MAG, or Massive Action Game, was bred for success. The multiplayer online first-person shooting game for the Sony PlayStation 3 came from the brains behind the successful SOCOM series.
MAG is strictly online and uses a new server architecture that allows as many as 256 players simultaneously in a match. It also features deep character customization and growth that eventually makes you feel immersed in a battle for global supremacy.
Players begin by selecting a faction from one of three private military companies. In an effort to foster team loyalty, you're stuck with the faction you choose at the outset until you delete the character or reach level 60 and start a new career.
All the companies have the same skill progression tree but with slightly different equipment. So no matter which faction you choose, you can tailor your character to your playing style.
As you gain experience, you'll obtain skill points to allocate for access to new weapons, accessories and attributes. When you start, you might think you've wasted valuable skill points, but MAG has a nice feature that allows you to reallocate all your skill points from scratch provided you have earned enough of a certain type of points.
The real delight of the character-growth aspect is gaining enough experience to qualify for a leadership position. All command positions grant proximity bonuses for squad members and various abilities, such as calling for aid and assigning targets for squads or platoons. The higher your leadership positions, the more players who can hear your commands on the battlefield.
Although MAG is an online game, there is a one-time-per-character offline training session. The rest of the action is online in four match types.
The match types range from 64 players to Domination games that feature all 256 players. These require each company to complete various multiple objectives. As the number of players in a match increases, there becomes a greater need for more effective leadership in order to win.
At this time, MAG offers fewer than a dozen maps, and even as large as they are, they can get somewhat repetitive. Perhaps the developer will introduce downloadable content at regular intervals.
Compared to its competition, MAG is one of the better shooting games available. It does have problems with repetition and slightly less-detailed graphics, but it more than makes up for those with its sheer size and scope.