Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MAG earns its name.

Of all the silly military-themed acronyms MAG could stand for, it simply stands for “Massive Action Game.” Now, I find this funny because it is actually quite literal. Its massive in the sense that it can hold up to a whopping 256 players in one online match, and as far as action goes there is plenty of shooting. Oh and it’s a video game, that too. But does this PS3 exclusive go beyond having a semi-cool title? Read on to find out.

Story: Since the game is entirely online play, there is no story mode. This is good because we see games that are primarily online (cough –Modern Warfare-cough) that have a completely lame and irrelevant story line (cough-Modern Warfare-cough). People just want to cut to the chase, and in this day and age the chase happens to be online play. Nobody is going to buy these games for the story. They want online play, and that is what MAG is good at.

With no story mode, the only thing we can piece together as a story is the following: your character (the one you create) enters into one of three private military companies. Raven, a high tech richie-rich organization with all of the newest gear and tactics; Valor, your typical G.I. Joe U.S. army type group; and finally S.V.E.R. the resistance fighter militia-type guys.

Once you choose your team, you are stuck with them for a really long time. So this does a good job to keep you loyal to your specific faction. It’s not like one faction is better than the other, so you should choose which one that feels and looks right to you. The only things that are really affected are how your bases, clothes and weapons look. The one thing that effects how you play in each faction is the players on your team.

From what I’ve noticed the people that are really good at first person shooters like Call of Duty join Valor, so naturally valor is pretty good. People who are pro at Halo or any other sci-fi games play on Raven and they aren’t so good. But, by far the best team in the game right now is S.V.E.R. They have won the most matches in most of the game modes. I’m not really sure why they always win, but I guess that it’s the players that really make up the team.

Game Play: The game play in MAG is truly massive. MAG plays like a traditional war-time first person shooter. You have your primary weapons, secondary weapons, grenades and a few other things. As far as the game play goes, it’s pretty much just running around and shooting people. That’s not too difficult at all.

Where this game really shines is its capacity an incredible amount of players online at once. The most there can be is 256, but this isn’t all the time. There are several game modes you can play—each with its own number of players and objectives. The 256 player mode called Domination has players capture a number of control points in the enemy base. This mode, plainly put, is crazy. There are over two hundred people shooting at each other. The maps for these modes are large and complex and you probably won’t get through them by the time the game is over. There is a lot going on, but they make it work.

I have never had to wait more than two minutes for a match and have suffered absolutely NO lag at any time during the game. This is simply an amazing feat, and they pulled it off. The character creation at the beginning of the game is pretty solid. You can customize everything down to the clothes and voice of your character. Instead of choosing a class for your character to play like most games, the game assigns you a class by what you do the most on the battle field. If all you do is heal all day, you are going to be marked as a medic. If you spend your time in battle using the sniper rifle then you will be a sniper. The game has talent trees that you can use to upgrade whichever class you would like, with points toward this upgrade unlocked at each new level. Overall, when it comes to the game play of MAG the only thing I can say about it is that it is simply awesome.

Other Elements: The graphics are good, but at the same time nothing to remember or give praise to. I mean don’t get me wrong, the epic battles on an HD TV look pretty cool, but there is better out on the market today. The music tracks are interesting with hardcore rock music playing at random times. There is little voice acting, but again it is good, not best.

Now, I could sit here all day like most big time critics and rip apart the game with all of its little flaws and give it a bad score because of said flaws. But If I was to score MAG on how fun it is to play, which is what you care about, I would give it a 10/10 for just being plain fun. Make sure if you own a PS3, to pick this one up.

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