PlanetSide 2 is an MMO first-person shooter under development by Sony Online Entertainment and, along with Hawken, another title with GPU PhysX support arriving this year.
Update: initial release of PlanetSide 2 won’t have any of the GPU PhysX effects, they will be added later, in one of the patches.
Recent beta patch has added preliminary PhysX content to the game and we decided to give it an inspection.
PlanetSide 2 is the first major game title to utilize PhysX SDK 3.x (SDK 3.2 specifically). PhysX integration is powering almost every physics calculation in the game – collision and hit detection, character controller, aerial and land vehicle physics and so on. As interesting note, PlanetSide is also using upcoming APEX Dynamic Systems module for vehicle modelling.
Extra PhysX effects can be devided into two categories:
First of all, all-time favorite physical particle effects – sparks and debris on bullet impacts, chunks from explosions. Particle effects are not as agressive and vibrant as in, let’s say, Borderlands 2 and are dissapearing from the scene shorty after generation, probably for performance reasons. But in overall they are good addition to game’s immersion factor.
After first appearance in Dark Void title two years ago, Turbulence module is finally back, targeting to become a mainstream of GPU exclusive PhysX effects. In PlanetSide 2, turbulence particles are used to enhance several type of objects, like gravitational elevators, nanite medical units and healing grenades. All that vortex like motion, particles swirling around characters as they are moving – one can watch it for hours.
Currently, one can either enable all the effects at once or disable them completely, no PhysX quality settings, as in other titles, are available.
Most likely, all current effects will make it to PlanetSide release (November 20) without significant changes, but according to our information, more diverse hardware accelerated physics content may be offered in future patches.
Please Note: latest 310.54 GPU Drivers are required to be installed to enable GPU PhysX support in PlanetSide 2.