Sony�s got allot of big guns for first party developers, and even more importantly, in a dying world of third party exclusives, it�s got allot of big first party exclusives. Where Zipper is concerned, Socom is the first thing to come into mind, and while that still may be true, Zipper�s new big gun is the lame titled MAG. Now don�t let the worst title of the year, Massive Action Game, ruin your perception of the game, this impressive shooter with 256 players on one map, is much more than a tech demo for psn.
The shadow war is a fictional confrontation placed several years in the future, where all military forces are forced into peace, and no war is allowed to cross borders from one country to another. At that, 3 PMC�s arise and vie for control of the contracts of these countries. Welcome to the shadow war!
At its very core, MAG is a complicated yet highly addictive and fun shooter. With the basics ever present, it�s the layers and layers of combat and non-combat depth that keep you coming back. For keeping certain objective repaired and kept safe, you can make big game changing moves. For being a piss-poor leader, you can put a heavy dent in your defenses, and hinder your team to the point where you lose. While this may seem like allot of responsibility, it�s never forced. You never have to be a leader, and you never have to repair or heal. If you only want to be a grunt, shooting and killing, and fuck everything else, that�s completely possible. However, doing so, you�re missing out of the heavy strategy aspect given in MAG, and the shooter elements alone, probably aren�t worth admission. Another awesome aspect of MAG is the team elements. Sticking with a leader well add bonus� to things like faster running speed, and longer bleed out times.
Something you�ll notice about MAG, almost immediately when you put it in your system is the complete lack of instruction. This game is huge; there are so many intricacies and things to do that you can be overwhelmed very quickly. The paper thin (pun intended) instruction booklet offers little to no help to the game. For example, one of the best ways to get experience, especially early on, is to revive people. A revive nets you an instant 10 exp, where a kill nets you half that at 5 exp. It�s simple mechanics like this that could have been solved with �tips� while loading like those done in World of Warcraft or Mass Effect 2. Another example is the fact that the game never really tells you about bonus experience gained by performing actions near a frago. A frago is a marked objective from your squad leader, that if you do anything really near that objective, you gain bonus exp. Exp is used to gain levels, levels grant skill points, skill points unlock weapons and upgrades, and while it�s nothing breath taking, it�s a nice touch.
MAG is a complex strategy heavy shooter, with tons of depth presented to those willing to stick with it. While the initial learning curve is made overly frustrating due to the lack of instruction, the payout is worth the initial headache. The strategy and team elements are awesome and unique in a world full of halo�s and cod clones. MAG is a definite play for any shooter fans on the ps3.
I loved the casual front, with the hardcore backing, where anyone can play with the familiar shooter like any other game, and the heavy hardcore strategy and team elements lay waiting to be discovered.
I hated the lack of instruction and lack of reward for the casual players leaving those players wanting.