Average User Score: 8.1Jun 5, 2013Summary: An RTS that shows the genre at its best
Pros: Fantastic gameplay, great multiplayer scene, unparallaled developer support
Cons: Campaign pales in comparison to the superb multiplayer
Where do I start? Wargame: Airland Battle (W:AB) is the sequal to Wargame: European Escalation. It features bigger maps, more units (including, of couse, air units) and fantastic support for its community by developers Eugen Systems.
W:AB is a Cold War-era RTS that aims to simulate ground conflict in a hypothetical World War Three between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Almost every unit fielded by the 12 countries included in the game are in, and players can choose any from their alliance to have in their army, although limiting your army to certian countries or eras grants you bonuses to offset the reduction in choice.
On the battlefield, this game really shines. Against the unpredictability of a multiplayer opponent, the player will have to decide on a strategy and execute it if he or she wants to win. Do you send in formations of advanced main battle tanks, or do you send in infantry to take out enemy forces lurking in the woods. Do you call in a ground attack plane for reinforcements, or anti-air artillery in case the enemy gets the same idea? Because of this variety, every game is different.
The developer support for this game is amazing. Balance is very good, and is constantly fine-tuned. Multiple patches a week hotfix bugs, tweak inbalanced units and add new content. On the game forums, the devs are a constant presence, explaining their decisions behind the game in a way that should make many studios jealous. Such support is integral to the game community.
The game's campaign, featuring a Total War-esque blend of strategic map and regular games is somewhat lacking, mainly because of the AI (which is not bad, just not as good as a real person). Luckily, you can play against another person, removing this issue. Nethertheless, I would much recommend the multiplayer over the campaign, and I feel that single-player junkies, while enjoying the experience, will not get as much out of it as a dedicated single-player experience.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Jun 5, 2013Summary: An excellent game that allows FPS action on a scale above your average shooter
Pros: Free-to-play done right, epic FPS battles, fantastic co-operative experiences
Cons: Resource hog, steep learning curve
I love Planetside 2. The game itself is fantastic, giving players access to a three-way war between factions each with their own style and gameplay traits. Released in November 2012, the game is constantly being improved with new content. On the day of writing, the tenth major update has been released.
Planetside 2 is, at heart, a shooter. But it's a unique one. While most shooters are designed around small-scale and 1v1 encounters, Planetside 2 (hereafter 'PS2') is designed around massive battles with hundreds of players and assorted vehicles. As a result, the game experience is truly unique.
It is also free to play. Some reviewers have said that the game is pay-to-win, but I strongly disagree. All weapons in the game (with the exception of identical weapons of different colours) can be unlocked with the in-game currency 'certs', which are automatically given along with experience. As such, it is simple to unlock a weapon. You may not have every weapon, but that's unimportant the stock weapons are in no way bad, and are designed around catering to most playstyles. Other weapons will be better at, say, long-range firefights, but lacking in close quarters, so you can unlock/buy a weapon that better suits you, but you won't be worse off with the default equipment.
The battles are amazing. Often, a single base will have over 300 players fighting over it, in a two-way or three-way battle that can go on for hours. This provides a real sense of accomplishment when you finally take that base, or when, at last, the enemy stops attacking and you begin the counterattack! The game's huge maps ensure that there are plenty of unique locations to fight over!
Furthermore, the game is not really designed around individual encounters; rather, it is designed on an empire versus empire basis. Sure, you might have a stock character, but your faction will have many players who have unlocked every weapon in the game. In PS2, you will lose if you're ill-equipped to the situation, but the individual player is simply a tiny part of the massive battles.
The 'new player experience' (or 'tutorial', as most players call it) is, to be honest, somewhat lacking. The developers have stated that they wish to improve it and, now, you get a chance to learn the basics of movement and combat before you're dropped into the biggest battle the server can find! The game can be hard to get into, but it's worth it once you get there.
Where PS2 really shines is in co-operative play. Groups of players (known as 'outfits') will use VOIP and suchlike to organise massive operations, from tank formations to airborne drops. Joining an outfit, or even creating your own, will allow you to experience PS2 at its best. There are many outfits that are happy to accept new players try checking the forums or asking in-game.
PS2 is a resource hog. As such, check the recommended specs before you download! The players who say that they can't run it probably don't meet the specs, and if you don't either, then your PC will struggle that's what the specs mean! Bear in mind that the devs are constantly working on making the game rub better since release, I've seen a 10 frames/second increase in heavy combat, with about 30-40 frames/second increase in less populated zones, with improvement every update.… Expand