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Massive Action Game. No, for real. That is what MAG stands for: Massive Action Game. Where it lacks in creativity with its name, MAG makes up for in action. [firstpara] It is literally as massive as first-person shooters (FPS), pitting 256 players simultaneously on one map. Now, how’s that for epic?

Booting up the game for the first time, MAG will instantly seem like the other hundred or so first-person shooting games you’ve played to death. You have a gun, and you use that gun to shoot down people. Essentially, that’s what you will do in this game, but that’s where the comparisons to Modern Warfare 2 or Medal of Honor  end.

MAG calls for a more methodical approach to winning, especially in its flagship mode, Domination. In this mode, 256 players are divided into two sides, one offensive and one defensive. The two sides are then divided into four 32-player platoons, which are further divided into squads of eight. The goal for those on the offensive side is to capture a pair of objectives such as capturing a chokepoint or stronghold, which the defensive side will try to prevent from happening.

Now, when these first set of objectives are successfully accomplished, new objectives will open up, until all the objectives are finished. Once the objectives are complete, a damage bar pops up, which will be filled by killing off those guys on the defensive side. If the offensive side can’t kill enough of their opponents within a time limit, it’s the defensive side that will win the match.

Got all of that? Good. Now here comes the fun and important part that sets MAG apart from the all-out action of most other FPS games: teamwork is a must.

All squad members must follow the instructions set by their squad leader (positions can be gained by earning in-game experience); squads must be in concert with the platoon leader; and the platoon leader must communicate with the officer-in-charge.

When all goes smoothly, you and the other 127 people on your side will have an easier time winning the battle. And, winning like a united fighting squad is a very gratifying experience.

In a way, MAG is a first-person shooter like no other. Its focus on teamwork, and constant communication is a long way from the gung-ho mechanics of say, Unreal Tournament, and that’s what makes it special.

All in all, it’s a must-have for FPS fans itching for something deeper and more challenging.

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WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES

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