PUBG Lite is Coming to Europe in October

PUBG Lite is coming to Europe in October. It’s basically the same game as PUBG but it’ll run on your toaster. It is a standalone version of the PUBG everyone knows and loves but it doesn’t look as nice and its updates are on a delay from the main game. The game will run on just about any laptop and any older PC, opening up the game to people who are perhaps stuck with their dad’s hand me down computer or college students who can’t afford the latest laptop. For an idea of what I mean here are the minimum requirements for PUBG Lite.

Windows 7, 8, or 10, 64 Bit
Core I3 2.4GHZ Dual Core
Intel HD 4000 or equivalent

PUBG Lite is already available in much of South Asia, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa and has been since January. At the moment the company hasn’t announced any plans to release the game in North America, but it does seem like it’s really only a matter of time before they do so. And they have said that they are planning to expand to many other countries.

Technically at the moment PUBG Lite is in open beta so don’t go in expecting a completely polished game. But, if you’ve not been able to play PUBG before now and you live in one of the 115 countries that are going to be able to play in the beta October 10th is the big day.


Source: Official Site, Rock Paper Shotgun

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Tribes of Midgard Preview – Surviving Ragnarok

The looming threat of Ragnarök is something that no Norse tribe can ever ignore. It’s the kind of mythology that isn’t frequently used in video games, but it serves as a flawless setup for relentless battles involving gods and colossal entities. Tribes of Midgard is based on that premise but mixes it with survival game trappings to create a familiar but compelling game.

Tribes of Midgard is being developed by indie studio Norsfell, based in Montreal, Canada. Its backlog is mostly comprised of mobile games, but the ambition driving its upcoming game is worthy of attention, thanks to a satisfying core gameplay that motivates you to advance your character. Nevertheless, the latest open beta is proof that there’s a lot of work to be done, mostly balancing the different systems and providing additional content to keep the player invested.

Tribes of Midgard bare beginnings

Bare-naked Vikings

Tribes of Midgard is a cooperative survival game where up to ten players join forces to defend their village. At the center of the village lies the Seed of Yggdrasil, the tribe’s last hope against the invasion of the grim hordes from Helheim. Your goal is to survive the incoming onslaught for as many days as you can, something that is far from being an easy task, considering that increasingly difficult shadow creatures and colossi will invade your village every single night.

The procedurally generated maps of Tribes of Midgard are one of its triumphs, adding a refreshing stance to each new match. Each map is unabashedly huge, with fast travel shrines thankfully dispersed across the land. You will be running back and forth to your village to heal and craft superior gear, so using these shrines will save you precious minutes. Furthermore, protecting the Seed of Yggdrasil is crucial, so you won’t want to be caught amiss when your help may end up making a difference.

The bulk of the game consists of exploring the wilderness and gathering all kinds of materials. Nearly naked and only with your bare fists to protect yourself from the dangers of the wild, you pick up branches, stones, sticks, and other materials to get you started. The village blacksmith is eager to help you, with a pickaxe and a wood axe inevitably being your first tools. These are used to mine stones and minerals, and to chop down every tree in your way. Soon you’ll be handling a sword or a hammer, but you need more in the way of protection than your undies.

Being a survival game at heart, you’ll often see your objects and weapons break. Having a replacement at the ready may save you from some uncomfortable situations, but it’s a matter of balancing your future needs with your stock of materials.

Tribes of Midgard Jotun attack

Edly the tailor is glad to help, offering several kinds of helmets, chest guards, gloves, pants, and shoes. It’s not a daunting task to get yourself some basic gear; however, to wear those imposing and comfy helmets and chest guards requires some thorough exploration of the region and a sheer dose of luck. Rare minerals or jewels are necessary and hard to find, with some of the best materials dropping from the colossal and threatening Jotun.

Jotun is the giant and ambiguous entity that will occasionally show up to attack the Seed of Yggdrasil. It is a mighty challenge, requiring the concentrated efforts of every player to take it down, not to mention some well-placed and appropriate traps placed near your village. The giant will relentlessly crush any ill-prepared tribe, putting an end to your efforts in that world. Along with the objects that you gather, you also collect souls that you need to deliver to the Seed of Yggdrasil, acting as its health.

