Review – MAG

Massive Action GameIt’s no secret that I loves me some online shooters especially the ones that require some form of cooperation and coordination. Coupled with the promise of 256 player death matches this was a must buy for me. Now that I’ve had some time to really sink my teeth into this game, it’s time to talk about it.

When I first heard about MAG I thought “Wow. 256 player matches? Is that even possible to do properly yet?” I’m happy to report that it is indeed possible and it’s every bit the frag fest you would expect from 256 people running amok blowing the crap out of everything.
There is no real story to speak of in this game outside of the descriptions for the 3 PMC (Private Military Company) groups you have to pick from at the beginning.

Valor: Equipped with more standard-styled gear. Seasoned veterans from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Mexico, believing that knowledge in battle is strength

SVER:  Ragtag military force with personnel drawn from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Russia, prizing sheer will as the power to victory

Raven: A faction with high-tech weapons and armor, comprising of West European soldiers, prizing technological advancement as key to winning

Player View

Once you’ve picked your team, you immediately get thrust into the action in the form of training then you can jump right into the actual game. Performance will earn you points and levels which can be used to purchase weapons, weapon enhancements, armor and armor enhancements. This system works really well and it affords you the opportunity to really focus on certain specialties to become a master at one thing or all things.

All that said, the game is not without its quirks. Valor is an extremely strong PMC that seems to always have the advantage no matter what level you’re playing. Zipper has issued a statement saying that they are aware of the unbalanced gameplay and are diligently working at releasing some updates over the next little while to help rebalance the game in a noticeable fashion. This is a welcome thought by all.

The other quirk to the game is the utter lack of communication between team mates and squads. In a game where communication and coordination is key – there sure are a lot of people who don’t listen, or have a headset. These people ruin the experience for everyone. I’ve played many games and I can say that it really makes a difference. I’d like to see an option to only find people with active headsets turned on, but I suspect that won’t happen.

Pick wisely though when you choose the PMC you wish to be a part of – This decision is for the rest of your life unless you delete your character meaning you lose all that hard work leveling up your character or you create a new PSN. Neither of those choices sits well with me. This is a big complaint for me. I get why they wanted to do this but I’d really like the opportunity to play as one of the other teams since they’re all so different.

MAG wasn’t quite the major blockbuster experience I had hoped for but it’s really not a disappointment either. With more levels/scenarios to play through, balancing of the teams and more people who actually try playing the game the way it’s meant to be played, I have no doubt that the experience will just get better. At the very least I can hope for the ability to play as one of the other PMCs without deleting my character or creating a new PSN account

Pros:
– 256 player matches
– A well planned out attack/defense
– Level Design

Cons:
– Jackasses who don’t listen or communicate
– Unbalanced teams (change is coming though)
– Inability to easily change teams

Feed Your Console gives MAG 7.5 out of 10

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