Why MAG is better than COD… if you’re rubbish at shooters

Let’s get one thing straight right from the off: I’m shit at COD. Oh sure, I’ve finished both Modern Warfares on Veteran with my sanity and personal hygiene (barely) intact. But pit me against a P90-wielding fourteen-year-old from Arkansas on the land of the interwebs and I absolutely crumble. Want further proof of my sheer shittyness? I had to knock back five cans of the strongest French lager known to man in an effort to sooth my shattered nerves during our 24 hour Modern Warfare 2 marathon

Which brings me onto MAG. Normally I stay away from any online game that forces me to shoot other folk. Thanks to my stupid sausage fingers, I’m invariably always half a second too slow in pulling the trigger. Couple this with the gale force tantrums I throw when I lose and you’re probably getting why I avoid playing shooters on the net like one of those plagues that makes you piss fire before your knob drops off.

So why do I like MAG?

Now don’t get me wrong, MAG has loads of problems. With fugly textures and drab maps, it looks about as appealing as road kill. The guns feel like firing Super Soakers next to COD’s ferocious firearms. And it can take ages to get into a 256 player game. I’m totally convincing you it’s better than Modern Warfare 2 online, right? Woah, just hold off on the straight jackets and horse tranquilisers for a second. While it’s true MAG can’t compete with the amazing engine Infinity Ward has built technically, it can beat the shit out of COD tactically.

Above: Which one's MAG, again? 

The thinking man’s Modern Warfare

The game that made Captain Price’s face fuzz famous is built around twitch shooting. If you’ve not got the reactions of a paranoid, caffeine-addicted meerkat you’re going to spend most of your time staring at death cams. By contrast, MAG is like a (slightly homicidal) stroll in the park. It’s all methodical battles to defend bases and mini wars of attrition. For a control freak obsessed with keeping his kill death ratio in the plus column, the game’s slower, more controlled approach coupled with the huge maps, means I can pick and choose my battles.

It’s fairer than COD

Unless you’ve got thumbs of granite and the precognitive abilities of midget, amphibian Jedi (Yoda’s definitely a frog, yeah?), COD is seriously unforgiving. Because of the level up system, there’s never parity with the guns. Most players I meet will always be manned up to the molars with weapons that make my M14 look like something I’ve built out of cereal boxes, sticky tape and prayers. But with MAG, even when using the rubbish default weapon sets, I’ve always got a chance… mainly because my man can suck up shrapnel like a bullet-resistant sponge.

In contrast, if I eat a few well-placed cartridges in MW2 my shit’s going down in a crumpled, twitching heap. Realistic? Yup. Fair? Hell no. Where you can get gunned downed within a couple of seconds of respawning in COD, you always re-enter MAG a fair distance away from its firefights. Sure, having to sprint thirty seconds to find a fellow man to riddle with lead is a pain in the ass. But at least it gives me time to find my bearings before they get shot off.

Unlike MW2, every second person I meet isn’t a giant douche

There’s definitely no ‘I’ in MAG’s team. Well, not unless you’re shit at spelling. Because most matches demand tactical coordination within squads, I found fellow players were always looking after me. They healed me with med packs when I took damage. Watched my back when I entered enemy territory. And, crucially, let me know if there was a man behind me waiting to shish kebab my bladder with an AK. MAG gave me a sense of community I’ve never had with COD.

Above: Bromance between me and my MAG team-mates has been rife

So there you have it. A rant of Tom Cruise on Oprah proportions that’ll no doubt convince you I’m a raving mentalist. But, stick me in MAG, and you’ve got one happy raving mentalist.

Look out for our MAG Super Review over the next week.

Feb 8, 2010

MAG: What's the verdict on Sony's online FPS?
We could've reviewed the game, but we haven't - read on to find out why

Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer maps guide
Up your game even further with these ultra-detailed maps and tips


  • PiscesIscariot - February 16, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    I don't have MAG, but I can agree with you on many points, and not because I suck. I honestly don't think it's fair that you can join a game in COD and have a guy destroy you in a few shots with the gun they've aquired. It's nice when you are not the victim, but when you are, it makes leveling up hell. And yeah, it seems CoD has the biggest douches and the guys with the biggest e-peen.
  • cloud33113 - February 14, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    I can totally agree and, it actually takes brain power to play Massive Action Game (MAG.)You need to set aside points to get guns and other stuff and you dont get a chopper that kills all of the opponents after killing 11 people.Another way you need to use brain power on MAG is that shooting a team mate will kill them unlike cod (i believe.Haven't played in a while)
  • MateoC - February 11, 2010 11:42 p.m.