If your world is destroyed, that doesn’t mean that your developments are going to waste. Progress is seamless between worlds, so you get to keep your experience level and blessings when you start your crusade in a new map. However, you lose all your equipment and gear, having to start from scratch in your quest to get some decent weapons and armor. If you’re lucky, some better prepared player may offer you some of his loot, sparing you the initial struggle.

Blessings are the skills in this game, improving your character’s build and abilities. Spread across four classes (Ranger, Brawler, Warden and Guardian), Blessings provide several buffs and improvements that aren’t to be neglected. Increasing fog of war reveal, improving weapon durability, or increasing damage with a specific weapon, among other things, will come extremely handy when push comes to shove.

Tribes of Midgard hammer time

Fighting for My Tribe

When the night comes, the shadows roam in the direction of the Seed of Yggdrasil. Every player must make a run for the village, defending it with every ounce of their strength. Having a wealthy amount of materials may help you build a wall, delaying the entry of the mythological evil spirits. Dagny the Seeress will patiently wait for harmed Vikings to reach out, healing those who stand within her magical circle; however, whenever a player heals (alone or in a group), the others must wait a couple of minutes for the healer to be available once more.

While Tribes of Midgard already provides a satisfying gameplay loop, there is room for improvement in order to make it a full-fledged cooperative survival experience. The current lack of a player communication system undermines the tribe’s efforts, but this is said to be in the works. Even a simple ping system would be immensely welcome for teamplay and strategizing.

The durability of weapons and items is a bit on the shaky side, forcing you to repeatedly craft the same gear instead of aiming for a better one. This is one aspect that requires finetuning, along with others such as the day and night cycle. Daytime is over too quickly, frustrating your plans to go out into the wilds, exploring at your own pace – suddenly, it’s time to rush back to the village and if there is no fast travel shrine in sight, it will be a long and troubled way home.

Tribes of Midgard barbarian settlement

As far as weapon selection goes, it’s somewhat slim and I couldn’t fail to notice a disheartening lack of ranged weapons. Not having a single bow in sight is an odd omission, especially considering that some of the first foes that cross your path are bow-wielding barbarians. Combat feels satisfying, with the skills spicing up the fights, but hit detection is far from perfect.

While the sandbox gameplay set within randomized worlds is a plus, Tribes of Midgard could benefit from the addition of missions or side quests to break out of its endless loop. Escorting an NPC to a certain area or finding a specific item for someone would help with the flow of the game, adding some extra layers to its free-form gameplay.

The art is good, with a cel-shaded style that isn’t tremendously detailed, but the whole picture makes for a game that is easy on the eyes. When the snow is gently falling and you see the clouds reflecting in the pristine water, everything seems to come together. The giants are quite impressive to watch, as they slowly move towards their goal, your ultimate destruction.

Tribes of Midgard duo combat

The Tribes of Midgard open beta suffered from a few disconnect issues and another bug that cut the matches short. The day never ended, and without the usual warning to swiftly return to the village, surprise struck as the Seed of Yggdrasil was left hopeless, destroyed by a swarm of grim shadows.

This is nothing that can’t be fixed before the official launch, although there is no way to tell if the developers are going to add side quests to Tribes of Midgard to flesh out its core offering. While satisfying, it’s a game that feels extremely niche as it stands right now, and that may end up being its most gigantic challenge yet.

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Raid: Shadow Legends is Now Available on PC

Raid: Shadow Legends is now available on PC via Plarium Play. It has all new PC quality graphics with HD textures, high framerate, and new animations. The PC version has been optimized for being played on PC with fully controllable graphics settings, new controls, and hotkeys.

If you already play the mobile version of the game then you can save your progress and play on PC. All you have to do is make sure your account is connected to a Plarium ID and download the free Plarium Play launcher. Sounds pretty simple.

Raid: Shadow Legends is Now Available on PC

Raid: Shadow Legends is a fantasy-themed turn-based collection roleplaying game with more than 300 collectible champions across an amazing 16 factions. These champions come in 15 classes including sub-humans, elves, orcs, lizardmen, and undead. The PvE campaign consists primarily of a 12-level story-driven campaign. Each level is made up of 7 stages with 3 difficulty levels. There’s also a popular PvP component to the game. It is a free to play game that was originally developed for Android and iOS. It released earlier this year and has been seen on youtube frequently ever since.


