MAG: Massive Action Game Review (PlayStation 3)

This is the definitive MAG: Massive Action Game Review. MAG is a game that pushed the boundaries of online console gaming as we know it, Putting in a game mode that allowed a massive 256 players in one game! Another first for this FPS genre was giving the responsibilities of strikes, objectives, and planning to the player. You had roles such as squad leader, Platoon leader, and the big one Officer In Charge. Each role gave the player additional abilities, Such as being able to talk to the whole squad, platoon, or the whole army.

MAG: Massive Action Game gave so much but didn’t favor well with a number of people. Some blame the graphics while some blamed the lack of “COD” in it. While many didn’t even know it existed!. Poor DLC later in life didn’t help and Zipper made the mistake of listening to the wrong fans and effectively killing the very game we all knew and loved. DLC split the community and offered game modes that didn’t quite fit in with the original plan.

With no single player at all, This also turned people away who were not ready for an online-only game on their home consoles. The entire combination of the good and bad ideas ultimately brought this game down in both ratings and player numbers. Numbers you needed to keep high in order for people to play the modes they wanted to. Welcome to our MAG: Massive Action Game Review.

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MAG: Massive Action Game Review Pros:

  • Nice graphics.
  • 256 players online in one game at the same time.
  • No boundaries so you could roam the whole map.
  • Huge varied maps.
  • Platinum Trophy.
  • Mass MMO like FPS gameplay.
  • You could be in control of the whole army issuing orders and tactics
  • You served a role and got rewarded for it, Meaning if you wanted to play it safe and just repair structures? Fine do that and still rank up like your teammates.
  • Game modes-
    • Domination– big 256b player mode where you have attackers and defenders and attackers must take down the smaller bases before the big main depot opens up.
    • Suppression– Team deathmatch which is self-explanatory and is 64 players.
    • Sabotage was the smallest gamemode of those with Shadow War influence. It was played by 64 players from two of the game’s three factions, 32 players aside. In Sabotage, the attacking team must work to secure two enemy satellite uplink centers—objectives A and B. Once both centers have been secured and simultaneously held, objective C is unlocked.
    • Acquisition pits one faction against another, 128 players per game, 64-player factions, and is MAG’s variant on the Capture the Flag game type.
  • The unlock system created a good balance of stealth versus all out the attacker.
  • Game modes were varied and you either attacked or defended your turf.
  • 3 Factions to choose from, each with unique weapons and a back story
  • After reaching the max level you could swap factions.
  • Shadow war- As you won and lost games the game map choices would change so the winning team would have to defend more and the others would attack more. Winning would also give EXP bonuses both overall and on a per map basis.
  • Voice comms were and still are the best quality of in-game communication in any ps3 game.
  • Full Clan support complete with player roles like team leader, Squad leader, etc.
  • Controls were simple.
  • PlayStation Move support didn’t feel tacked on and actually improved the way you play the game.
  • It had vehicles to help transport fellow soldiers.
  • In-game screenshot support.
  • An external website to show your stats.
  • You would parachute in on your final objective.
  • Prestige was available enabling you to earn more XP per game. Works the same as in Call Of Duty, Prestige means you give back all your unlocks and rank to start again.

MAG: Massive Action Game Review Cons:

  • The graphics were not great, Very bland, and PS2 looking. The colors used were your greys and browns.
  • Your first match alone could be a very daunting and isolated experience.
  • The patches after patch 2.0 ruined the balance and feel of the game.
  • The DLC didn’t really add to the experience and felt tacked on for the sake of it
  • Spawn camping on certain maps was horrendous, Could have easily been fixed
  • Getting sniped when parachuting in was a big problem.
  • Team killing while accidental only got worse and the penalties were nonexistent.
  • When they opened up all maps to everyone it cheapened the whole faction loyalty incentive.
  • The user interface isn’t very clear for the new players.
  • Waiting times for games could take ages if you joined the queue cycle at the wrong time.
  • Possible to be stuck in the loop on matchmaking and never get a game.
  • No single player.
  • When there was maintenance no one could play.

MAG: Massive Action Game

Official website (Wiki as the main site is shut down)

Developer: Zipper Interactive

Publisher: Sony Studios

PSN Store link- Defunct now.

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10
8.4/10

Summary

For a quick to-the-point review, This one review has made a mockery of it. In my defense, it is because the game was so so big. Also noting that Sony did zero advertising or promoting.
You will see patch 2.0 mentioned a fair bit, This is because it was a major update to the game. A lot of tweaks and fixes were added whilst also adding new features such as clan support, in-game photo abilities, and the ability to join multiple queues. And funny enough it was the last great patch they released! All patches after that were Zipper listening to what they thought, were the hardcore fans and in fact, turned out to be trolls and piss takers turned the game into a mess. Totally unbalanced and it’s lost its whole feel and appeal.
They got rid of the faction loyalty, By that I mean as a member of a particular faction you had a map on each mode that was just yours that you would defend, But after all these “fixes” any faction could defend your base.
Any hopes of Sony getting it right and making MAG 2 have been ruined by the announcement that Zipper Interactive no longer exists. It’s a huge huge shame as the game could have been even more epic. Zipper themselves stated many times that their server structure could handle more than 256 players in one game, And while the last lot of DLC allowed all 3 factions in one game at the same time this never got fully realized and implemented to a grand MAG level.
In short, it’s probably too late to get into MAG unless you go in with some buddies, But if you do and you do enjoy it, You will get hooked and you will see why so many devoted players still play it. MAG offers what so many other shooters do not and a unique experience on a grand scale.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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