    MAG is a better game than MW2 in many ways. It doesn't lag nearly as much, yet at the same time it can have over 21 times more people simultaneously running around on the same map. The spawn system is better, it focuses on teamwork, guns are more balanced and a hell of a lot more stuff that makes MAG a far better game than MW2. Good article, but I disagree with the argument that MAG is easier. I've seen people who picked up MW2 for the first time and it was the first shooter they ever played, and they did well. They didn't go positive, but they didn't do terrible. Whereas in MAG, I know someone who has been playing shooters for years and did terrible in MAG.
  • starhaw - February 11, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    I say the only way you should be able to comment on mag is if You've played it for a considerable amount of time, plan on playing it while not planning to bash it until you've played it, or plan on buying it or have something good to say...i mean common that's like a math teacher trying to teach English (if you have no EXPERIENCE WITH MAG WHATSOEVER) I mean if you've played it for a good amount of time and still have something bad to say then by all means say it...but I'm going to warn you ZIPPER will only improve it...they listen to their players and they actually play their games with others (secretly) so they can see what they need to fix and what needs to be done. and if your an XBOT just looking to stir up trouble or start a flame war...please don't even open your mouth. other than that GREAT ARTICLE I FEEL YOU DID A GREAT JOB posting the differences in a positive way for both and I liked that. I do have to say though...I am a sniper in MAG and I get out to the battle field but I do Camp in a good spot ( IDK i think snipers should be allowed to camp because thats their exploit, pick out a target, and kill) and actually Id say snipers don't have an unlimited range...i mean for me personally the scopes don't seem that much better than a scope for an AR or LM...I just wish they'd give the scopes more precision and zoom distance, now some would say yeah but snipers could camp from a farther distance and take people out...not true...if you've ever been a sniper in MAG you know that the bullet isn't straight on one shot dead accurate...the bullets curve after a certain distance so...but it would still be nice to have a little bit better zoom distance for snipers, I will say i have had some lucky @$$ shots from long distances but that doesn't mean I'm not capable of taking someone out from a far distance because the scopes are not to great but its just a personal little tweak I'd like to see. Sorry for rambling....once again GREAT ARTICLE =]
  • SUNSD - February 11, 2010 6:13 a.m.

    i love mag!!!! mw2 can go suck bull shit and lol "THERES NO I IN MAG'S TEAM, UNLES YOUR SHIT AT SPELLING" XD that was so fucking funny XD and for once, the ppl rent douche bags in mag, but i rly need a head set to tell ppl LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU or when i accidentally shoot my teammate sorry accident. overall, if u want to be interactive with ur team u should get a head set, but, just shooting ppl is still fun :P and who the hell makes these things u have to type in inorder to leave ur comment!? mine was afghan goodness! WHAT THE FUCK!?
  • Jose22 - February 11, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    battlefield is good but COD kicks its ass
  • Jose22 - February 11, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    i haven't played MAG but i can say hat COD has been my addicting game since COD:MW at it is a pretty damm well made game so don't say stupid things about because its awesome
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - February 10, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    Pretty sure I'm the only one at GR that's played PlanetSide for any amount of time, so it's understandable if there aren't comparisons mentioned much. And for the record, PlanetSide had 500 players on a map in the past. It can only have 400 now, but it used to be 500.
  • TeragRunner - February 10, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I can't play Mag due to my lack of a PS2 but I completely agree with what you're said about COD. I'm not going to repeat it because it's all right there but I just don't like COD. It's fun but Battlefield is much better.
  • supak00ldud3 - February 10, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    does the author of the article not realise that Battlefield has been the thinking man's COD for years?
  • Yeager1122 - February 10, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    I agree cod is also annoying the crap out of me lately and i just started playing the BBC2 demo and am really liking it as to mag ive never actually played it so i have no comment on it.
  • Joeey - February 10, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    @ grimv9 If you read it properly, MAG doesnt have a 94 on metacritic, MW2 does. :)
  • Games_Radar_DaveMeikleham - February 10, 2010 10:36 a.m.

    @xboxrulez You're the absolute man. A hero, some would say. That is all.
  • bayssa - February 10, 2010 4:31 a.m.

    btw I totally agree with you about MAG, MAG is a lot about of teamwork than of a lonely wolf guy over there looking at you kind of funny... I haven't played MW2, but I don't have the intentions to do it because MAG is better, but I don't care about the graphics, graphics are a bonus thing... :D
  • bayssa - February 10, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    the super MEGA REVIEW for MAG it's coming out for real!!! :D can't wait to read it! :O :P
  • Jose22 - February 10, 2010 3:16 a.m.

    look if your a piece of shit at cod that doesn't mean that MAG is better it just means that you suck a this games you moronass
  • Cyberninja - February 10, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    i hate CoD only because its the only thing people talk about in school if i said cod sucks i would proably get shot
  • Shifty1001 - February 10, 2010 1:22 a.m.

    So, have the fine folks at GR received crumbdunky's resume yet? Anyways, I personally own both MW2 and MAG, and while I can appreciate what MAG is / tries to do, I must say that I prefer MW2. Not that I prefer twitch gunplay over tactics; I just couldn't get into MAG. I think the biggest problem is that, for every person you allow to play your game online, you also increase the chance of shit going horribly, horribly wrong. And from my time with the game, I can say that it most definitely did. People seemed to prefer running around like retards shooting each other instead of capturing objectives, etc. And hardly anyone seems to have a mic, which kind of makes it difficult to coordinate. Another big issue I found was the (extremely overpowered) sniper rifles. 2 shots to the chest = a kill, there's hardly any recoil, and they seem to have infinite range. And I'm just talking about the basic one you start the game with. Anyone using a sniper basically cleans up shop when the match hits the inevitable bottleneck phase. Again, this is just my opinion, but I really didn't enjoy my time with MAG. Oh, and to everyone who hates on MW2 Killstreak rewards / unlocks / etc: You're kind of lame. Some of you actually complain about better players getting rewarded... so instead should your guns get shittier as you progress? Personally, I like being rewarded for playing well; when I pull off an 11 kill streak, I know I've earned the right to sit in the gunner seat of that chopper. Don't blame the game just because you aren't good at it. Use the M4; it's awesome and also happens to be one of the first assault rifles you get to use. Rant over.
  • Pocotron - February 10, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    @xboxrulez I'll say this once since you've decided to stick your neck out again: GO. FUCK. YOURSELF. Not because I'm a fanboy, not because you're a fanboy, but for murdering the English language and you're totally unreadable comments.
  • farewellandgoodnight - February 9, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    Five cans in 24 hours = borderline alcoholic? Either you're a pussy or an American no?

Showing 1-20 of 42 comments

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