Source: Press Release

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World of Warcraft Memorial to Aron Eisenberg Announced by His Son and You’re Invited

Star Trek alumni Aron Eisenberg who played Nog on Star Trek Deep Space Nine was a huge World of Warcraft fan. His son has announced that there will be a World of Warcraft memorial to the amazing actor and he’s invited everyone to attend.

The event will be held on server Area 52 this Sunday, September 29th from 7 to 8 PM Pacific time. In attendance will be Eisenberg’s son, his wife Malissa, as well as friends and fans who want to remember him. Players are encouraged to bring Horde characters because Aron Eisenberg was faithful to the Horde for the 15 years he played WoW. The event will take place at the Deathknell Graves, in the location shown in the image below.

An impromptu torchlight vigil was held for Eisenberg last week in Star Trek Online on Deep Space Nine in Quark’s Bar after the news of the actor’s death spread. He reprised his role from DS9 for the Star Trek MMO, introducing the world to Captain Nog. On Reddit fans shared stories of how his character had touched their lives.

You might consider stopping by Nogg in Orgrimmar who many believe is a tribute to Nog, the character Eisenberg played. If you plan on attending the World of Warcraft memorial it is advised you get there early. It is likely to be a very full event. We look forward to seeing you all there this weekend.


Source: Reddit

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WoW Wednesday: The Brewfest Bash!

Celebrated by both the Horde and the Alliance, the Brewfest is a time to enjoy the fermented fruits of the harvest: pretzels, cheese, and of course BOOZE! The competing breweries all come together outside of all the major cities in a bid to outdo each other with their special meads, ales and beers. Brave adventurers are invited to sit back, take a pull, and sample the finest wares these brewers have to offer. Based on the real-life Oktoberfest, Brewfest brings the wildest companies in Azeroth to a near month-long event of fellowship and drinking.

Originally fostered by none other than Chen Stormstout, the famous Pandaren Brewmaster challenged the Thunderbrew Distillery to a drinking contest. After having been recommended his brew time and time again, the Pandaren had finally had enough and was dead-set on discovering who was TRULY the best. After nearly drinking themselves into a coma, and still in debate over who’s brew was superior, they decided to host a contest in Dun Murough for all dwarves to decide. Whining his way into the contest, the Dark Iron brewer Coren Direbrew received a measly two votes while the other two stayed neck in neck. In his anger, the Dark Irons attacked the site and were driven away (and uninvited). After winning, Thunderbrew began to host the festival annually (with some aggression from the Dark Irons), and it has since expanded. Even now, Brewfest holds appeal among all the races of Azeroth who celebrate both Azerothian and Draeneic brewing culture through the newly rediscovered Mag’har Orcs.

Brewfest’s main currency are Brewfest Prize Tokens, awarded by completing events tied to the holiday such as Ram-Racing and assisting the brew stands. Players can participate in these challenges, and the holiday in general, just outside of Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Keep in mind, both stations are there for their factions specifically so encroaching upon them may result in your opposite-faction character getting mugged rather roughly!

Players can participate daily in taking on Coren Direbrew in Blackrock Depths. The infamous Dark Iron overlord plots with his mug-mashing minions to disrupt the Brewfest, hoarding his few tokens from the original brewfest! Players who can access the Dungeon Finder can queue up once daily to receive rewards. Those at maximum level can receive item level 395 gear from the daily Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest. Players level 110+, however, can receive the ultra-rare items of the season including the Tremendous Tankard O’ Terror and the two seasonal mounts. The Great Brewfest Kodo and the Swift Brewfest Ram both award the feat of strength A Brew-FAST Mount.

The meta-achievement for Brewfest is the Brewmaster, certainly a fitting title for any monk out there. It’s a requirement for the meta What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. This is one of the shortest world event lists, despite the length of the holiday. However, due to the high cost (especially for EU players) it’s recommended to grind out your required items across two characters for the initial Brewfest tokens. To complete the Brewmaster achievement you’ll need 400 Brewfest Prize Tokens for EU players, and 200 for other regional players. There are, however, an incredible plethora of toys and transmog especially for those Roleplayers who enjoy a little drink in their adventures.

