The original PlanetSide was an ambitious game that aimed to combine the best bits of MMORPGs with the best bits of multiplayer shooters and ended up being surprisingly good according to our 2003 review from the mysterious critic known only as "The D-Pad Destroyer." Now, Sony's bringing the franchise bang up to date with a new game.

"For years we've talked about creating another PlanetSide game, and we're thrilled that technology has caught up with our vision," said John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment. "I'm incredibly impressed by what our team has done with PlanetSide 2. They've made everything as big, bold and brutal as possible. PlanetSide 2 is truly representative of what a next generation MMOFPS will look and feel like."

PlanetSide 2 promises huge-scale battles, with numbers of participants running into the hundreds, including air and ground vehicles. Players aren't limited to one role like in most MMOs -- by unlocking various skills, players will be able to switch between roles and ability sets as the situation and makeup of their squad demands.

Based around the core gameplay mechanic of territorial control, PlanetSide 2 casts players in the role of a soldier for either the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate or the Vanu Sovereignty. Each empire offers its own set of perks and special considerations, and its up to players to work as a team to dominate the huge maps in order to provide their faction with valuable resource bonuses.

PlanetSide 2 doesn't have a release date as yet, but judging by the screenshots, it's coming along very nicely indeed.

This article originally appeared on as PlanetSide 2 Officially Announced