Planetside 2 just recieved its first new map in eight years!
Oshur has had a long and checked development history. Originally a collection of islands in the original Planetside, it was teased numerous times throughout the sequel’s history. A single developer, Wrel, developed the first iteration entirely in his spare time. Unfortunately, engine updates eventually made his version unusable. The newer version was built from the ground up, and boasts a unique island-based gameplay unlike the other maps we’ve seen.
Platoons in Paradise
And the new setting has been awesome from an infantry grunt’s perspective. The tropical aesthetic is a treat on the eyes, the oceanic sightlines create lots of long funnels that devolve into guerilla skirmishes among the trees. My main issue is the many mountainous cliffsides that are straight impossible to get back up. As the map design frequently forces you to strafe the edges of some random island, it’s far too easy to slip and tumble away from the combat indefinitely. In contrast, I do enjoy how they’ve peppered the islands with constructable areas for user-made bases. That leads to almost every part of the map being ripe for unexpected combat zones.
Water, Water Everywhere
But the biggest change is all the water. As an island continent, the devs have removed the insta-kill water mechanics in lieu of letting players swim or drive anywhere. They’ve also added several new weapons that can fire underwater. While I’m a huge fan of underwater combat in any game, in Planetside 2 I found it virtually nonexistant. The map design never encourages anyone to go there, and most people don’t own the new underwater-compatible weapons. While I’m curious to see if they expand on this mechanic, I’m not sure I see much value in doing so.
Sadly I can’t report on the underwater weapons as I don’t own any. You’ve got to unlock them via a new set of purchaseable missions, and I hate missions in this game so I’m not gonna buy them. Plus even if I had any, there weren’t any fights in the ocean for me to try out. My main wish is that they’d included the crossbow in the list of weapons that work underwater. It fires bolts, if anything it should work better with less gravity and wind resistance!
If you haven’t played Planetside 2 in a while, this is a great opportunity to pick the game back up. One of the nicest things about the map is that nobody’s figured out how to optimize it yet. Gameplay’s very fresh at the moment as everyone figures out what their armies need to succeed on this new continent. I’d kinda fallen off the boat myself (no pun intended), but this new continent really breathed new life into the game for me. The devs currently have dedicated time periods where Oshur is guaranteed to be active, so now’s the best time to get your feet wet!