• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Jan 26, 2010
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. 91
    MAG is unlike anything else on PS3. In fact, it's unlike anything else on any console system.
  2. MAG is a triumph in its technological side because of its hardware use to achieve its record number of players, but at the same time it is also a generic shooter because of its lack of personality. A character trouble that don’t allow the game to succeed beyond its main highlight: Its 256 simultaneous users.
  3. 73
    All in all, MAG is a more than decent game and it comes recommended for anyone loving multiplayer. The tactical element is deep enough to make MAG a very good game, but it can also tackle it. You’ll be dependent on the tactical skills of your fellow players to get good results. If everyone does what they are supposed to, then the satisfaction will be high. When things go awry, then frustration will soon follow. Aside from the occasional map that is too large, there are no structural errors a gamer will get stuck on. The question is whether the lack of a single player will deter some gamers.
  4. MAG is a multiplayer game to the core. It doesn’t have a single-player campaign, scripted sequences or AI-controlled bots – only online battles and nothing mode. In the times, when Battlefield and Unreal Tournament feature storylines, cinematics and dialogue, Zipper’s creation feels like the last of the Mohicans. But the lack of a story is not what killed MAG. The concept, the release time frame and the rivals did.
  5. From its solid controls, crisp, user-friendly menus and huge array of customization options to its emphasis towards player progression and large scale teamwork, MAG might just become the serious contender to the genre heavyweights that Zipper and SCEA hoped it would be.
  6. MAG is a solid effort by Zipper Interactive. It falls short in some areas, but proves to be an enjoyable experience that offers something not previously seen in any other online shooters for the Playstation 3.
  7. It doesn’t provide an experience – it merely provides the tools with which to make an experience. Therefore your enjoyment is really dependant on whether you’re the type of person who is likely to seek out and become a member of an existing clan, or have enough online friends to create your own. If you’re not, then you’re much better off sticking to the more user friendly Battlefield, or COD: MW2.
  8. The bottom-line is that MAG is a game that requires a pretty serious time-commitment in order to enjoy. You won't get involved with the Shadow War until you've been playing for a while, and most of the individual leveling seems to be designed with hardcore players in mind, possibly taking hundreds of hours to fully level-up.
  9. MAG certainly tries to raise the bar over the competition, and in some senses it succeeds. Unfortunately it has numerous faults that simply shouldn’t be there considering the game is lacking a campaign mode, and should have an emphasis on refining online play to perfection.
  10. MAG is lots of fun make fun - if you got yourself a good team.
  11. On one hand, MAG is an ambitious experiment that has delivered on many of its promises – it genuinely offers lag-free 256 player online battles with a huge potential for team work. On the other hand, it is a game that struggles to find a sense of purpose beyond this, or a real sense of identity.
  12. Zipper set the bar high with their goals but I was impressed from the get go with this game. MAG is an interesting game indeed.
  13. Massive Action Game delivers on the promise of its name. It's certainly massive, and there is more than enough action to go around. MAG's biggest draw, however, is that it's perfect for both hardcore multiplayer FPS fans and newcomers alike.
  14. MAG is an impressive technical feat wrapped around a solid multiplayer FPS title.
  15. With its robust clan support MAG still offers a cooperative experience on a rare scale for bands of dedicated players willing to weather the unnecessary confusions and ungenerous structure of the early game. For the rest, MAG rarely deals out the empowerment and clarity of purpose that other team shooters, like the forthcoming Battlefield: Bad Company 2, offer from the get go. It’s not quite ‘welcome to the suck’, but gamers may wonder if MAG’s a battle worth fighting.
  16. The irony then, is that the game which can accommodate the greatest numbers of players in the history of the medium will be best enjoyed by a dedicated few. For those players, at least, numbers really aren't everything.
  17. MAG is a real team-based tactical FPS that requires co-operation, dedication and discipline. It's a game for mass combat but not for the mass market. Once you have this very clear in your mind, the choice to buy it is only yours.
  18. While innovating with its 256 players on a battlefield, the end result was not positive enough to make the game stand out among so many other good titles for online gaming.
  19. Zipper Interactive has tried something different with success. MAG is an ambitious project that adds some interesting new mechanics to the online FPS genre.
  20. A classic approach to the Online FPS genre with the blessing (?) of 256 people connected to the server. Massive, but not so incisive.
  21. The initial learning curve and constant re-spawning might be a curveball to some gamers, but for those who persevere through the growing pains, they will likely find MAG to be highly addictive and super fun.
