MAG 2.0 Beta Impressions
When I wrote the editorial Why We Need Mag 2… Already it was coming from the perspective of a clan leader, a shooter fan of many years, and an avid supporter of innovative ideas in gaming. When MAG first released my expectations were enormous. Perhaps this was a problem generated by the fact that the title was being announced and talked about so early, or maybe just the overall concept was too broad at the time to fully satisfy what my vivid imagination had cooked up for it. Either way, the game was released and the 8 man squad system really let me down in a major way. The game began to feel as Deputy Editor Joel Taveras dubbed it ‘the 60$ Beta’ since almost nothing had changed since its beta testing period. Overall it just felt overwhelmingly light on content as if something major was missing, some sort of gigantic missed opportunity waiting to be seen.
Recently a brand new MAG beta was released on the PlayStation Store for those who own the MAG disc. Not only does this bring forth the PlayStation Move support which has been promised but also a number of changes are previewed for free which will be coming for the full title in the near future. This includes new maps, game-modes, features, as well as general overhauls to the existing title in question. I am happy to report that after putting some time in with the beta for what is essentially MAG 2.0 I am impressed, excited, and much more satisfied by what is being put forth from Zipper Interactive towards their new, 256 man, first person shooter, intellectual property. Read on for a breakdown on what you’ll experience in the new beta and my thoughts on what works and what doesn’t as well as the timing of all of these updates.
The reason this is a horrible idea from Zipper to charge for this is mainly because waiting for the matchmaking to assemble players into a lobby queue still sucks. The new character slots could have allievated that pain by allowing players to quickly back out of lobbies and switch PMCs on the fly to whatever PMC was low on players at that given moment (instead of signing completely out of your PSN id and switching or waiting and waiting for the lobby to form). Instead many players will not buy this feature and so it will not really have any major impact on the game at all.
Another COD style addition to the game will be the un-lockable perks that are gained with level-ups. Though the overly complicated tech tree of skills still exists, things have all been re-arranged to be much more neat, coherent, and exciting. Overall this is a great overhaul to the system and will make it easier for newcomers and vets of the game to get a grip on their character’s progression through the various gear tiers.
Overall this beta shows that a lot of great content is headed to MAG in the near future. Although it may be a bit unorthodox for updates like this to receive their own beta test I am glad that it happened because I now feel confident in partaking in the latest MAG additions when they are finally completed. The new maps are great, the new features are great, and so is the new overhaul. The main highlights for me personally will be the 128 man clan deploy feature as well as 32v32v32 action and the new maps and game mode. Move support is absolutely great but the 128 man clan deploy really makes this all worth while for me and makes me feel like Zipper really cares about the clans that want MAG to work out for them in a reasonable way.
I’m upset Zipper Interactive didn’t see all of this potential much sooner and complete these features before launch. It took 9 months to deliver this to the community, and for a great deal of players that proved to be too long (which is evident by the diminishing player-base the game has). I guess like the labor and delivery of a newborn baby, these features will all bring beautiful miracles to the MAG gaming experience. And for that I thank Zipper Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment, and any fans who lobbied for these changes to be made, updates to be created, enhancements to be envisioned, and so forth. I am still playing around with the beta but I can already tell that things are taking a 180º and heading in the right direction for this insanely ambitious title. Bravo!