Maybe I just come from a different generation of gamer. My little brother is 8 years younger than me and was big into using cheat codes in games. With the exception of Contra (up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start) there weren't any games I was enthralled with using cheat codes with for more than about 30 minutes. But he seemed to love them. He even had a Game Shark with added tons of cheat codes to Super Nintendo games. I just never saw the point.
Also, he has always been big into First Person Shooters (FPS). I've played my fair share of FPS games. I was into Wolfenstein 3-D when it came out, played plenty of Doom. We had LAN parties of Unreal Tournament, played Quake 2 in college, and have enjoyed the strategy of Counterstrike. I remember spending many hours with friends in high school playing Goldeneye 007 on the Nintendo 64. But never have these games been my main play.
Initially I was enthralled with Planetside 2. Much of the jerkiness of the original was gone. The graphics and anti lag engine had been updated significantly. They now include a certification process for getting new weapons and guns and the like that was significantly interesting and complex. Bases had also been upgraded to be less monotonous. Overall things seemed great. But after two days of playing it my interest started to fade. For one particular reason, spawn times.
Combat is so fast paced in the game that you can often times die almost instantly after spawning. I found an enemy Sunderer which is a vehicle that acts as a spawn point. I just sat there and blasted it with my tank raking up a significant number of kills. But it wasn't the ease of killing people that deterred me. It was that within 8 seconds, they (or I) could return to the battlefield. I was able to be blasted away by my opponent on the stairs, only to respawn and immediately return fire. At one point there was an opponent hiding in a loft of a base who killed me a couple of times before I found his location. Upon my next spawn I just haphazardly tossed a grenade into the loft before he could see me.
Blast 'em seems to best describe this type of game. It's not a game where there's a significant penalty for dying. It's not a game of heavy strategy, it seems to be more predicated on momentary skill. Avoiding the tank shot, clicking faster than the other guy, and never ever stop moving. I'm not saying that the game doesn't have strategy. But I'm not sure I'm as fond of it's type of strategy as a game such as League of Legends where dying can cause a 75 second gap in your team's numbers which can be capitalized on to make a difference over the course of the game. In a usual hour session I probably die 20-30 times. That's every 2-3 minutes. Now this is partially because I'm not great at the game. But it's also the nature of the game that doesn't punish me for dying.
The game also allows for you to switch character classes at a spawning point or at several weapons depots located throughout the map. This means that I can instantaneously switch from my medic to and engineer to heal the spawn vehicle that is under attack to a heavy assault to take out the tank that is shooting at it. And again. If I die, I'll just switch characters then, and 8 seconds later I'm back in the action, unless they destroy my Sunderer. Then I have to run back to the location.
Penny Arcade's review of Planetside 2 brings up a number of very interesting points and issues with this style of game. One big thing it mentions is the lack of a story. While this isn't always a driving force, it's clear that there are 3 factions that want to kill each other. Not much else is relevant. But the battle is perpetual and unending. It's not a deathmatch scenario where the team with the most kills or flag captures wins at the end of the match. All goals are only temporary and tomorrow you'll be looking to take back the same bases you conquered last night.