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.