MAG Redefines ‘Massive’ on the Console

April 13, 2009Written by Dan Massi


This just in: MAG will be awesome. You probably already knew that, didn’t you? With new screenshots showing the game looks great, and the fact that you play with 256 players, what’s not to like?

Even if you’re on the fence with this game, these new details will probably get you interested.

  • Supports anywhere from 2 to 256 Players.
  • Zipper’s goal is keeping framerate at 30FPS when all the action is going down at all times.
  • Dedicated servers with new network architectures introduced to help reduce lag.
  • Streamlined matches to reduce waiting times.
  • All audio cues are player created. If you hear planes flying by or air raid sirens going off, actual players are the source, not scripted events. Distance also affects these audio cues, and can alert players on the other side of a map.
  • PunkBuster quality cheating detection. The system tests for things like rate of fire/movement/damage to keep things in check.
  • First Person View was chosen to give a better sense of scale and immersion.
  • 20 years in future, 3 major PMCs bid for war. The power struggle of these three is dubbed the  Shadow War.
  • 3 Factions, only 2 announced for now:
    • Raven  High tech weapons, besttrained soldiers on planet. Will appeal to Halo/Resistances fans.
    • Sver  Fierce, battlehardened warriors from the Middle East/Central Asia.
  • 256 Player Domination mode. Attackers and defenders. Outer layer of defense and inner layer. Once gone through the outer layer, ‘all hell breaks loose’. Antiaircraft and radar are vulnerable. If your faction wins a many times, it receives the contract for that game mode, in addition to XP bonuses and perks.
  • 3 other game modes:
    • Acquisition 128 player escort-style mode. Steal 2 prototype armored transports and bring to extraction zone.
    • Sabotage  64 player, control 2 points for a set amount of time. A demolition objective is then revealed, and must be destroyed.
    • Suppression  64 player team deathmatch.
  • Customize face, voice, armor.
  • No soldier class system, but has a freeform kit creation. Can save 3 different loadouts. Visual appearance will depend on your choice of weapons, making your weapons class more visible to others. Dynamically change your loadout to match the battle situation.
  • Snipers can get bonus XP for killing enemies in designated areas of importance.
  • Raising one’s rank unlocks new weapons, perks, and leadership positions.
  • Recognizes issues with large scale maps and traversal time.
  • 8 players within a squad, 4 squads within a platoon, 4 platoons within a company (US Military).
  • Certain goals for each squad/platoon etc. Also has secondary goals, such as destroying bridges.
  • Veteran ranks can enlist in leadership roles and give orders to the squad, then platoon, and eventually the entire company (OIC).
  • Officer only communication channel to help organize the battle.
  • Zipper wants MAG to be approachable to the casual players, yet have a lot of features for the hardcore.
  • Zipper has been running 256 player tests since November 2008, and plans to have closed/open betas in the future.