MAG

Review

posted 3/2/2010 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS3
If you are not careful though, you'll die a lot. Like Modern Warfare 2, it sometimes can take but a few shots to bring you down. It can get pretty damn frustrating if you're not used to this. Even though I have a lot of experience in first person shooters, it still took me some time to know how to approach areas and spot the enemy without being picked off easily. There are still many times where I would just be walking and a machine gun from out of nowhere hits me two times taking me down. I think I was even more frustrated with my first few hours of MAG than I was with Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer experience. I had to force myself to work through the nuances and instant death scenarios that I encountered during my early playing hours and I feel bad for newcomers going up against seasoned veterans with enhanced weapons as dying might be the norm for them for a while.

Now in the age of FPS games, MAG deviates from the current norm and goes back a few years by making you actually heal yourself if damaged rather than waiting around to regenerate health. Thank you, Zipper as this is one of the things I truly miss in the world of FPS games. You have 100 health and it can get whittled away by gunfire, rockets, or grenades to name a few. Each soldier can carry a healing kit which is a syringe that you inject yourself. In the beginning, it won't heal you completely if you are down in the single digits but you can get multiple injections from one syringe. Later on, you can pick up the ability to heal others as well as revive them. You can't use it forever though but there are supply crates around where you can refill your syringe as well as reload on ammo.


Let me talk about reviving for a second. In MAG, you not only die but you can be put into an out of action state. At this time, you'll see a red skull that counts down whereby a medic teammate came come along and revive you back into battle. If this is done, you can get back into the action quicker as you'll save the time trying to run back to your current position from the spawn point. If you don't think there's any one around that can help you, you can always bleed out and die at that instant. Reviving is also one of the quickest ways to level up as you can get a lot of experience points quickly this way. This is the reason you'll see a lot more medic-centric players early on in their leveling capabilities as it's the fastest way to get into the 256 person games at level eight and commanding a platoon at level fifteen.

Once dead, you have to wait to get back in. There's a rotating 20 second time limit and depending on when you die in that rotation, you can get back in quickly or have to wait a good part of the 20 seconds to do so. If you are in the process of changing which loadout you want or selecting a waypoint to spawn at, you can miss your deployment window and have to wait another 20 seconds so it pays to keep an eye on the countdown to make sure you don't miss that window. I've played a few games where the most I had to wait was 10 seconds to get back in but then again I got pretty lucky as to when I died in that spawn time window. For the most part it doesn't seem like you have to wait too long to get back into the action.


Three different gameplay modes give you some variety in how to play the game. There's the basic two team deathmatch where you try and take out the other team's players faster than yours. A slider indicates how many respawns are left for each team so you have an idea on how you are doing. Acquisition is kind of interesting in that you have to go in and capture a vehicle and drive it away to capture it. There are two on the map to try and grab so the attacking team usually splits into two groups to carjack one. Along the way you can bust apart barricades to make the path to capturing the vehicle easier. Speaking of vehicles, they do play a minor role in the game but make no mistake about it, MAG is an infantry based game with vehicles provided as a small option. Domination is pretty much capture and holding of points as well as planting charges in certain areas to take them out. It is nice to see a little progression of the map as you have to accomplish certain tasks before you can move on to the next one.

There are various map types but the selection is limited so it doesn't seem like you're getting a lot of content for your money. The nice thing though is the maps are huge and offer a ton of places to explore. Some of the maps employ strategic points to demolish or take over. You can earn points just by blowing up barricades in an acquisition map as well as making an easier route to drive a stolen vehicle. To make your attacking job easier, you can also take out some buildings such as turrets or mortar batteries.
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