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     " ...Core Combat is a nice, though certainly not necessary, addition... "

      Title: Planetside Core Combat by Sony

      Format: Planetside expansion

      Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo

      The Hype: The worlds first MMO FPS has hit to a fairly strong showing and so Sony has wasted no time in getting its first expansion to market. Core Combat brings new weapons, new vehicles, and a new underground environment to the game's play.

      What This Monkey Thought...

          Fundamentally the gameplay in Planetside remains the same in Core Combat, not that we were expecting any major overhauls. The big addition, in addition to the new goodies, is the presence of underground caverns through the core of the planet. These caverns, in addition to providing supplies to new weapons, act as enhancement nodes for surface forces and so are unquestionably desirable to control. Unfortunately, however, since these caverns can be linked to bases and are spacious and numerous enough to go around, in effect play has been limited to only the occasional subterranean jaunt to secure one…and combat "down below" is almost non-existent. This isn't a huge issue, since it still appreciably affects gameplay, but it is unquestionably a disappointment.
          As for the new goodies, 3 universal weapons (usable by all 3 sides) and 3 vehicles, I have mixed feelings. The weapons, as a whole, are fairly bland. While there is some interesting niche-filling for specific situations (a pistol that helps infiltrators and a nice long ranged heavy weapon that NC players will enjoy), overall they're unimpressive. The vehicles, on the other hand, are pretty cool and useful…including a short-range teleporter, an ATV that deploys into a fixed position turret, and, best of all, an honest to goodness artillery piece. It's this last offering that has the most effect on gameplay, and, believe me, it's probably worth the price of admission right there. Being able to paint targets for indirect fire is fantastic and will entertain you for hours.

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Core Combat is a nice, though certainly not necessary, addition to Planetside. Some extra planning could have made the caverns a whole helluva lot more effective, and the weapons are iffy, so I say pick it up if you're a fanatical player or want to do artillery strikes. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

      The Good: Artillery and transporters.

      The Bad: Big empty caverns.

      The Overall Ugly: Fun but not essential.

      What it's Worth: $20

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