  22. If you are tired of all the juvenile running and gunning of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises and are looking for something deeper, more tactical, and certainly more rewarding, then MAG is certainly worth a look.
  23. MAG’s player count is an impressive technical achievement, but the game world feels oddly mechanical. Outside of the high player count, the uninspired world fails to stand out from the pack. If every gameplay mechanic were kept intact and shrunk down to a 16- or 32-player game, MAG would be an experience as generic as its title.
  24. MAG is not particularly user-friendly. I am told that below its exterior, if you find a good clan and have a good headset, it is a deep, fluid military shooter with hundreds of hours of gameplay lurking within it.
  25. MAG puts communication front-and-center in the online shooter genre. Using a headset isn’t just “useful” or “convenient”. It’s absolutely necessary. Zipper’s made a ballsy move—particularly on a console where headsets are sold separately—but it’s paid off. MAG is a unique experience and is sure to gain a dedicated fan-base all its own.
  26. MAG is a tough game to review. There's so much keeping it from being a must-own (lack of single-player campaign, visual problems), and yet the multiplayer is really engaging after it opens up the first couple of hours. If you need a combat fix and can't wait for Bad Company 2, this is definitely worth renting.
  27. The question MAG makes us ask is, does this title herald the approach of massively multiplayer online games for next-gen consoles? It's a bit rough around the edges, but with any luck we'll look back on MAG and admire it for its ambition, and consider it a step in the right direction.
  28. 80
    So when everything clicks just right, that click is deafening; a good match here is very, very good, and good matches show up just often enough at this early stage to make the rest worthwhile.
  29. The sounds of battle are great along with the random chatter your characters have to say in the heat of battle.
  30. If you can recruit a legion of 256 like minded players then MAG would be an experience like no other, but its potential is sadly lost as, at this primal and critical stage, it still needs time to fully flourish.
  31. Ultimately, it may be a strong package from a technical standpoint, but one that isn't as well rounded or robust as it should be. Playing with 127 allies across a gigantic map is impressive, but its novelty is subject to wear thin without as-unique extra content to back it up.
  32. MAG is more than just the magic number 256. Zipper has created gigantic maps that don’t result in chaos at all and that’s worth appreciating. Players that work together are rewarded and stimulated. The fact that there are lots of smaller battles inside the big battle is what impresses the most.
  33. A lot of bugs and lack of content soils a game with a fascinating concept of vast online battles. Maybe something for the real war enthusiasts, otherwise we advise you to stay away from this.
  34. There's nothing remarkable about the product, and there are a number of minor issues that prove frustrating to deal with, but the game is, without a doubt, a success.
  35. Overwhelming at the start, underwhelming by the end. A solid online shooter but not essential. [Apr 2010, p.84]
  36. An interesting idea, but it's fundamentally flawed in its execution, with too much trust placed on trigger-happy gamers to overcome these barriers to play. [Issue#93, p.126]
  37. Outside of a few gripes, Massive Action Game is a fantastic experience that gets the blood pumping.
  38. The constant frame rate and the shear number of players shooting at the same time on its vast maps don’t seem enough to compensate for the scarce level of graphics, textures, sound effects and game modes MAG has to offer. Disappointment.
  39. MAG's big battlefields are a great place to wage war, as long as you can handle some of the rigors of combat.
  40. 70
    MAG, much like actual war, is often an ugly, confusing mess that tosses a group of people into extraordinary situations where they can overcome through teamwork or die as frustrated individuals. If you're looking for just another game to see your name on top of a leaderboard then keep on walking.
  41. Kudos to Zipper for being trailblazers in terms of how many people you can cram into a game but beyond this USP, MAG is a fairly generic affair. It all works well but it isn't mind-blowing. And with a full-price tag, minus an offline campaign, it's hard to see where the value for money lies here.
  42. MAG places a strong emphasis on teamwork with an intelligent command structure that brings order to battles of enormous scale. It could use more map variety, better balancing, and ways to decrease player downtime, but overall, it's a strong foundation for an ambitious new franchise.
  43. It's such an uneven and eventually tiring experience, I think this is a good foundation on which to build a franchise, its just they need to make it so much more.
  44. If anything, the game is a tech demo of sorts for what is possible in online gameplay. It delivers a fun experience and whether or not that's worth the price of admission now or until the game drops to $40 or $30 is up to how dedicated the person is.
