Sunday, November 22, 2009

MAG Beta on PlayStation 3 is SWEET

MAG for PlayStation 3
In January 2010 PlayStation owners will have the chance to take part in online warfare the likes of which console gamers have never experienced. MAG for the PlayStation 3 boast battles with up to 256 players, no bots, online at once but this is just the tip of the iceberg in a game closer to Metal Gear Solid than Halo or SOCOM. The game is still in beta but after spending some time with both Sony and the online beta it’s never too early to give an impression of a title that should be pre-ordered and put under the tree this holiday season. Let’s take a look at one massive action game …

Gameplay – Gamers pick a side, the technology savvy Raven, the disgruntled, patchwork S.V.E.R. or the well funded, more traditional Valor. The year is 2025 and nations no longer mobilize their own military but rather turn to the PMC’s of the world, the three most powerful being Raven, S.V.E.R. and Valor. Pick a side, customize your character and jump into battle, but at a progressive state. Gamers must achieve level 3 to take part in the Suppression gameplay mode. In this mode gamers disrupt their opponents operations. At level 4 its Acquisition time which consist of stealing some rides, and not GTA style, but PMC style so airlift that ride out for some research. Level 7 is where it’s time to party with Domination, 256 player wars where oil infrastructure drives the gameplay and the fun just begins. Level 60 is the cap and as gamers advance they are granted points to customize their troop. Customization is deep, but more on that soon. As part of these massive battles gamers must follow order that contain a true military hierarchy with leaders earning their rights. The leadership can alter the course of battle by scrambling the opponent’s communication to calling in air strikes. Each 8 player squad, part of a larger platoon, must carry out their orders and earn points to get stronger. Battles last 20 minutes so no sitting back and waiting, eventually the fight must reach a conclusion. Vehicles do play a role both in battle and as mobile spawn points.

Graphics – From time spent with the beta the environments are detailed and each soldier carries the detail their creator outlined for them. The comparisons to Metal Gear Solid shine in the troops as they look pulled from MGS4 and many of Kojima’s vision seems to come through on the battlefield. For a title still in beta it looks really good and just gets crazier with more troops jumping into the fray.

Sound – Plenty of choices for the default voice with surround sound coming in handy for getting fully immersed. One aspect spoken of during the review, but not yet experienced is the ability to hear troops, friendly and not so much, as they speak. Yes, get close enough to another group of soldiers and you’ll hear their voices in your TV, not mic, which means large platoons can coordinate movement and even spy on the enemy. Think, hide at a spawn point and listen to your foe talk about their plans, then relay back to your squad. An incredible use of sound, one which can change the course of battle.

Design – Character customization is off the charts. Levels, those experienced so far, offer plenty of vantage points. Withholding further comment until full version is released, but there is no lack of solid level and troop design, weapons, etc thus far.

Miscellaneous – Besides the obvious 256 player and cool features outlined so far the troop customization. Players can create five kits, five troops which they can switch in and out of as the battles progress which means no being locked into one troop while in battle. Wait, it gets better. Unlike most MMO’s MAG is not class restrictive. Imagine a fantasy MMO like World of Warcraft where your mage could wield the most devastating melee weapon as a master, serve as a master healer and thief. What MAG does is allows the gamer to customize any and every aspect so don’t get locked into being just a medic, be a medic with some crazy snipping skills. As skill points are gained the customization only gets deeper, no character is the same which can lead to some incredible squads.

Overall, MAG offers an experience years ahead of SOCOM, battlefield wise, and with the beta there are new gameplay elements being unlocked every day. The chance to play in a future war based around PMC’s is a wet dream for this gamer. It really feels like an extension of what MGS has created jacked up a few levels which is saying something. There is much more to happen from now till release so final judgment will be withheld, especially as there is much more to learn, levels to gain in the beta. A deep website and feedback forum mean the game is in the gamer’s hands, and so far its one hell of a war.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    The playstation games will keep the kids entertained for most part of the journey. If you do not access to any of the devices, you can play these playstation games online as well. There are numerous Websites that allow you to play the playstation games for free. However, there are some Websites that also charge some nominal charges for allowing you play the playstation games on their Website. If you are interested in buying any of the playstation games, it is a good method is to try the games on rent prior to buying the playstation games.