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MAG: Is it any good?

All this is controlled and directed by squad leaders and commanders. When you've levelled up enough you can apply for certain leadership roles, meaning you can pick objectives and direct the flow of battle to help towards the overall objective. Usually completely annihilating the enemy.

The ordering system is simple enough - just aim at a marker and hit the 'kill it to death' button. Whatever you've chosen then lights up on everyone else's map. Some things are mission specific, like taking out pipelines or gates while others simply influence the battle. For example, taking out the enemies' air support to enable helicopters to fly in and create a forward spawn point.


Above: Remember to bend your knees when you land

Amazingly, people actually follow orders - in the Beta, at least. Partly because you get a FRAGO bonus, boosting your XP - so following 'FRAGmentary Orders' issued by squad leaders and you'll get promoted and unlock new weapons or abilities. Mainly, though, the whole game is built around teamwork, so going solo in MAG is like going clubbing without any friends. Sure, you get to hear the music and see the lights but you are alone. So very alone.

  Above: The Lone Wolf McQuaid, one-man-army is not welcome in MAG.

The guns could be stronger. Both literally -  it can feel like you're hosing enemies to no effect - and in terms of overall impact. Squeeze the trigger in Modern Warfare 2 and it's like a metal terrier barking in your hand. In MAG it's more like someone someone saying 'bang!' but not really feeling it.


Above: MAG's guns: weak sauce

Vehicles also feel a little misplaced. They don't seem to fit in on the maps. They can only really get around on the roads. You can tear into the nearest fight but rather than having a decisive affect on the tide of battle it's more a case of trying to park once you're there. While people shoot at you.

It's still impressive, though. Both for the sheer size of the damn thing and because people are taking it seriously. We never managed a promotion to a command rank because the Beta only allowed one character save, meaning we had to keep deleting it to try out each of the factions (more on those in a moment).

Fortunately you don't have to have your heart set on Commander In Chief Of The Whole Universe to enjoy yourself. Most of the action is on the ground, in direct conflict, anyway. So as long as you don't mind following orders (blow up the flashing bit of the map, usually) then things are looking good for MAG.

Next: The game has three playable factions: how different are they?

47 comments

  • marcoallegretti - February 19, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    You guys are all high. This game blows MW2 out of the water. I own the game and it is hands down the best FPS and most tactical shooting game ever.Its not like call of duty running around killing with no purpose, you have to work with your teammates. Also, the factions idea is sweeet. And even for the 256 person game, i've waited like 2 minutes MAX. The other smaller games take like 10 seconds.
  • STEPHENSON1992 - February 11, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    Is mag a good game to get. What can you customize in the game. how bad are the graphics.
  • skaterdie45 - January 31, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    It now takes les then two mins. to find a 256 game
  • edwin92 - January 30, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    what happened to the super review!?
  • mccore24 - January 25, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    i completly disagree with this article i was in both mag betas both open and closed and i can tell you that the average time for a single 256 player game to launch was nowhere near 30 mins. on average i waited 2-5 mins. this is a great game with a great concept and i think it will do fairly well when it releases although the $60 price tag for online play only is a bit ridiculous though this is coupled with the fact that you are playing with 256 people on a single map aka awesome (id like to see CoD do that)
  • gangjute8 - January 20, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    What? 30 minutes? When I played, it was a max of 4 minutes to jump into a match, normally about 90 seconds.
  • xwolf - January 9, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    When I played Mag it only took around 2 minutes max to
  • themooninites - January 5, 2010 2:58 a.m.

    @ CAPST3R . my friend, there's this little thing i know of. see it there? it's a douche bag. it is used to clean vaginas... wait, that's you. sorry to point this out, but it's better than not doing so.
  • jackthemenace - December 23, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    wicked, i may just have to buy this once i renew my XBL gold. thanks again GR! you truly are gods among men.
  • maedene - December 13, 2009 11:01 p.m.

    If this game is any good, then i might just get a PS3
  • Mirako - December 13, 2009 2:27 a.m.

    Miiiiight get a PS3 for Christmas, plenty of reasons to.
  • slapdatass - December 13, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    @jackthemenace - disk game. Beta was over 2gb, and that didn't have the full game. Plus, box art was released recently.
  • jackthemenace - December 12, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    si it coming out as a proper disk game, or as a download over XBLA/PSN?
  • slapdatass - December 12, 2009 12:04 p.m.

    I really liked it, the graphics aren't the top of the range, but the gameplay (you know, the important bit) is rock solid. And yeah, there's something awesome about storming a factory with about a hundred other live players at your back. For a beta it was very polished, so I'm thinking this will be a week one purchase...
  • grahktherock - December 11, 2009 3:07 a.m.

    Whoa 30 minute load times!!! where do i sign up!?!?!
  • TKTOWA - December 11, 2009 2:53 a.m.

    Looks alright. I'll stick to Quake Wars.
  • RamenDragon - December 11, 2009 1:38 a.m.

    I imagine we'll be hearing some awfully noisy battles with 256 people on headsets at the same time.
  • nik41507 - December 11, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    Maybe it laggs for some time because its just a beta
  • wwfmankind - December 10, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    I downloaded the beta and tried several times to get into a game... I waited an average of about 15-20 minutes and I never once got in... finally got bored and played Killzone instead.
  • StoveToTheFace - December 10, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    Sounds like a good idea and i wish the ppl that made it the best of luck and i hope im wrong but..... i cant belive that if most ppl cant act like adults and play fair letting their true skill show rather then hidding behind crap like jav glitches and B,X,B and stuff to that effect in a small matches.... i cringe at the fact that there will be 200+ of these ppl. how many annoying 12 year olds can you handle?

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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