  45. MAG tries and does some things well. 256 player battles still seem too chaotic and the game relies heavily on having a good team which is hard when it's a public style offering.
  46. As it stands MAG is a technical feat because it boasts 256 console players in an online-only environment, but doesn’t offer anything else that’s truly exceptional for the FPS genre beyond that.
  47. Delivering excellent multiplayer, squad-based gameplay with little to no lag (even with the full roster of participants playing), MAG is definitely for the fan of the online shooter.
  48. MAG includes everything a MMOFPS needs. Teamplay-focused gameplay, good graphics and the experience point system should entertain for hours. To people who like to play in smaller groups or definitely like to go on their own I recommend Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
  49. MAG is a solid shooter and its leadership elements are intelligently designed, but it doesn't feel especially different from other big-team consoles shooters, like Battlefield: Bad Company. As long as you're not going in expecting the player count to make a dramatic difference in the way MAG feels and behaves, you'll have a good time.
  50. It may not be perfect on all fronts, but MAG certainly lives up to its name as a massive action game that caters towards those who want to experience tactical battles larger than those found almost anywhere else.
  51. A solid FPS, with ideas behind it that should have made it epic, but in practice, many of the grand ideas fail to translate into viable experiences. The fact that I didn’t experience any lag in over 50 games, regardless of the number of players on varied connections, is no minor feat. It’s very nearly there, and with some tweaking could be the future franchise to overwhelm them all.
  52. 70
    Unfortunately, it didn't show that more players means more fun. Bugs, imbalances, and a lack of content for the price make what could have been an excellent game just decent.
  53. 76
    Despite those buttoned-down starting modes, without any single-player content to practice on there's a serious barrier to entry for casual shooter players. Like Warhawk and Quake Wars: Enemy Territory before it, it may well flounder as a result, regardless of its beefy merits. But it works. It really does.
  54. In conclusion, MAG is a well made online game that throws a few twists into the online franchise with the inclusion of battlefield commanders. The gameplay is sturdy and the graphics impressive.
  55. MAG needs some more time before players fully adjust their role as a member of a team, but for now it’s a decent online shooter with a massive number of players that actually doesn’t make it feel massively different.
  56. 85
    If you are looking for an action packed, top caliber shooter, consider deploying with MAG.
  57. Finally its here, the multiplayer action game where you can experience the feeling that you are a part of a greater military operation. Pick your mates carefully if you want to fully enjoy MAG. [Feb 2010]
  58. Very demanding online shooter with a steep learning curve that requires cooperation and coordinated actions among the players. When you know the maps, your objectives and the weapons it's one of the most awarding online shooters out there.
  59. If you enjoy multiplayer game, you’ll love MAG, else you might just find it taxing and repetitive.
  60. 256 players in the same battlefield is clearly a new step beyond what console online gaming was offering. Spectacular in its size, MAG allows at the same time a deep approach for the hardcore FPS lovers, and also an easier gameplay appealing for those more casual action gamers. The lack of any non-online mode can limit its influence, and the visuals are not over the top, but in the end, MAG achieves success delivering the closest experience to fighting on a living battlefield.
  61. Your mileage will vary greatly in this epic-scale shooter that rewards only the most dedicated.
  62. MAG delivers a massive online multiplayer for up to 256 players, a good matchmaking and almost no lag. The maps are huge, but they come with a mediocre design and you can see only four of them when you choose your army. The frame rate has frequent issues, while the sound effects are mediocre. We were expecting more from Zipper Interactive's PS3 debut.
  63. 78
    It’s in these areas that MAG succeeds in what it set out to do – delivering some epic, heart-pounding and bullet-ridden multiplayer action.
  64. 75
    MAG is definitely a fun online action game, with a good amount of depth and challenge to keep players addicted for quite some time. However, while the 256-player battles are impressive, some annoying glitches hold the title back.
  65. An excellent online FPS. The player limit is huge and the matches are huge. Intensive stuff. [Mar 2010]
  66. 80
    The control system might misfire and it might whiff of 'been there, done that', but when the FPS action is as accomplished and solid as MAG's is, there's plenty of enjoyment to be had especially if you're fortunate enough to assemble a crack team of mates to play with. 255 mates though? That's a bit of a stretch. Better get on Facebook now.
