Even those shots are significantly less impressive than the ones that Sony released early last year. Go check out Gamespot (click on the first page of shots that they have) for comparison. Look at the texture detail on the ground, on the characters, and on the skybox. Compare the view distance. Look at how incredibly detailed the grass and foliage is in the early shots. Look at the lighting and shadows.
I suspect that they have reigned in the visuals significantly over the course of the project. I’m not sure why, but assuming that the SOny images are showing the game in its best light (always a safe assumption with official screenshots), then it’s clearly happened.
There’s a huge difference IMO, and it isn’t just jpg artifacting (as horrifyingly bad as it is) and lack of gamma correction.
image from 5/01 for comparison:
I actually think what they might have done with the old shots was to run at a high resolution and then resize them to a smaller size so it looks very crisp. Do they promise no-doctored shots? – I know some developers take that seriously, so I dunno.
Regardless they still seem to have lowered the draw distance, and generally cut out detail / polygons compared to what the early shots promised. The recent shots have player models that look about the same quality as of old, but the environment looks sparse in a lot of them.
I took the last batch posted on GS. I was pretty much using the default settings that the beta loads with. Normally I’m afraid to tweak graphics settings in beta software b/c I figure the devs are going to have them default to whatever’s most stable. (assuming of course they don’t set them to something ridiculous like 640 res) As I remember, the settings were 10x7x32bit color but texture settings and lighting were set on the low side. Next time I play and take more shots for posting I’ll try upping the settings and see if that makes things any prettier. Hopefully it won’t choke my machine when there are like 50 guys in the immediate area running around and blowing stuff up =p
This preview is pretty interesting. It actually makes me nostalgic for the mess that was WW2OL. If Planetside works, it sounds like a great combination of WW2OL with BF1942 and a twist of Halo. But after suffering through the 3 framespersecond hell of WW2OL and truly enjoying the silky smooth gameplay of BF1942, I think the success of Planetside hinges upon the framerates on a decent machine. The graphics can be great but if its a slide show who cares. OTOH if the graphics are just so-so, but the game is playable than I can become very forgiving.
The squad mentality they’re pushing in Planetside is very reminiscent of the groups that would pick one channel and work together to take spawns in WW2. Improving the radar and the the tools for squads is really a smart feature. So is creating a spawn truck that you can hide near the enemy base. Walking across Europe was a pain in the ass.
I’d be surprised if PS launches and is the debacle that WW2OL was. I’m still wondering how it will handle, say, 60 players in one area all shooting at one another. I expect some lag, but if they keep it to a minimum, it may not deter players.
The big question is will the game have enough hooks to keep players coming back? I loved Tribes, but a few months of it was enough for me. I loved UT but a few months was enough. PS will have to get me in that groove of wanting to play my character to improve my character to hook me long-term.
I was supposed to play in the beta on Friday. SOE is doing the press beta kind of weird – we get these scheduled times to play and that’s it. Anyway, Friday’s “mission” was “aborted” at the last minute by SOE for some reason. I think next Wednesday is the next “mission.” I’ll post some impressions if it doesn’t get aborted again.
(I wonder, given the popularity of BF1942, if SOE had gone with a WWII theme and a virtual war that goes on for weeks and months if the game would have a better chance? In other words, would a WW2OL launched right and done as an action game been a better bet?)