Players can receive Brewfest Prize Tokens through a number of ways. Players will earn a significant amount by picking up the starting quests from revelers in their capital cities and following them to their Brewfest grounds. Defeating Coren Direbrew will net roughly ten tokens per day, with another twenty five coming from daily events. Players can also ferry brew kegs on a Racing Ram through the quest Daily Ram Race. Choosing the quest will allow players to ride a ram for 4 minutes to ferry the kegs in question. Completing a trip rewards both 2 Brewfest Prize Tokens and adding 30 seconds to your Ram Buff. You can do this as many times as you like, though the maximum recorded time is at most 15 minutes.

We break down the needed achievements for your title below:

The Brewfest Diet requires you to sample all of the available foods from the Brewfest vendors. However, in order to sample some of the higher end your character must be at least level 65.

Brew of the Month is completed by joining the titular Brew of the Month Club! This club will mail you new samples of liquor monthly, most with strange effects. While another achievement, Brew of the Year, requires you to receive each of the 12 liquors and sample them, this one only requires you to join it. This can be completed by purchasing a “Brew of the Month Club” Membership Form from one of the holiday vendors in the Brewfest Camps for 200 Brewfest Prize Tokens. If you like what you get monthly, you can purchase more from one of the brew vendors located in Orgrimmar or Ironforge!

World of Warcraft Brewfest
Direbrewfest is perhaps the easiest achievement to complete on this list. Simply queue up and kill Coren Direbrew in the Blackrock Depths!

Does Your Wolpertinger Linger? requires players to complete the introductory quests and obtain their Wolpertinger’s Tankard. EU Players will have a tougher time completing this than their US counterparts; due to a piece of EU legislation, Activision-Blizzard had to pull the original quests regarding it. Now players will need to purchase their pet from the vendors for 200 Brewfest Prize Tokens. Purchasing the pet off of the Auction House WILL NOT fulfill the achievement, you must get it from using the Wolpertinger’s Tankard.

Have Keg, Will Travel will require you to ride some version of the Brewfest Mount outside of your main daily quests. This can be done in a plethora of manners, the first and most obvious being the mythical Grand Brewfest Kodo or Swift Brewfest Ram from Coren Direbrew! Those who completed the Brewfest in 2007 and had their hand stamped can also get the original Brewfest Ram and use that to complete the achievement. Players not so lucky can purchase Fresh Brewfest Hops for 2 tokens which will turn your mount into something more festive.

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Pearl Abyss is Building a Massive New Headquarters in December

Pearl Abyss is building a massive new headquarters in December. The 20-floor building was first announced in January, awaiting the necessary permits. Now that the permits have been given Pearl Abyss has shared some of the features of the impressive building that will hold the more than 500 employees of Pearl Abyss.

It will have 15 floors above ground and 5 underground. An underground parking compound will be able to fit 604 vehicles. The first and second floors will feature the lobby, a gallery of Pearl Abyss’ work, a digital library, a daycare center for the children of employees, plus facilities for employee welfare and testing areas. The facilities for employee welfare include a basketball court and fitness center with yoga, pilates, and a professional masseuse.

The third floor will be a massive cafeteria.

The fourth floor is all meeting rooms of various sizes, including a massive one for all-hands town hall meetings. There will also be an audio studio and a streaming studio on this floor. The audio studio will be where all the sounds and music for Pearl Abyss games will be produced.

Sadly, that’s all we know, but of course, it is obvious that the other many floors will be for offices and the many development teams.

Before Pearl Abyss could begin building they had to get permission for 16 different government departments including the local police and social welfare groups. It will be located in Gwacheon Knowledge Information Town along with a number of game developers including Netmarble. The estimated completion date is currently set for February 2021.

The new Pearl Abyss Headquarters sounds like it is going to be amazing! Now, who do I talk to about getting a job there?


Source: MMOCulture

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Legends of Aria Announce Price Reduction and Premium Subscriptions

Legends of Aria announce price reduction and premium subscriptions less than two months after launching. With the introduction of the premium subscriptions, they have announced that the price will be dropping permanently on Steam and on their official website. The price is dropping down to $19.99 from $29.99 in the hopes of making the game more accessible to new players.

