The first PlayStation 3 title from Zipper Interactive, MAG is an online-only semi-tactical first-person shooter and the first console game of its kind to support 256 players in a single match.
Set in 2025, MAG reveals a future where the planet’s armies have been minimized because of their enormous maintenance costs. With the world’s governments also faced with a global agreement – known as the “Millennium Accord” – that bans a military force from leaving its own soil, nations everywhere have turned to three powerful Private Military Companies (PMCs) to serve as their muscle. However, as the competition for earning contracts increased, a secret conflict broke out between the three organizations. And so, “The Shadow War” rages on with the forces of Raven Industries, Seryi Volk Executive Response (SVER), and Valor Company locked in a bloody and bitter struggle for domination.
The game itself allows players to select one of the three PMCs to represent throughout their career, with unique weapons, armor and skins exclusively available to each faction. As the teams win and lose various game modes over time, the results of those matches further influence the ebb and flow of the persistent behind-the-scenes “Shadow War” by rewarding contract “bonuses” to the PMC currently in control of each mode’s contracts. The bonuses play out as experience boosts that characters can then use to customize their skills, weapons and gear to become more powerful as they ascend from Level 1 all the way to Level 60.
There are five game modes in all – “Training” to teach players basic mechanics, “Suppression” which pits 64 players of the same faction against each other in simulated war games via two teams of 32, “Sabotage” that places 64 players (32 per side) in a contest for one team’s three-objective communication s center, “Acquisition” which houses 128 players (64 per side) in a struggle to steal two of their enemy’s vehicles and drive them to an extraction point, and the 256-player (128 per side) “Domination” Mode that challenges each faction to gain control of eight different command points.
MAG offers multiple facets of play with three main battlefield methods for gaining experience: shooting enemies, healing teammates, and repairing damaged structures. In addition to the three pillars, more experienced gamers can also take Leadership Roles to direct their teammates on the field and earn additional in-game bonuses. Squad Leaders can command a single eight-person squad and can set waypoints on the map, Platoon Leaders can communicate with their four squad leaders and call-in special support attacks like cluster bombs and mortar barrages, while OICs communicate with the four Platoon Leaders and can call in additional favors like sensor sweeps and rapid army deploys. Other gameplay additions like drivable vehicles, defensible gun turrets, and modular improvements via downloadable content are also included.
The game’s servers were taken down in January 2014; as it was an online multiplayer only title it is no longer possible to play the game.