Zipper catches the PC feel on the console.
At it's most superficial level MAG appears to be little more than what it's rather odious moniker states a 'Massive Action Game' however, after spending some time with MAG one begins to realize it's true nature. While the game doesn't do anything we haven't seen before in gaming, it does do something we haven't seen in console gaming- the true team based FPS.
For lack of a better term the typical FPS market on a console is immature; from team killing, to questioning others sexuality the console base seem to be going through an adolescence PC gamers matured from roughly 10 years ago. While this can be attributed to numerous reasons, the primary of which is that most console FPS games don't really require communication or teamwork to meet the conditions of victory. Even in more recent titles like Modern Warfare 2 a team can still be carried by a few, while the rest play haphazardly. This is impossible in MAG.
The game attempts to have the player take ownership and pride in their side by forcing them to choose one of three armies, or PMC. Already the community are fiercely defending their PMC's in a fashion akin to a alliance/horde split in World of Warcraft. While developed Zipper don't fully flesh these groups out, I believe it's an intentional omission to try and keep the sides balanced. Ultimately, it becomes little more than a skin swap and slighty different weapon loadouts with Raven representing a modern, efficient European military, SVER representing a guerrilla army and Valor depicting current US army.
The game play feels solid, the shooting feels 'right' particularly sniper rifles which give the appropriate feeling of accuracy and gravity with every shot. While the graphics are not on a par with Modern Warfare 2, they are appropriately grandiose enough given the scope of the game. While there may be physically 256 players on the largest maps, it doesn't feel crowded or chaotic. Zipper have ensured that the numbers are broken down into appropriate 8 person squads with varying degrees of leadership. When not in a leadership role the player earns experience bonuses for following orders and capturing strategic points. Thus far, the incentive of extra XP is enough to have the majority of players fall into line.
Like any multiplayer game, and keep in mind this is 100% multiplayer (don't buy if you don't have an internet connection) you will run into a fair amount of undesirables found with any new launch. All the archetypes are there, the elitists, the 'noobs' and the occasional squad or platoon leader with a sever Napoleon complex. This can greatly shape your experience. While the player may have a run of games that feel like one is beating their head against a wall, ultimately there are matches where the teamwork, the strategy and the gameplay all click to create a sublime experience unmatched in this console cycle. It appears the MAG could be the evolutionary step the console FPS needs to mature players past gaming adolescence, and into adulthood.