Posted Tue, Nov 13, 2012 by ricoxg
No look at revolutionary FPS games would be complete without mentioning PlanetSide, and I expect everyone would be completely shocked if I, of all people, left it off. PlanetSide came out a decade ago and its impact on both MMOs and FPSs is still felt. While the game itself wasn’t exactly massively successful financially, it did well enough, and it invented new rules and standards by which other games are judged by.
Before PlanetSide, there were very few games that really grasped the concept of battles on a massive scale. Several MMOs, like Dark Age of Camelot, had appeared on the market and demonstrated that players had a clear desire for large-scale battles, but no FPS had really stepped up to the plate with a plan to provide it other than perhaps World War II Online.
PlanetSide’s second big accomplishment was the establishment of persistence in FPS games as more than do-able. The success of the game was due in large part to the hordes of FPS fans who wanted a game that was easy to get into, required a minimum amount of time at any sitting, and still gave players the feeling that they were having some lasting impact on the world after they logged out. Unlike other FPS games, where players fight over a few hundred square meters over and over, PlanetSide players fought for control of entire continents as battle lines surged back and forth over time.
The last years of PC gaming before Planetside had seen a small increase in the number of players allowed to play together at any given time in FPS games, but after PlanetSide that number started growing by leaps. FPS titles start boasting larger maps and greater numbers of players almost immediately and now, after nearly ten years, there are still a very few that can come even close to the numbers that the original PlanetSide could handle.
Sadly, no mods for PlanetSide, though. I should point out that PlanetSide 2, while not exactly allowing mods, does have significant hooks planned to allow a large amount of external development by fans.
Well, okay, not really. At least, this is the end of our list. It’s most definitely not the end of the list of epic FPS games that have hit the market over the years. We’ve taken a short look at some of the best, and examined how they, and their mods, have helped to shape the industry as it moved forward. The last several years have really been good for FPS games, and the coming release of PlanetSide 2 and Arma 3 should help to continue that trend. There are a lot of fantastic games that didn’t make the list this time, but these were some of my favorites. What are some of yours?