When I first heard of MAG, by Zipper, I thought, "wow, technically impressive but I hates me some SOCOM." So I stepped back and didn't worry about it, just waited for more info. Info struck fast and hard and I even got into the Beta. I actually played the hell outta MAG, especially for it being an online shooter. It truthfully brought back memories of Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 for me. Except, as stated earlier, much more players.
Now I'm waiting on it's January release, reading and listening to impressions across various websites and podcasts. Frankly, for the most part, I'm not liking what I'm hearing. Not because they aren't making accurate observations but because those observations are based around entirely different aspects from what the game is.
This all goes back to the PC vs Console shooter arguments. For us old schoolers, the Halo system actually drew a huge line between what it meant to be a PC gamer and a Console gamer. Before Halo, the line was just blurred by graphics and controls. But Halo simplified everything. No massive loadouts, no planned character progression, no real sense of clan community and "knowing your role" in the team infastructure. This mentality, unfortunately, crept into other franchises back onto PC and created a massive gulf between old players and new players.
And what the old PC FPS players want is that very specific itch to be scratched. Sony made some misteps in that direction. Take, for example, Resistance. The game moved, played, and felt like an old school FPS. A PreHalo world with prettier graphics. Believe it or not, that's why I loved the first one much more than the second. And now they're making the same "mistake" with MAG.
Allow me to put this in another way. MAG is a loud, dirty, and abusive lover. But between deciding your characters growth, the constant give and take on the battlefield, the constant feeling of overwhelming odds, MAG is not a console game. MAG feels very much like where PC gaming was headed. Nobody is going to hold your hand in this game if you go off on your own. Nobody is going to tell you what to do. They will make suggestions and the victory or defeat comes from knowing your role and playing it well.
And this is why I love what I played and cannot wait for release. Most of the games I played were a blast and NOTHING beats the feeling of rolling 8 players deep, covering the welder as he repairs a defensive breach, and seeing the enemy APC withdraw under RPG fire. As long as you understand MAG is a successor to PC gaming, it's a great great title. But if you're used to being the lone hero in a team deathmatch, please stay in MW2. Last thing I want on my team is someone more concerned with his KD rate than the positions we're losing.
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