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PlanetSide: Core Combat

[ Review Comments | Screenshots ]

Anarchy Online: Shadowlands Review

Game Info:

Category : MMOFPS
Publisher : Sony Online Entertainment
Developer : Sony Online Entertainment
Release : 10/27/2003
MSRP (US): $29.99
Subscription Rates:
$12.99 a month or reduced monthly rate for longer period (Click here for info).
ESRB: Teen

More Screenshots - Homepage

Minimum Requirements:

System: 1 GHz or faster
OS: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP
RAM: 256 MB RAM (512 recommended)
Video: 64 MB RAM DirectX®/Direct3D compatible video accelerator card
Hard Drive Space: 600 MB

DirectX: DirectX 8.1
Internet Connection: 56k or faster

Background/Summary:

PlanetSide is back, and man, has it changed! At its initial release, it was considered by many to be a nightmarish brew of bugs and lag; after numerous updates, and now, an expansion pack, SOE has made another noble attempt to take the spotlight. New features abound, some of the goals of the popular title’s expansion are to strike a chord with those who just didn’t feel like taking the leap into Auraxis the first time around, and making sure those who are already subscribed are justified in maintaining that subscription.

Core Combat widens the battlefield of Auraxis to encompass more than just the surface of the planet. As its name entails, players who own the expansion have the ability to fight deep under the war-torn crust of the planet in a world like none seen before, with new technology—guns, vehicles, and defenses—that brings new meaning to the word “hurt.” It doesn’t stop there, though. The core of Auraxis is vastly different both in design and in concept than the surface continents, which are vanilla in comparison. To fight there requires an entirely new dimension of strategic placement of forces and fighting style. Sure, it sounds like a great Christmas addition to your software repertoire, but can looks be deceiving?

Gameplay:

Indeed, it’s up to the eye of the beholder. Although the premise of the game remains the same as the original iteration of PlanetSide, a bevy of new things have been added to keep the gameplay exciting—basically, it’s what anyone would expect an expansion pack to be. As the story goes, before the forces of the once unified Terran Republic reached Auraxis, they found remnants of an ancient civilization (known as the Vanu) abundant with strange, new technology. However, it was only until recently discovered that the ancient people also resided deep under the ground in the planet’s core, and that conditions were favorable for human occupation. Of course, with the on-going continental war raging, this imminently led to a ruckus for conquest of the Core.

Players in the Core Combat expansion have access to six subterranean caverns. Only a few are open to arrival at any given time, and they work on a rotational schedule. The only way in and out of a cavern is through a Geowarp, an apparatus similar to Continental Warpgates, and the same rules in effect for the surface still apply underground. Upon entering, players will immediately notice a drastic change in what they’re used to, both in scenery and in tactics. Don’t think it ends there, though, because it doesn’t.

What’s a shooter expansion without new guns to rain death on your opponents? SOE didn’t miss a beat here, of course. While it doesn’t really look like a lot, three new weapons were introduced into PS—the Radiator, the Spiker, and the Maelstrom: a special radiation grenade launcher, an energy grenade launcher, and a dual grenade/energy stream weapon respectively). They didn’t become fan favorites overnight, but in my experience, the Radiator has gained much more support than the other two.

In addition, there are also three new vehicles. One, the Router, is a very handy device that can set up a two-way teleportation circuit—very handy for getting to the heart of enemy operations. The other two, the Switchblade assault cycle and the Flail, are essentially the scout and “big gun” vessels, respectively.

Okay, so far the content inside this review has been general knowledge—you can find it anywhere. But what’s the real lowdown on PlanetSide: Core Combat? The gut-punching truth is, there really isn’t much to be gotten from buying it.

Sure, there are basic differences than what you’ll find in the basic game package, but nothing that greatly affects the player populous as a whole, the main reason being that players even without the CC expansion still have access to the add-ons contained within it. Don’t get me wrong; there are limitations if someone doesn’t have it, but those limitations are so minute that he or she will rarely, if ever, encounter them. I wish I could say better about it, but basically, anything possible in the expansion is possible in the regular game, excluding a few rarely exercised privileges.

Graphics/Sound:

Aside from that key vice, Core Combat is a brilliant display of just what can happen when you hire the right people for multimedia work. The modeling of the new additions is absolutely superb, and looking at the vast areas under Auraxis makes you feel like you’re playing a completely different game. All the vehicles, guns, landscape, and various sundry aspects of the game have unique sounds, and quality is unchanged, righteously so, of course—why would you change what’s perfect? The verdict in the Graphics and Sound segment keeps a perfect ten, bottom line.

Wrap-Up:

This has been an extremely short review, and for a good reason. Put plainly, there just wasn’t much to talk about. Singing to the tune of $30, Core Combat isn’t exactly the best bargain around, speaking in terms of “bang for the buck.” However, if you still have that craving, that yearn to explore… buy it cheap.

More Screenshots - Homepage

Matt Slix Gawrecki - Feb. 1, 2004

Screenshots: 0
Author: Matt Gawrecki
Review Score: Unrated

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