Do not buy MAG
Let me be very clear about this. MAG should have been a good game, indeed it could have been a great game. It has alot about it that shows this, but it fails utterly.
So the question of course is, why such a harsh title and score?
Well, most of MAG's woes can be summed up in one word. Imbalance. To really get a feel for this you have to play about with the various Private Military Companies that the game offers. There are three flavours and these are supposed to provide a backstory and a general feeling for the sort of kit they get. In reality the back story is irrelevant and the kit options themselves are replicated across all sides. Now that's fair enough right? After all keeping the sides balanced is easier if all three have the same stuff and no one feels hard done by. And really, an Assault Rifle is an Assault Rifle right? This isn't a sim after all.
In this case though the developers had a different vision. The kit choices appear essentialy the same when you first play. You gain rank and spend points to access the gear and using that system allows you to choose to specialise should you wish, or be more able to respond to the changing battlefield by being more generalised. This is all good stuff as far as it goes but once out on the battlefield it doesn't take too long to realise that the name changes on the weaponry is far from cosmetic. MAG goes further though and seems to 'pool' all the really decent weapons in one faction, which is a rather odd choice. Playing as one side in particular it is a common occurance to put a whole clip into an enemy, only for them to turn around and kill you in two shots, but even if you do put them down getting through a whole clip when you can only carry four just doesn't seem right. Don't worry though, you'll almost always be dead before ammo becomes a problem.
But there's more. Having one side with really obviously more powerful weaponry isn't enough, in this case we also have the situation where the battlefields are slanted in favour of one team and against the others.
One side has a defensive setup that provides the home teams with wide fields of fire that overlap and compliment. This in turn allows it's players to press forward under covering fire, making attacking even harder. Behind the defensive emplacements a wall and should one of the bunkers go down this enables two major problems for the attackers. Firstly it funnels their attempt to break through into the base, providing the defending team plently of opportunity to mow them down. Secondly if their are vehicles available they are able to park up behind the bunker and provide covering fire for players repairing. Let's not forget that overlapping fire from the other bunkers.
Compare this to a more obviously organised base though where the bunkers are more sensibly behind the perimiter. In this case the wall actually further impedes the turret from providing fire and in the case of these other factions it is very rare that the bunkers can provide each other support.
This doesn't just tip the balance, it makes it near eff'ing vertical.
I hope I've been clear in this description because it really does turn a fun game into a mire of desperation, being spawn camped is never fun.
I shall continue though as there are other problems. There are connection difficulties, there are interface bugs where you get trapped unable to spawn and where you can't change equipment. Bugs, bugs, bugs. Heck, the game was more stable in beta.
How about that 256 player limit though? Yes, it can indeed be great. But take a look at that map again. there might be 256 people running around shooting but it's effectively two seperate bases. Why go to all that trouble to host 256 players if you're going to segregate them?
In short I would say, as I have in the title. Do not buy this game. On the other hand, if you're the kind of player that uses an Action Replay or finishes games using an invulnerability cheat code, go ahead and choose SVER.