  67. MAG won’t wow you with its graphics like MW2, nor does it offer any kind of offline component. Instead MAG delivers online battles that feel epic and the outcomes actually affect your PMC. [Apr. 2010, p.72]
  68. Swings wildly and rapidly from the incredible to the mundane. [Mar 2010, p.108]
  69. MAG is one of the most ambitious games we've played in a long time. While at its core it's nothing more than a basic FPS, what sets this game apart is the volume of players who can compete together.
  70. Relies a bit too much on the players to make the game fun. [Apr 2010, p.70]
  71. Heavy focus on infantry cooperation, on both squad and platoon level, can put off anyone used to a more typical Modern Warfare style of gameplay. Those willing to put some effort and time into MAG will discover a complex game with a huge number of players, which can bring great satisfaction when deployed properly. MAG currently suffers in lack of variation and few maps but those issues are easily fixed, while more irritating flaws such as server lag and graphical bugs will take longer time. Nevertheless, MAG has a great foundation from start and team players all over the world might discover an unpolished gem.
  72. 83
    A pretty good online game. There is no lag, it’s got a lot of players and there are huge maps. If you play this for the first time, you have to learn the basics of the gameplay. Once you’ve got them under control, you can play MAG with a lot of fun. Only the graphics aren’t brilliant, but in this case it doesn’t really matter. Zipper Interactive delivers once again a pretty good game.
  73. Technically impressive but MAG is too scattershot to universally appeal. [Mar 2010, p.84]
  74. The bottom line is that if you’re into the idea of a MMOFPS that requires patience and strategy, there’s no better option, despite the drawbacks (which may only be temporary).
  75. MAG may not be the most original shooter to ever grace the online multiplayer scene, but it is very playable providing gamers with massive and intense online matches.
  76. An ambitious project, MAG delivers fun battles only if played with very motivated players. Its biggest flaw lies deep within its own nature, that big 256 number on the cover. If you think you can find the right group of friends to join, and you can close an eye on the technical side of things, consider it your new multiplayer choice.
  77. The challenge of branding MAG with a number (much smaller than its trademarked 256 and between 1 and 10) to denote its quality is akin to rating World of Warcraft after a weekend of gold-farming, long before the full majesty of the game has blossomed and shown its true potential. The best we can do is rate our early impressions, undoubtedly influenced by the game’s prospects for the future.
  78. It's not perfect, but for what MAG was setting out to do, Zipper has scored and unequivocal hit.
  79. Mag inaugurates MMO shooters, focusing completely on massive online gameplay. It is a very attractive alternative for those looking for something different or those who always wanted to participate in an immersive global battle instead of separate skirmishes.
  80. It's not the finished article by any means, and through updates Zipper may realise its potential. It needs more game modes, tweaks to the spawn system, better controls, and it needs to make everything a lot clearer for those who find clans and massive action intimidating. If it does this, MAG will gain a foothold and thrive.
  81. Creating M.A.G was certainly a risk on Sony's part, however credit where its due because this game is an instant classic and worthy of a place in everyone's Playstation 3.
  82. 80
    In MAG it's possible to join the battlefield with a total of 256 players. The graphics are not fantastic but the gameplay, replay and the sound are very good. MAG will entertain you a lot of hours if you are good at teamwork.
  83. 90
    MAG is yet another fantastic addition to the PlayStation 3 library and one of the most addictive online experiences I have had in quite some time.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 549 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 176
  1. NickC.
    Jan 28, 2010
    10
    This is really incomparable to games like MW2. If you play call of duty style you will hate this game die a lot. If you at least attempt to This is really incomparable to games like MW2. If you play call of duty style you will hate this game die a lot. If you at least attempt to work along with your teammates and form strategies it becomes one of the best experiences you can get from a FPS. Even if your not the best FPS player, you can still do decent and have fun in this game. Full Review »
  2. May 12, 2011
    10
    1000 hours. enough said...
  3. Sep 26, 2011
    8
    This was a fantastic experiment in large-scale FPS action. It shines in rewarding team coordination, and in capturing the scale of itsThis was a fantastic experiment in large-scale FPS action. It shines in rewarding team coordination, and in capturing the scale of its largest battles. A fundamental flaw that was never addressed was that MAG locked a player into a faction (one of three), and gave every incentive for the most competitive to gather together in one of them. There was no balancing mechanism, and so SVER became, and remained, the "easy mode" for MAG. The oft cited map and weapon inequity issues are minimal or nonexistent; the fundamentals of this game are excellent, and if they'd added a real incentive to balance factions I would still be playing it. Full Review »