of an MMO mix, more of character advancement, people working together as a team. The team aspect is something we brought over into the sequel, but this plays more like a FPS that has thousands of people playing.”
Isaac has been working in the video game industry for 20 years. The first video game he remembers playing was 1972’s “Pong.”
“Planetside 2” will launch only on the PlayStation 4, and Sony will launch its beta phase sometime this year.
“If anyone’s playing on the PC, they can expect the PlayStation version to look much better than the PC version does,” Isaac assured us. From our experience, the “Planetside 2” PS4 gameplay was similar to the PC version, but with more depth, clarity and crystal clear graphics.
“Planetside 2” features open-world, large-scale battles of up to 2,000 players. There are six player classes in the game: the Infiltrator, Light Assault, Combat Medic, Engineer, Heavy Assault and MAX. The PS4 version already has three continents and one battle island completed. Three more continents are expected sometime this year.
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