Game one first person shooter, add a load of RPGish multiplayer levelling mechanics, and toss in a mode where 256 players can square off against one another to make for the largest online battles ever seen on a console and MAG is what you end up with.
Powerplaydirect are currently offering the game for £28.99, which is £4 cheaper than Zavvi's price (and that's including their APRIL2 voucher), so any PS3 owners looking to expand their horizons in the FPS stakes would do well to hit the link below and check it our.
It's a quarter of a decade into the future and national armies have been replaced by PMCs, only now with everything dependent on money, reputation and greed, it's not long before everyone's looking over their shoulders and playing Captain Backstab. Eventually the three largest PMCs simply declare war on one another and so the stage is set for a whole bunch of epic battles between a couple hundred players at a time.
MAG is a game that rewards teamwork and co-operation. Headstrong mavericks will undoubtedly attempt to have their say, but the 256 player system breaks the game down into smaller roving bands of mercenaries that make for some pleasantly tactical gameplay at times. 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, only bigger. 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. It's a game that grows in stature with you, dispensing experience points the more you fight, enabling you to upgrade your guns, improve your reloading speed etc.
MAG is a nice little game with some good ideas. It's refreshing to see a game like this not feel the need to tack on a single-player campaign and whilst that does put a lot of pressure on MAG's multiplayer to perform, for the most part it succeeds admirably.