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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Screenshots - Homepage
Gawrecki - Feb. 1, 2004