A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Planetside 2 is a downloadable sci-fi war game where players spend all their time shooting one another. Though violence is constant and one of the main points is to rack up kills, it's not graphic; players simply fall down when killed. On top of this, players are in constant contact with other players via text chat, which has a profanity filter but can't be turned off. Voice communication is completely unmoderated, potentially exposing kids to inappropriate content. Planetside 2 also exposes players to loads of ads for memberships and in-game purchases, as well as those for other MMOs. Signing up for one tier of membership provides in-game currency that can be used to purchase new weapons and armor.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
PLANETSIDE 2 is a futuristic game about humanity's search for (and discovery of) an alien planet. A power struggle arises after the discovery of ancient alien technology that splits the once-unified population into three factions and starts a seemingly endless planetary war. Players can select from one of six classes, each with its own special abilities, weapon loadouts, and skills. It also claims the ability to host thousands of players fighting for a faction at the same time.
Is it any good?
Planetside 2 is a competitive first-person team shooter on a massive scale. Initially, it makes a poor first impression with its awful tutorial -- it presents a series of overlapping voice-overs, poorly triggered objectives, and annoying on-screen messages most players will want to speed through. Fortunately, the game makes up for that horrible experience once you dive into the real meat of the play experience, which is choosing among three factions and six combat classes before hitting the "Instant Action" button to join the battle. Instant Action tosses you into the heart of the fight on one of several huge and detailed maps. These are packed with interesting geographic details and strategic opportunities, not to mention guys who want to kill you.
You'll find early on that success in Planetside 2 means constant movement. The best players are able to make snap judgments on the fly, all while shooting, running, climbing, and driving. They'll also be adept at using the game's various vehicles. That means you'll need to invest a significant amount of time to master all these abilities if you want to be good in battle. Whatever your skill level, you'll earn experience and can level up by achieving objectives and racking up kills; higher-ranked players also earn the privilege to use additional items and upgrades. All in all, Planetside 2 is a standout multiplayer shooter. Ignoring the subpar tutorial, the game represents action on a tremendous scale that's literally nonstop. Anyone who's ever wanted to test her mettle against an army of enemies or find out what planet-wide battle might be like really has to give it a try.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about living in outer space. Would you want to live on another planet?
Discuss the idea of discovering alien life. If humans found a populated alien planet, what do you think would happen?
Think about the reasons for war. Why don't people just talk things out?
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