auswin's MAG (PlayStation 3) review

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  • auswin wrote this review on .
  • 45 out of 52 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.

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.

6 Comments
Posted by Juvarial

"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." 
Very well said. In the 7-8 hours I spent in MAG I would perfectly agree with that statement. The lack of the mics on the PS3 is attributed but still. Its a very nice change. Maybe console gaming has hope after all.
Lovely review mate : )

Posted by CombustionMan

great review.

Posted by ZER01

A well wriiten review it makes we want to give this game a try. It feels a simliar (yet much larger vibe) to Rainbow 6 . where in that game you would be wise to comuicate with your team in order to win. I dont like the new MW2 i may trayde that as i dont play it anymore in favour of this tille. I say again nice review.

Posted by Auswin
@ZER01:
Think more Battlefield than Rainbow 6. But you're right, you need to have alot of communication with your squad and platoon to be effective in MAG.
Edited by ryuken

Very good review, thank you. I've finally sunk my teeth deep into MAG and when your on a good squad you can't do better I don't care what game your playing. Me and 7 other guys took out 4 bunkers a triple A and a satellite uplink before the other team knew what hit em, all while getting frago points (double XP) and healing each other like crazy.  I went from lvl 18 to lvl 31 this weekend it was a blast.
Posted by Halberdierv2

good review, and i agree, you dont get the same childish feeling you get when playing against others like you do in other games. then again, the PS3 base is usually a bit more mature than the 360 base.

Other reviews for MAG (PlayStation 3)

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