So I was doing the proverbial ‘nothing’ when I was supposed to be writing an article (figures) and I decided to check in on my account on Planetside 2, a free to play ‘freemium’ (referred to as ‘pay to win’ by some) MMOFPS that features three factions: the red Terran Republic (damn soviets), the hilariously ‘Murrikanized blue New Conglomerate, and the ‘we will gladly give our lives for the benefit of ancient technology at the cost of that whole sentience thing’ Protoss Vanu Sovereignty, who sport bright purple because fuck you, it’s science. Objectively, I have no bias towards any of these factions morally or otherwise, not even the totally cool and better than you but still cool enough to let you join them New Conglomerate. Fuck, they are cool. I could get into the balancing pros and cons of each, but this isn’t a damn game review, it’s a…uh…what is this again?
Anyway, one only need to look to the main mechanics to begin to reveal the underlying horrors of this world. Essentially, thousands of soldiers fight each other over various territories on continents to control each of them. However, each continent’s power divides are eventually (and somewhat routinely)reset, presumably for game purposes (ie ‘welp, that game’s over, time to never play it again’ avoidance). Apparently, all soldiers and resources are made from a single base material- nanites- that upon death or destruction are redirected into reconstructing the same entity/vehicle whatever. For those of you who have read 1984, this will seem like a nifty solution to that whole ‘how do we keep the War with East Asia Eurasia going if there isn’t enough meat to fling into the line of fire’ issue that may come up if, like myself, you’ve thought about this for longer than is necessary to convey the dystopian themes that Orwell did. If you haven’t, I’ll sum the book up for you: neener neener we’re the Party we control everything SOCIALISM TRACT neener we’re still the Party we still control everything. Orwell would be proud of how many actual facts I left out there in the name of conveying certain information. If he was alive. But he’s not. He’s dead. Suck it dead guy.
The structures that litter the landscape hint at more unpleasant things: there are Biolabs, weapons factories, power stations, all of which are horrifyingly monolithic structures built only for the purpose of war. Not once is there any sign of residential development, because when you’re on Auraxis, buddy, you won’t have time for things like ‘food’ or ‘sleep’ or ‘not being riddled with lead,’ you only live to kill and die.
So, in essence, we have an eternal unwinnable war fought between essentially immortal armies. Now, you could argue that certain ideologies are similar and that eventually, one would become the dominant one, like say, one of freedom. Of Liberty. Of the New Conglomerate. You would be dead wrong though because this isn’t a war with an endgame, it’s war for war’s sake. This lends itself to several questions: Is this game a clever satire of the futility of MMORPGs? A study on the diminutive nature of the individual life itself in respect to the greater picture of clashing ideologies and influence? Is it just a fun game where you have guns on some alien planet and shoot at other people? Join the New Conglomerate to find out!
Yes, The New Conglomerate, champions of freedom and liberty, the only ones whose side is ideologically worth siding on, because they are the coolest in school, because you know how they say school is for losers? Well the NC decided the people who say that are not on a cool enough level for them so they decided to go to school and still be cool, despite it very clearly not actually being a cool thing to do by anyone ever. Point is, fuck the space commies and machine barneys.