MAG's big battlefields are a great place to wage war...
When you first hear that MAG supports 256-player online matches, you may be inclined to picture hordes of soldiers swarming on top of one another and filling the air with thousands of bullets. The reality is that skirmishes play out on a much smaller scale, yet MAG still boasts some of the busiest battlefields in the genre. On the objective-rich maps, defeating the enemy squads arrayed against you demands individual skill and team coordination. Powerful rewards and intriguing command abilities await determined soldiers, making the tight combat all the more satisfying. There are some rough edges to contend with, however, including technical problems and a creeping sense of repetition. Yet though MAG is sometimes frustrating, it is more often engaging and occasionally thrilling. The sharp combat and exciting command roles make MAG a great destination for soldiers of fortune.
Stopping the enemy's vehicular advances is a great way to help hold the line.
* Comment on this video
* Watch this video in High Def
Jumping into MAG requires you to choose a faction. Three private military companies--S.V.E.R., Raven, and Valor--are engaged in a so-called Shadow War for military contracts, attacking each other's facilities in order to gain an edge. If a faction has enough success in a given match type, it earns a contract that gives its players a slight bonus every time they play that match type. These bonuses are fairly minimal (+5% experience points, for example) and don't tip the scales too much, serving more as an indicator of faction status than a tangible goal to strive for. Each faction has a different appearance, different guns, and a different attitude, and you make your choice based on a brief recruiting video. This isn't much to go on, but they all have similar arsenals and the same skill progression trees, so they are essentially interchangeable.
That doesn't mean you can change factions, however. After enlisting, you are stuck with the faction you chose unless you delete your character or reach level 60, at which point you can start a new career. This persistence builds faction loyalty and increases the likelihood that you'll see familiar teammates. You also get very familiar with the maps because they are faction-specific; you always defend your own turf and attack your enemies' territories. This consistency has obvious benefits, and though there are only ten maps, most of them have multiple fronts. The biggest maps have four such fronts, each of which has a different layout and presents its own challenges. Even with this variety, you can reach a point where you start feel like you've seen it all before. Fortunately, the maps are very well designed, and there is so much going on in each battle that this feeling doesn't become a problem.
There are four match types in MAG, though only two are available to you early on. Suppression is team deathmatch within your own faction. Sabotage introduces the concept of taking and holding objectives, challenging attackers to capture two points in order to unlock (and subsequently destroy) the third point. These 64-player matches are very straightforward and provide a good point of entry into the game. You can certainly find some hotly contested matches as players hone their weapon skills, but these modes ultimately lack the dynamic intensity of MAG's larger-scale battles.
When you need to clear the way for bunker demolition, your shotgun is a powerful ally.Read full review