The premium subscriptions can be purchased in 1-month, 6-month, or 12-month subscriptions. At the moment reoccurring subscriptions are only available to those who have purchased the game through the official site. If you bought it through Steam then you can find the subscriptions in the in-game store. The core perks of the premium subscription are; a second house plot, an extra character slot, free taxes, and 100 gems per week.

Legends of Aria Early Access Preview Crowded Inn

On top of these perks, there are additional perks based on the age of a player’s subscription. These perks are given out immediately on the purchase of your subscription. So, if you buy a 12-month subscription you’ll get Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 of the perks all at once. The current age perks are a Tier 1 cloak, a Savage Horse Mount, a War Bear Mount, and a Royal Llama Mount. These are given at 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months respectively.

The in-game store is also being added to the game. In it there are a variety of items available including; Soulstones, character appearance changes, name changes, and an assortment of cosmetic dyes for leather, armor, and clothing. Soulstones will remain available in the loyalty point store as well, so you can still have access to this item through play and redeeming your loyalty points.

300 gems will cost $4.99 but if you buy more gems like the 600, 1200, or 3000 gem packs you will get bonus gems completely free.


Source: Press Release

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Interview: Elder Scrolls Online’s Creative Director Talks About What’s Next

This coming winter, the current Season of the Dragon taking place in The Elder Scrolls Online will come to its conclusion with the Dragonhold expansion. Recently, Bethesda offered us a chance to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes of its current Elsweyr chapter, and a hint of things to come with the concluding expansion.

Elsweyr introduces a whole new zone for players to explore, along with a questline jam-packed with main and side missions and a number of new challenges. Additional mechanics will also be introduced. On top of that, players will also get to experience a new update to the general game before Dragonhold arrives, filled with fixes and Twitch Drops for consoles.

To get a better idea of what’s happening with the new Elsweyr add-on, and a bit of Dragonhold, we got a chance to sit down with the game’s creative director, Rich Lambert, during a recent stop at Bethesda’s presentation at PAX West.

First off, he had some sage advice for those that are hopping into this world, since there’s a lot to explore here. “With Elsweyr specifically, we have a brand new zone. It is northern Elsweyr, which is focused on Khajiit and their culture. There’s a brand new class in the Necromancer, and then, dragons – that’s the big one. Fight and kill dragons.”

He then talked about the effort that the team puts into adding additional content into an already overflowing game like Elder Scrolls, between Elsweyr and Dragonhold. “One of the first things that (game director) Matt and I do, we sit down and we talk about, you know, where haven’t we been, where we would like to go, what types of stories we want to tell. We settle in on kind of one word to help reinforce to the team what it is we’re looking for. 

“So, with Elsweyr in particular, the word we chose was ‘revenge.’ So this whole year of story content that we’re telling is all around ‘revenge.’ It starts with the big bad dragon getting his revenge for being locked up in the Halls of Colossus.”

Lambert then touched upon the latest class to be introduced into the world of Elder Scrolls Online. “The Necromancer is centered around the manipulation of mortal souls,” he explained. “So that’s their thing, raising the undead, you know, using kind of blood magic, that kind of stuff. And they’re different than our other classes, because they’re focused on kind of being a battlefield commander. 

“They get powered up by using corpses, so their style of gameplay is not just you and your target; it’s you, your target and the environment around there, and how you can position your target next to a corpse to get more power.”

Then we got into the Dragonhold expansion, which we were able to catch a quick glimpse of with some gameplay. We didn’t get a chance to kill a dragon during that time, but Lambert told us not to feel bad about it – apparently there’s a lot of work that goes into taking one down. This isn’t Skyrim.

Lambert said, “That’s one of the biggest things we tried to do in terms of differentiating us from Skyrim. So in Skyrim, you were the Dovahkiin. You had this tool set to be able to go one-on-one against a dragon. In our timeline, in Elder Scrolls Online, there is no Dovahkiin. We don’t have that toolset; and so, you have to rely on your friends to help you take these things down.”

He recommends making sure such friends are in place, as this won’t be a conquerable fight by yourself. “It’s very difficult to solo,” Lambert said with a laugh.

Then he talked about a “big” feature that will be coming later in the year to Elder Scrolls Online. “With Dragonhold, that is the southern portion of Elsweyr. The storyline is focused on the Dragonguard, and kind of putting the band back together. The Dragonguard are the precursor to the Blades, so they are an elite force of dragon hunters.

