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SI: Blockbuster PS3 256-Player In A Server FPS MAG On Sale Tomorrow

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MAG is an upcoming MMO shooter for the PlayStation 3 in development by Zipper Interactive. The game is scheduled for release tomorrow in North America on January 26, in Europe on January 27, in the United Kingdom on January 29 and in Australia and New Zealand on February 5 2010.

The game will utilizes advanced server architecture to support online battles with up to 256 players, with users divided into 8-player squads, with 4 squads forming a platoon, and 4 platoons forming a company. Each squad will be led by a player who has advanced through the game’s ranking system, somewhat similar to talent points that you would find in World of Warcraft, except you play that into skills and gun enhancements, or access to entirely new weapons. Character statistics and development will also increase with frequent gameplay through earning experience (XP). The players most advanced in rank will be able to either direct the battle or participate directly in combat.

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There are multiple major game modes in MAG, starting with Suppression, which users to practice their PMC skills, gain some experience, and maximize casualties for the opposition in a 32 vs. 32 war.

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Acquisition, which is a 128 player complex game mode requires strategy to be victorious. In Acquisition, Platoon and Squad leaders are given added tactical command abilities to call in additional attack or defense support to help reach the objective.

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Then there is Domination Mode, where in this 256 player full scale battle, 128 players to a side go head-to-head in all out combat. This game mode is the most complex where each side battles it out to secure three main objectives.

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Don’t forget about the Sabotage game mode, split into teams of 32 players each side. The objective is to cripple your enemy by stealing valuable intelligence while your opponents do whatever it takes to protect their intelligence and ultimately keep their enemy from reaching the objective.


Players will be able to customize the face, voice, and armor of their characters, as well as what weapons and kit they carry into battle.

The game begins in 2025. As time passes in our modern world, maintaining a full scale military becomes a burden. In a fully globalized world, the only security threat is from small scale rogue organizations against whom large forces are useless, and the fuel needed to supply increasingly mechanized armies becomes more costly. As a result, most nations armies decrease to the size necessary to defend against a “national emergency”. Furthermore, under the “Millennium Accord”, no nation’s military is permitted to leave its own borders, officially creating world peace.

In their place rise PMCs (Private Military Corporations). They have two advantages: first, they compete, lowering their cost, and second, they are allowed to work for anyone, anywhere. In an unregulated global economy, the companies soon compete by less than honest means. After enough mergers, bargains and buy-outs, however, the remaining PMCs decided to put their weapons to full use. The original attacks followed a simple plan: shoot a competitor’s soldiers, lowering supply to cause them to charge more and, ultimately, go out of business. The shadow war, as it was called, grew in secret until the conflict moved into full swing, with the PMCs securing their own interests and violently fighting for contracts. It is unclear if the story will continue after release or remain static.

The game will contain three different private military company factions:

  • Seryi Volk Executive Response/S.V.E.R. (pronounced “Sever”), a ragtag military force with personnel drawn from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Russia
  • Raven Industries, a faction with high-tech weapons and armor, comprising of West European soldiers.
  • Valor Company, whose soldiers are equipped with more standard-styled gear.They comprise of seasoned veterans from the United States, United Kingdom and Mexico.

Video by TOTdb911.

I played the last beta a little bit with my usual buddy online and it was powerful. The different factions are well defined and the gameplay is fierce. Matches took no time at all to get together and in my experience (of playing various Battlefield games throughout the years for hundreds of hours, Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty MW2 for many hours) that MAG is a powerful contender to an already vast FPS landscape. This is going to be a surprise hit for Sony a lot sooner than they think. The whole MMO aspect of this is very well done and true war junkies will be absolutely thrilled with 256 players in huge maps. Someone I know pretty well who has a larger gaming background than me with FPS games played a lot of the beta; he seemed really obsessed. Whenever we talk, we’ll talk about how many days are left till its available – and that’s tomorrow of course.

Also, if you played the beta, here is a helpful topic on the Playstation Blog that talks about the differences between the most recent Beta and the Final version. Enhanced patch notes from beta to final can be found here at the MAG Blog.

Here’s a funny video promoting the game courtesy of Sony Playstation USA, which revolves around the slogan “It only does 256 players.”:

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