MAG – Mature Action Game?

I was very anxiously awaiting the release of the latest hit for the PS3 last week, MAG.  I played the beta and welcomed the change of pace that the game delivers as an alternative to the hit Modern Warfare 2.  It’s been less than a week and a few mornings where I wished I had slept more and I find myself wondering, who will this game ultimately appeal to?

Now, I will be the first to admit that you won’t see me atop the leader boards in most FPS matches I am in.  I have been playing Modern Warfare 2 since it came out and while I can throw some solid games together, I am just not a player built for kill/death ratio gaming.  It is largely why when I am playing Modern Warfare 2, I gravitate towards the Domination game type.  Ever since Battlefield 2: Modern Combat on the original Xbox, I have found myself hooked on objective-based games.  There is just something about coordinating efforts towards a common goal, and achieving that goal, that gives me a rush in these games.

That brings me to why I fell in love with MAG during the Beta, and even more so this past week after its release.  I should mention, I am “older” than a lot of gamers in the world at the ripe age of 35.  I don’t feel old, but it’s all relative.  I want to make my point really clear, because I don’t want anyone to think I am dogging younger folks.

It is my opinion that MAG is a title custom built for the mature crowd.  Now put down your flamethrowers, because I will also say very clearly…maturity has little to do with age.  In fact, I think maturity is something displayed by someone that understands a situation and deals with it accordingly.  Maturity in the gaming world is often times knowing how to work with someone you have never “met” to accomplish a goal.  I truly feel like MAG is a game that is going to revolutionize console gaming not only with the massive amount of players it allows to play but the way that the games reward and punish.

Coordinating and playing as a team, displays a level of maturity.  Certainly Modern Warfare 2 for example can be a blast if you are playing with a group of people that work together.  It has been my experience however that I have no problem rolling on my own all night in Modern Warfare 2 to have fun and win some games.  MAG on the other hand, seems like a different story completely.  I have played on both ends of the spectrum this week with MAG so I can somewhat speak to both situations.  I have played several games with “randoms” and while I lucked out a few times and joined a good squad that communicated and worked together towards our goal, I have also been on teams where 2 of us out of 8 people had on a mic.  Those games also seem to be the ones where my team ends up getting demolished over and over.  In other words, it isn’t fun.  I have also played with a group of gamers I play with regularly and I have yet to have a terrible time.  Yes, we lose some games and some badly but it is never for a lack of trying or communication.  My point is, whether they are my friends or not, when I am clearly playing with a mature gamer…I have fun.  Having an OIC, Platoon Leader and Squad Leader that all talk and coordinate is just unmatched in terms of fun.  Maybe that is just me, perhaps there are some people out there that enjoy not hearing anyone talk in addition to constant losing.

I actually had one Sabotage game where we were defending and someone on our team was sniping.  He also happened to be a medic, and had no mic.  The location we were defending was just to his left and was captured eventually (after several close calls) without him ever moving from his spot.  I also noticed myself and others needing some medical help near him, of course he never left his perch to help out although he was healing himself.  That is presumably why he had the medical kit enabled.  He ended the match something stupid like 19-0, but of course we lost.  His behavior essentially made us a 7 man team with a rogue sniper working on his stats.  I actually ended the match with about 300 more points than him because I was healing and defending when we needed it and I think I was something (typical for me) like 4-8.

In the end, I truly feel like MAG is going to “weed out” the gamer that is used to running, gunning and knifing their way to victory.  I have a feeling that in a few weeks we will see the MAG community refined to people that actually want to play objective games the way they are supposed to be played.  I am sure that there will be a large amount of people that either return their Gamefly rental or trade the game in and migrate to another title that better suits the individual style of play.  Me?  I will be staying right where I am with MAG, and if I get the fix to just run and shoot I will pop Modern Warfare 2 back in and enjoy that for a while.  Just keep in mind, if you have not played MAG and are considering it, Modern Warfare 2 is checkers and MAG is chess.  Massive and Mature Action Gaming at it’s best.

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  • Mike Tomasson

    Couldn´t agree with you more. Great article.

  • Good article! I couldn’t agree more with the type of gamer that will enjoy MAG and what it’s really about.

  • Trigga

    Hats off to ya…. Nice review and straight to the point….. This games depth and huge learning curve alone will keep this game fresh to play for months to come.

  • You nailed it, that’s exactly how I feel about this game and exactly why I love it. I’ve already heard some people say the game sucks and the first question I always as is do you have a mic? Their answer 9 times out of 10 is NO. It’s true that this game isn’t for everyone,but that’s what makes it so great.
    I also liked how you compared Modern Warfare 2 to checkers and MAG to chess, I think that it a perfect analogy. Well done.

  • Matt G

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I find that teamwork shooters are the best by a long way; and a squad of 8 players all with mics working as a team is a great feeling. Even if most of the squad have no “skill”, I find teamwork helps a lot more than skill in games like these. 🙂

  • Jpin

    This game is okay at most. True mw2 is run and gun, but it appeals to the masses. It’s like people look for a reason to smash on mw2. It’s the king right now. I think bad company 2 will be a close second and then MAG, maybe.

  • Mike

    Wow, thanks for all the kind words and comments!

    @Jpin don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE MW2 fan, I love the game for what it is. I will probably like BFBC2 also when it comes out. I was absolutely not smashing on it, just using it to compare against something in the same current genre.