“The storyline is focused on a dragon cult and this prophecy that they’re trying to fulfill,” Lambert continued. “And, if you complete that content, and you complete the Elsweyr content and unlock a series of quests that allow you to kind of put a cap on the entire year and the story that we’ve been telling.” In other words, the more of the game you complete, the closer you get to the endgame that the team is going for.

It sounds like fans of Elder Scrolls are in for a treat this year, and Lambert took a moment to thank them. “That’s the goal, our community is a huge part of what we do,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t get to do what we do, so events like this is our way of bringing them in, getting them down, getting to spend some one-on-one time with them, and saying, ‘Hey, we’re here, we love you all.”

Elsweyr officially launched back in June, and players can explore its world now. As for the Dragonhold update, it’ll arrive sometime later this year, though a date hasn’t been given yet.

Elder Scrolls Online is available now for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Big thanks to Bethesda for having us down at the event!

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Star Trek Online Players Hold Torchlight Vigil for Actor Aron Eisenberg

Actor Aron Eisenberg, best known for his portrayal of Nog in Star Trek Deep Space Nine in the 90s died over the weekend at the age of 50. He also appeared in Star Trek Online, reprising his role as Nog, now Captain Nog. A torchlight vigil was held in his honor by players in Quark’s bar on Deep Space 9.

On the Star Trek Online subreddit, fans shared stories of meeting Aron Eisenberg and talked about the impact he had both on Star Trek Online and on Deep Space Nine.

A GoFundMe campaign was started to help his family take care of the costs of his funeral and any other expenses they may need to take care of. The campaign raised more than $20,000 before it was shut down.

Star Trek Online posted a tribute to Eisenberg saying, “We’ve lost a member of our family today. Rest in Peace, Aron, thank you so much for always brightening our lives with everything you did.”

Though his cause of death has not yet been released it is commonly known that he had suffered from kidney problems his entire life. He was born with only one partially functioning kidney and received several kidney transplants.

Since his death, there has been an outpouring of love and support from friends, Star Trek family, and fans alike. He was a fantastic actor and played one of the most memorable characters in all of Star Trek’s history. We’re sure that the Registrar welcomed him through the gates of the Divine Treasury and it was his fans that lit the pathway to the gates.

Star Trek Online Nog - - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

Source: PCGamer, What Happens on the Holodeck, Stays on the Holodeck

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PlanetSide Arena Hands-On Preview – Massive Warfare in Familiar Ground

PlanetSide Arena’s best sales pitch would probably include something along the lines of “strength in numbers” and “all-out warfare”. It’s not easy to get another battle royale game out there in such a crowded market, and so a few unique selling points are virtually mandatory.

Daybreak is trying to tap into the wide battle royale userbase with the identifiable PlanetSide brand as a starting point, but it’s likely that veterans of the franchise aren’t particularly thrilled with the new direction. However, this is a game that deserves to be played with a fresh mindset to properly judge its potential.

The long-term plan is to support up to 1,000 players in some game modes, but the Steam Early Access release is going to focus on 300-player battle royale matches. This is more than enough to give you a good taste of the sprawling map size and chaotic final minutes. The closing circle pushes everyone together, as a reminder that you are in the arena to eliminate other squads and proudly stand as the winner, not just to collect mods and power-ups ad eternum.

PlanetSide Arena Preview Drop Pod

Royale Pain Circle

During the short beta test anticipating the Early Access release, we spent quite some time hanging out inside the fleet carrier, wandering around and shooting our fellow players for some harmless fun, as we waited for the match to begin. These were the few peaceful moments in PlanetSide Arena, because as soon as we hit the ground running, it’s time to scour the land for anything that improves your build and your chances against the rival squads.

But first, you need to settle for one of the three available classes: Assault, Engineer, or Medic. Take your time to get acquainted to each one while in the headquarters, switching between classes in a last-minute bid to pick the one that will surely net you the win. Anyone familiar with battle royale and typical shooters won’t have any issues with this selection, or the customization options on offer. Everything about it is designed to get you to the battlefield in no time, including the diverse mods that you unlock and attach to your weapon, or the vehicles that you can choose while customizing your class.

