Before I get started I just want to tell everyone that I wont be showing any gameplay, reveal any particular bugs, or talk about any current problems as it is still in beta form. However we will be breaking this article into 4 catagories: gameplay, visuals, online experience, and communication.
I was invited to the MAG Beta this week, and what a few days it was. I had probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a multiplayer game. And that’s saying a lot coming from an avid Call of Duty 4 fan. I played only one map this week, but it was a solid map with some real good players and weapons. Now lets get down to the four things that we look at in a beta ( besides bugs of course! ).
While the visuals aren’t Killzone 2 good, they aren’t bad. There are little things here and there that need to be worked on, but like I stated above I’m not going into that because it is a beta. The visuals do however feel like a mix between SOCOM and Call of Duty, and it works well. While its definitely not a game thats going to win any Graphics of the Year awards, the visuals are enough to get by. The visuals in no way hinder the awesome experience of the game, but I do think that developer Zipper needs to work on making the game look a bit better, just to give it the visual pop it needs. What you see in the screenshot are the visuals you get in the beta. The visuals can ( and most likely will ) be worked on, and Zipper has enough time to work that out.
The character models are very detailed. You can tell what guns, armor and accsessories people have on their characters. For how detailed the character models are, you would think that they might seem a bit out of place in the game. Zipper Interactive have done a fantastic job in making sure that every character looks like he belongs in the world hes in. Just like Zippers PS2 franchise SOCOM, MAG is a very well made military looking shooter.
This is where the game shines the most. The gameplay is very fun thanks to it not being accessible to those in a typical FPS state of mind. Everyone sticks together, shoots together and plays to acheive the objective they are given. Team work is absolutely instrumental to achieving success, and if you break away from the pack, things will not go well. When you play as a team you earn more points, and when you get more points you level up faster, and when you level up faster you get more things. Its simple and it works. There are no perks, and I actually find it rather refreshing as you dont feel cheated every time you die. Everytime you die you accept that it’s your fault, or the fact that the enemy player caught you off guard. Simply put, the gameplay is very rewarding.
With litterly no lag, fun gameplay, and people communicating online, the online experience for this game was very well presented. Lets start with the first one, lag. For a game that has 256 people playing you would think that there would be lag. Well you thought wrong. MAG litterly has none. In the 9 games that I played today, I had not seen anyone lag. I haven’t lagged – its fantastic. I too was skepticle at first if there was going to be some sort of trade-off for the sheer size of the roster, but Zipper has put those worries to rest. If you want to know about the gameplay, re-read the gameplay section again. If you want to know about the communication in MAG, well – keep reading.
In the last 2 years I have been on the PlayStation Network I have never seen so many people have headsets. I don’t know what is up with this beta but A LOT of people have headsets. Every time I get into my squad of eight, 5-8 people in the squad have headsets. The game is very fun to interact with people as the PSN community is very lively, and quite frankly, very funny. No one is cussing each other out or talking about each others moms, the players talk about the game, tactics, and crack a joke every now and then to lighten each others moods ( you know, while we’re losing ).
All in all, MAG is a great online FPS I see many people picking up when it lauches January 2010. This was my experiance while playing MAG, and I cant wait to play again tommorow.
Go ahead and comment. Its free and requires no signing up. Its so easy, a caveman can do it (see what I did there). What was your experience like in the MAG beta?