    Not to mention, and I hate to say it, MW2 is just easy. They made it that way on purpose too…which I think turns off some people but some people enjoy it. I happen to enjoy it, so I don’t care. It being easy makes me suck less!

    It’s a good problem to have I suppose if we end up with 3 quality, and different, shooters at once isn’t it?

    Hopefully I see some of you guys on the battlefield…no matter what game it is.

  • Gamer

    Good review and straight to the point, MAG is not for anyone who just wants to go rambo style running/gunning and not use teamwork. This game will definitely turn those away who don’t want to take the time to learn what it takes to make themselves a better player when it comes to acomplishing the objectives to help make your team better and not just to build up their personal stats.

  • D

    Something intrigues me about this game but I just know I’m not going to get it. There’s too much to play right now and too much to buy in the near future. Nice read though. I hope your community stays big enough to thrive and produce a sequel

  • connor

    mike, whats your psn name 🙂

  • Jpin


    I have a ps3 and 360. So if your playing MW2 or BFBC2(when it releases), I’ll see you on there. I wish one of you guys lived in Baltimore, MD, because I would sell MAG to you for $40. I’ve been trying to sell it on craigslist but no takers. Someone said, “I’ll but MW2 if you got it though”.

  • tarbis

    Wll said. I played the open beta and loved it. I did try to go rambo but ended up getting mobbed by the other team. This game is all about tactics, and running in blind shooting won’t get you anywhere. I’m getting MAG after I get my paycheck 😀

  • Mastershredder

    I’m right up there with you in age, but I’m not too keen on MAG. I had the beta for quite some time and I just did not enjoy it. I’ll stick to Warhawk. I just like how that game can go from action packed defense, attacks and ambushes to white-knuckel high-speed dogfights. Not to mention you can play any role on the fly without being limited to a class or items.

    • JQQQ

      Man i love warhawk, still think its one of the best multiplayer experiences ive ever had. And i think warhawk has way deeper combat than MW2 BFBC and other FPS,s. And theres still a huge community playin warhawk everyday. I liked the MAG beta and heard the final build is way superior, but i have two games im getting first, GOD OF WAR 3 then HEAVY RAIN. Seriously guys those of you who own ps3,s must own GOD OF WAR 3. And im sure HEAVY RAIN will blow me away and give me a break from Uncharted 2 MP cuz thats all i play while MW2 collects dust. MW2, ill probably be selling soon for cash to buy GOD OF WAR 3

  • Great article. Pretty much sums up what I love about MAG. I’m pushing the big 40, so can relate. I do still really enjoy MW2 when I just want to blow off steam for a few minutes; but MAG is keeping me up at night.

  • LevelHead

    Nice to hear. I get tired of the constant go to point A, shoot, get killed, re-spawn, and rinse and repeat type games. I’m picking it up soon and I think it will have long legs and will be supported for quite some time.

  • SickPigeon

    Great article. I will get off my butt and pick up my preorder tomorrow. I’ve been debating. This sounds right up my alley.

  • Great read, Mike! While I’m not as much of a shooter fan as the others here at P*N, I think I would enjoy this more than MW2 because this seems to play more to a realistic style of gameplay in today’s military rather than the movie-style Rambo’s that we all see on MW2.

    Once I get a PS3 and a good internet connection. I’ll probably pick up MAG.

  • Matt G

    Haha, quite a lot of people agree with you there Mike!

  • isepakonlytruth

    Nice to seer you optimistic youngsters who never played Battlefield 2 on PC.

    MAG is almost the same, only BF2 was 64 a side, and even today, YEARS after release, people still play the game they way that MAG is played now. You will always have good teams, you will always have lone wolves who mess up gameplay. The fanatsy you have of these elements somehow being filtered out overtime is naive at best.

  • Matt G

    @ isepakonlytruth

    haha, yeah I used to play on battlefield 2 a lot back in the day. Though I don’t think battlefield 2 has quite the need to teamwork as MAG in my opinion.

  • @isepakonlytruth

    I agree 100%, there will always be an element to these games like that, I am saying though that the majority will move on I bet

    I played a match at lunch (working at home, kicks ass) and was squad leader. It was sabotage and one guy was giving me crap about having 300+ points “just for being squad leader” because I only had 5 kills compared to his 18 and yet, I had twice the points if not more. I explained how him going for kills without sticking to the FRAGOS and healing people, etc. was the difference and he told me how I am just a terrible squad leader, and that MAG sucks.

    Mkay, thanks. We lost btw. 0-5 as a squad leader…maybe I am just terrible 🙂

    • I kick ass when I’m on a good squad, getting like 300-400 points every time. But if I’m on a bad squad, or one that doesn’t stick to the plan (fragos and such) then I get crap for points and the matches just go on forever it seems.

  • Matt G


    Ouch; I have had that before. I got a load of stick from someone as they reckoned that the only explanation for my large amount of XP was that I was squad leader, and then they started going on about how MW2 is much better than MAG.

    Haha, I am not sure why they were on MAG in the first place if they prefer MW2 but oh well!

    What faction are you Mike?

  • I have a PSN ID for Valor that I use most, but I recently created one to play with the P*N guys…who I think are rolling Raven but I have not tried that yet. I may actually make a third and try S.V.E.R. also, just to see the differences.

    omgitsrabb is my Valor tag, zomgitsrabb is my Raven tag

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