This isn't the first year that I've bumped into PlanetSide 2 at E3, having played it on PC in years past. But this is the first time that Sony Online Entertainment has had a full-on playable version of the PlayStation 4 version available for a hands-on session. After a lengthy session of shooting and blasting away with rocket launchers, it certainly feels like the free-to-play MMOFPS is well on its way to making a successful transition.
While the PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 isn't quite finished, given that the development team is still ironing out some UI kinks, the shooting still feels as solid as it ever has. If anything, I felt better handling a DualShock 4 when searching for enemies. The shoulder button control scheme should feel comfortable for any console FPS player, with L2 used to aim down sights, L1 used for special abilities, and R2 used to gun down enemies. It's easy enough to get the hang of that I quickly racked up a kill streak, something I once thought unthinkable after previously playing on PC.
However, the controls aren't quite perfect, which is where the PS4 version has hit somewhat of a snag. The developers point out that while infantry controls are smooth, vehicle controls are feeling somewhat clunky. While I witnessed tanks and aircraft moving about during my session, they weren't doing so very gracefully. In fact, I saw an aircraft accidentally plow right into a mountain at one point. Refining vehicle controls is among the PlanetSide 2 team's top priorities.
On a more positive note, PlanetSide 2 looks every bit as beautiful on PS4 as it does on PC. Creative director Matt Higby previously boasted that the PS4 version would be like the PC version set to Ultra. Having seen it for myself on a 50" HDTV, it's somewhat difficult to dispute that claim. The framerate ran smooth throughout and there were no visible tears or glitches to be found. On top of being a solid shooting experience, it should be a pleasant visual one for PS4 owners, as well.
Of course, Higby wasn't about to let an E3 pass without giving some good news to PlanetSide 2's PC fanbase. The long-awaited Hossin is in line to release in July and the team is looking to issue it simultaneously with the new continent lock feature. A new Outfit class update is also expected to arrive in the next few weeks.
The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 is expected to release later this year, with many of the PC updates included.