The imaginatively titled Massive Action Game featuring up to 256 players is with us, and it looks pretty good to be honest. A recent release, MAG is essentially one big battlefield with lots of guns, lots of other players, and a character development and ranking system that sees your stats and rank advance with frequent gaemplay. Essentially it distils all of the best bits of any FPS online multiplayer you've ever played and mixes it together in a massive bowl, one that'll hold over 250 players.
ShopTo are currently offering the Collector's Edition for £29.85, which will net you a funky steelbook (recyclable...maybe), some exclusive armour, and a theme or two for your PS3. This is actually the cheapest you can find any form of the game anywhere at the moment, with Asda currently offering the plastic-packed standard edition for £34.71, and The Hut offering it's metallic brother for £37.73. So this'll bag you a saving of £5 with bonuses or a crisp £8 depending on how you look at it.
The background plot is...irrelevant to be honest. Basically, a decade or two into the future private military companies take the place of national armies, and in the end a massive mercenary war breaks out between the three largest PMCs. So there's your excuse for an enormous firefight.
MAG, by most accounts, is a game that values teamwork above all else. This is not a game for mavericks, so Modern Warfare 2 solo runners need not apply, but a game that rewards true co-operative play. There are five game modes, from fairly straightforward 64 player deathmatches to the much-touted 256-strong Domination mode, which plays out a little like the Battlefield games. You start out by creating a soldier, picking from 3 warring PMC factions, and outfitting him or her with a class and the tools of warfare. As you progress you earn Skill Points RPG-style, that can then be spent on things like faster reloading, better guns and so on.
In all honesty, it's a little tricky at times to see the what MAG brings to the party that's particularly new, with the reviews of the game looking to be a mixed bag, and unfortunately I can't say that I've spent a huge amount of time with a controller in my hands finding out for myself. From a purely financial perspective, though, this is a cracking deal, and if MAG has been on your radar for some time, or if you're out for some clan-style, squad-oriented FPS fun, then this might just be the news to send you reaching for the wallet.