A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Factional, ongoing warfare for resources; no positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Players join one of three factions, none of which really has any kind of moral high ground. Player characters not seen as good or evil as they kill enemies, conquer enemy structures, defend their factions' holdings.
Ease of Play
Bad tutorial clumsily conveys the basics. Movement, weapon controls simple enough, but only way to learn how to fight in a team is to jump into action.
Violence & Scariness
Since main point is to rack up enemy kills, violence is more or less nonstop. Fortunately, not graphic, bloody; when players are killed, they merely see their screens turn red. Enemy players "light up" when hit, fall down when killed.
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Game itself has no bad language, but content of player voice chat, in-game chat window can vary. Text chat has a profanity filter.
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Products & Purchases
Free-to-play, but launch screen chock-full of advertisements for in-game membership, other MMOs. Membership costs from $9.99/month to $14.99/month, gives players in-game currency to buy weapons, armor, in-game marketplace discounts.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.