The only game mode available in PlanetSide Arena during the test was the 12-player Squad mode. We could already see some hints of group strategies for the greater good of the squad, but as perfect strangers, our primal instincts told us to go forth and bravely venture into the unknown. The result was, unvarying, death. This is no game for a reckless Rambo approach, despite the temptation to break free from the slow tactical grip that your squad may force on you. Strength in numbers comes to mind once again, a motto that couldn’t ring truer when you are part of a 12-strong squad facing several teams sporting similar numbers.

PlanetSide Arena Preview Pain Circle

This streamlined gameplay approach is patent in the way that the weapon upgrades work when you are in the heat of the battle. There is no inventory to manage, you just choose to pick up or ignore the upgrades, weapons or abilities that you happen upon, always watching your back when it comes to those sought-after drop pods containing legendary items – there is no better time to be ambushed than when you are gazing at that legendary loot. You keep your primary, secondary, and pistol weapons throughout the duration of the match, upgrading them as you go, but there is a fourth slot that is saved for a special weapon. Nanites are the in-game currency that you pick up, but it is shared through the team, so it’s not a source of internal competition.

Mobility in the battlefield isn’t an issue, with so many means at your disposal. Jetpacks are your basic gear to propel you skywards and give you that edge over careless players who look no further than what’s in front of their nose. You can summon your personal vehicle when you want to move faster or, in some cases, when the team needs that extra firepower. Voice chat is of major importance for your team’s well-being, so if you don’t want to jeopardize your chances of success, setting up a team with a few chatty friends is crucial.

Part of your time in PlanetSide Arena is spent rummaging the battlefield for upgrades, while the rest of it is about spotting enemies in the horizon and shooting them before they shoot you. However, the pain field will constrict every few minutes, narrowing the active area and forcing players to come together. What started as a huge battlefield that no single player can accurately cover by himself, slowly but surely shifts into a compact space where several dozens of players have no choice but to blast away, hoping to survive the ensuing anarchy. Infantry units try their best to support the tanks, with the special weapons that you managed to grab minutes earlier possibly making the difference between victory and defeat.

PlanetSide Arena Preview First Person Shooting

Shooting from the Pocket

PlanetSide Arena feels mechanically sound, extremely responsive, fast, and fun, with a fierce competitive side to the matches. The initial minutes of a new match help convey a false sense of security, a feeling that is shredded to pieces as the shrinking circle enters the fray and urges everyone to the same area. Suddenly, there is a lot going on, shots are fired from inconceivable places, and if you manage to survive dangerous situations, you may end up with this rewarding but conflicting sense of exhaustion.

But there are a few concerns that need to be addressed. Against the initial blurb, Daybreak has decided to release PlanetSide Arena as a free-to-play game, just like its older brother PlanetSide 2. However, even with the pleasant last-minute removal of the price tag barrier of entry, it will still face the competition of extremely popular battle royale games such as Fortnite Battle Royale or Apex Legends. Perhaps players will also stick to PlanetSide 2 instead of making the switch to the new game.

If for some reason PlanetSide Arena fails to gain traction and convince a large share of players, the 300-player matches may become an issue. The massive scale of the battles is where the game shines, and if it fails to show them in all their glory, it may end up stuck in an inglorious loop. Match waiting times will be another concern in case the player base is less than satisfactory, with the subsequent addition of game modes dispersing players even further.

PlanetSide Arena Preview Quad Vehicle

Then there are the inevitable lingering doubts regarding monetization. PlanetSide Arena has a loot box or crate system where you can earn cosmetics, which is fine, but there are mods as well that affect your performance. Increased sprint speed, reduced time to revive teammates, or increased turbo regeneration for vehicles all sound like the kind of tiny advantages that may end up giving someone the upper hand. It’s the kind of mechanic that makes you wonder if the battles will be leveled, or if your skill is useless in face of your opponent’s deep pockets.

That’s a lot of “ifs” for Daybreak to consider, with the priority task of balancing gameplay and monetization in a way that pleases the community, while still being able to fund the game’s continued development. I enjoyed my short time in PlanetSide Arena and can’t wait to try more of its massive scale free form combat, but here’s hoping that I won’t have to face an enemy squad that shoots with its credit card.

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