PlanetSide 2: F2P Massively Multiplayer First-Person Shooter Adds PhysX Effects

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PlanetSide was a revelation when unleashed upon PCs a decade ago. Never before had there been a persistent world filled with thousands of players, each fighting in realtime in a first-person perspective, on foot, in the air, and in deadly armored columns. Its gameplay was engrossing, and its technical prowess unmatched. Its scale and scope unparalleled, and its formula never bettered. Until the release of its own free-to-play sequel that is.

Launched November 2012, PlanetSide 2 is the original PlanetSide brought up to modern-day standards. There are now 2,000 players per area, the action is more dynamic and exciting, and the graphics rank amongst the best seen on the PC, which is astounding when you consider the number of players, the massive draw distances, and the amount of action that can occur simultaneously in one hotly-contested spot.

A side-by-side look at PlanetSide 2 and the original PlanetSide.

Today, we're proud to announce that Sony Online Entertainment's battlegrounds have been upgraded and enhanced with the addition of hardware-accelerated PhysX effects that increase the realism and fidelity of several game elements, adding to the spectacle and drawing you deeper into the action. For a first-look, check out our PhysX trailer:

"With the launch of PhysX in PlanetSide 2 we are able to deliver an even more captivating and explosive environment" - Ryan Elam, Technical Director, PlanetSide 2.

As you can see, Sony has gone to great lengths to enhance the most commonly-seen effects in PlanetSide 2. For example, bullets striking metal spawn sparks that cascade off walls and stairs, debris is generated when vehicles strike ground surfaces, explosions spawn debris, vehicle explosions spawn thousands of sparks and chunks of charred metal, and damaged base reactors emit thousands of particles before exploding, shooting particles, debris, and embers across the room.

There's more, too – using our APEX Turbulence technology, which simulates particle motion, Sony has enhanced the Medic Gun, adding a particle effect that flows along the course of the beam and around the player being healed, enhancing the look of the effect. Similarly, the Healing Grenade emits a field of healing particles in its area of effect, adding to the visibility of the life-saving aura, and in turn drawing more players in, boosting the Medic's XP. Elsewhere, Anti-Gravity Lifts and Jump Pads coarse with particles that react to players making use of their services, and as players spawn from teleporters particles are manipulated by the force of their arrival, and from their departure.

Each of these effects relies on PhysX's hardware-accelerated particles, which exists as physical entities instead of being simple sprites or standard particles that instantly fade away. In the case of debris, be that from a vehicle explosion or grenade, the pieces can be moved again and again by further explosions or from player and vehicle movements. Sparks and embers, meanwhile, bounce and collide with geometry, cascading down stairs and other angled surfaces. Rendering these effects requires a significant number of calculations per second, which simply isn't possible on a CPU, unless you wish to sacrifice image quality or game performance.

Never has a massively multiplayer online game looked so good.

PlanetSide 2 is a smash hit in the free-to-play world, with over three million players already fighting to the death for control of territory and bonus-granting facilities. Whether up in the air bombing hapless tanks, or on the ground dodging strafing runs, PlanetSide 2 is an entertaining first-person shooter, and with time will only get better as more and more elements are added to the game in consultation with the players who return to its continent-spanning battles each day. With the graphics settings cranked up it's a technical tour-de-force, and now, with the addition of hardware-accelerated PhysX effects, PlanetSide 2 is the most technically advanced, graphically impressive massively multiplayer game ever made, which is surely something you and your system should experience.

Interested in an upgrade to get in on the PlanetSide 2 action? For a limited time, select GeForce GTX 600 Series graphics cards are bundled with bonus in-game currency for use in PlanetSide 2, Hawken, and World of Tanks. Learn more about the bundle here, and see where to buy here.