PlanetSide 2 mashes up MMO and FPS once again

Sony Online Entertainment's PlanetSide Next didn't make it out in the first half of the year, and it's no longer called PlanetSide Next, but it's still coming. During its Fan Faire event, SOE officially took the wraps off of PlanetSide 2, the sequel to its MMO FPS

Players in one of three empires (the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate, or the Vanue Sovereignty) will be able to customize their fighter, vehicle, and weaponry, and build up the character with "ranks, unlockable traits, and skill sets." Creative director Matt Higby talked up the "massive scale of PlanetSide battles" in the announcement.

The new game is being built in SOE's new Forgelight engine, and will feature Nvidia's PhysX tech for in-game physics. Check out a new trailer above, and some new screens in our gallery, and then get right back to waiting -- SOE tellingly declined to provide a date, saying only that it's "currently in development" for PC.%Gallery-128006%
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Massive Warfare, Explosive Graphics and Thousand-Player Battles
Raise the Bar for Online Team-Based Combat

SAN DIEGO - July 8, 2011 - Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced PlanetSide 2, the reimagining of the ever-popular massively multiplayer online first person shooter (MMOFPS) game, PlanetSide. PlanetSide 2 takes all the groundbreaking features from the original game - massive multiplayer battles, distinctive empires to rally around, and enormous continents to support intense ground and air combat - and adds features that modern gamers have come to expect out of the FPS and MMO genres.

Across the continents of Auraxis, thousands of players will come together in enormous battles to win control of territory and resources for their empire. With an extensive skill tree and a free-form class-based system, players will be able to customize their soldier, weapons and vehicles to match their play-style, or the needs of their squad, outfit or empire. Battles can last for days or weeks, so players will need to build real alliances and combat outfits to take on long-term strategic and tactical initiatives. With air, ground and seaborne combat, the battles are more intense than ever.

"For years we've talked about creating another PlanetSide game, and we're thrilled that technology has caught up with our vision," said John Smedley, President of SOE. "I'm incredibly impressed by what our team has done with PlanetSide 2. They've made everything as big, bold and brutal as possible. PlanetSide 2 is truly representative of what a next generation MMOFPS will look and feel like."

"With huge war zones populated by thousands of fighters at once, the size and intensity of PlanetSide 2 are simply unequaled. Both longtime players of the series and FPS fans are going to be blown away by the massive scale of PlanetSide battles," said Matt Higby, creative director of PlanetSide 2 at Sony Online Entertainment. "The immense scope, powerful vehicles and wealth of character customization options means players must think tactically and act as a team to conquer the battlegrounds."

Various character, vehicle and artillery customization features will be available to players constructing the perfect fighter for their favorite of the three empires: The Terran Republic (the conservative, authoritative nation aiming to reunite the clashing factions), The New Conglomerate (a liberated faction fighting to remaining free) or The Vanu Sovereignty (technophiles seeking to develop and exploit alien technology). Also, an in-depth and adaptive class system - with ranks, unlockable traits and skill sets - will give players complete control over their online warrior.

PlanetSide 2 will harness the power of SOE's next-generation Forgelight™ MMO engine; a true technological feat, as it is specifically created to bring all of the best-in-class features from the single player arena to next-gen MMOs. Forgelight equips SOE developers with the power they need to create the massive, vibrant worlds, intense combat and immersive experience emblematic of the future of online gaming.

SOE has also partnered with NVIDIA® to provide the game's physics engine, utilizing its PhysX® technology to allow art and design environments in PlanetSide 2 to become truly interactive. NVIDIA PhysX technology is considered the world's most comprehensive physics solution for designing real-time, real-world effects into interactive entertainment titles.

This technology along with SOE's Forgelight MMO engine create a development platform for ensuring that players experience the ultimate online MMO experience saturated with stunning visual effects that make game environments seem as realistic as possible.

PlanetSide 2 is currently in development and will be available on PC systems via digital download and retailers worldwide.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.