MAG Beta Impressions
This is still “beta”, but since it’s less than a month away from release, I can assume this is fairly representative of the final product.
I expect a few bugs and kinks to be worked out before the final release, but I expect the bulk of the game to remain the same.
Lack of Polish
Compared to the other great competitive multiplayer shooters on PS3 (Modern Warfare 2, Killzone 2, and Uncharted 2 are among the best), MAG is definitely the least polished of the bunch. The lobby, perks, upgrades, weapons, secondary abilities, control polish, the artwork, animations, the UI screens, and all the subtle implementation details are much less refined than the competition.
This is surprising since this game had such a long dev cycle, it is competitive multiplayer ony, and this comes from the team originally responsible for the runaway success of the SOCOM series in the PS2 days.
The big strong point of this game is the team dynamics and strategy. Most shooters have some type of squad system, but they usually don’t matter, and the real action is basically a bunch of indepedent players.
In MAG, squads are controlled by human leaders and they have a very noticeable impact on the ebb and flow of battle. You actually care who your squad leader is, and you can feel a coordinated team strategy.
In all the preview coverage, the developers stress the 256 player count, and talk about the game’s back story. Forget that: the back story is throwaway, the game is basically team A vs B, and the real point to this game is the strategic team dynamics that go with the large player count and the human chain of command system.
Unique Blend of Fun
This game has a lot of flaws, but I still had a lot of fun playing it. In addition to the teamwork elements, a lot of the details of the game just felt fun and different from what I’m used to playing.
There are tons of multiplayer shooters out there, and while this isn’t the best, and probably has the most flaws, I had more fun with this than most games, and it is really worth playing.