So now that Sony unveiled MAG in action, and surprised everyone with it being available on the floor with all 256 players online, it’s time to get see how the game plays with a controller in your hand. I sat down and started up my foray into the massive action game, and here is my summary: MAG is a standard first person shooter with a large amount of players segmented into small groups.
There may be 256 people playing, and they affect the outcome of the game, but you won’t find more than thirty people (and that is a generous number) on your screen at one time.
The beginning of my demo started with a helicopter base deploying my unit about a hundred yards from my squad’s objective. Each player, out of the 256, is assigned a squad with an array of tactical targets and two main objectives. These objectives give players advantages over each other, like destroying radar or building a forward outpost that players can spawn from. The main objectives alter a bar on the top of the screen that determines which side is the victor at the end of the match. The map has a great scale and the objectives are spread out to give players a bit of running room.
Honestly, there isn’t much to say about the game besides it works, and it isn’t terrible. The biggest complaint I had about the game was that there was some lag when throwing weapons and sometimes enemies would die a few seconds after absorbing a few rounds (again, the lag was the culprit). What was most impressive was the amount of sound going on during the invasion. Bullets ricocheting off everything, vehicles rolling past your avatar, and constant explosions from grenades and rockets. It was astounding that, at times, the sound would overtake the massive ambient noise coming from the floor.
Of course, sectioning off your army isn’t done the way everyone thought it would be, but the segmented squads, are necessary. As awesome as it sounds to have 128 people charging over the mound to take over your compound, would you be willing to deal with massive lag spikes just to witness it?
I can’t think of a console game delivering that experience without subjecting players to more problems than benefits, but I appreciate MAG‘s ingenuity in bringing 255 people to our living rooms. Hopefully, when more of the game is revealed, we’ll see a nice range of different maps with varying objectives.
What are your thoughts on how the game could work?
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