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    dkirschner's Global Agenda (PC)

    [May 27, 2011 12:35:03 AM]
    The Global Agenda client has been on my computer for probably 9 months, and I finally got around to trying it, just to play a few hours and delete it. I spent a nice enough few hours with it this week, but it's same old same old MMO. I can't remember why I was excited to try it back then, but I imagine it had something to do with the post-apocalyptic/dystopian setting and the fact that it plays like a mix between an MMO and a third-person shooter. Unfortunately the MMO feel and the TPS feel can be found done much better in other games, so the UI and combat did not hook me. Plus, and I never thought about it because I never played one, this whole MMOFPS(or MMOTPS) thing is noooo good if you have any kind of lag whatsoever. More on that later.

    Global Agenda doesn't look or feel like a AAA game. It's pretty and functional enough, but nothing made me go "ooooh" except the very first time I left The Dome city and looked far into the distance of the desert, seeing water pumps and dusty towers dotting the canyon-esque landscape. The characters had a cool sci-fi-hi-tech look to them, but environments and NPCs were pretty bland. My character, for example, was a mechanic (or engineer or some word like that) and sported a robotic third over one shoulder! Oh, plus everyone starts out with jet packs! You can fly short distances from the very beginning of the game, which is pretty cool and I definitely saw the tactical advantages this could bring, as the environments are built upward. Since my mechanic was a bit of a ranged DPS class who could snipe, I often jetpacked to cliff edges or rocks or buildings above my enemies and shot them from there.

    The first time I played I had some lag, and it caused a couple jetpack-related deaths, and quite a few deaths to NPCs. In a shooter like this, where your bullets actually take a split second to travel to the enemy, and there's a visual cue, a stream of bullets, to show it, lag means you aren't aiming at them. Therefore you miss. You don't 'target' an enemy and cast 'shoot gun' at them. You actually, like a shooter, have to follow them with crosshairs, and the enemies like to jump and run around, which made this difficult. Of course you get better with practice, but it's very twitchy, and it's only magnified in PvP. I played other times with no lag, and it was better, but still challenging!

    A couple cool things: You auto-loot on a kill. There's no corpse-clicking; items go straight to your inventory. Love it.

    You can immediately go into instances. The tutorial drops you off at level 5, and yeah, instances at level 5. The early ones I played were very basic, took 10-15 minutes, but bosses had moves that would mess you up if you didn't handle them correctly, and there are certainly a ton of opportunities to play smart. GA has the basic 3 roles among 4 classes, and each class has 3 specs to choose from. I kinda figured this out from doing a few instances. There's the Medic (healer), the Assault (tank), the...stealthy one (melee dps) and Mechanic (ranged dps). My class was also the pet class. I could specialize in sniping, in defensive stuff (shield barriers to protect the party from gunfire, missile turrets and things), or drones (my pet). In instances, I would run ahead of my team and set a barrier when I thought there might be a fire fight, then hang back and pick off enemy ranged. The stealth class would run ahead and set explosives. The assault class just ran in guns blazing. The healer class healed. One of the bosses had a giant flamethrower, and another boss was a juggernaut who charged at us. They basically involved moving and staying behind cover, but were fun. Jetpacking away during fights is also very cool. I liked pulling aggro on the juggernaut, then flying out of the way when he charged me.

    My goal was to get to level 10 so I could try PvP, which I did. The one available map was a 'take 3 objectives' one and was fun enough. It reminded me quite of Team Fortress with the medics, the engineers setting up turrets and barriers, the spies running stealth and backstabbing people, etc. The level ranges are HUGE. It looked like this map was for level 10-29. Somehow I still killed people and felt like I contributed. Not sure if they balance out stats or whatnot like WAR. I know I had the same amount of health, and like I said I did kill some people, but some obviously took way less damage than others, and some definitely killed me real fast. The dungeons were the same way, me being level 5 going in with level 20 players. Maybe there's just not a lot of stat increase in the interim. Dungeon enemies would mop the floor with me, especially bosses I'd die in just a couple hits. Anyway, however they balanced this stuff, it made me feel useful at low levels.

    I also did some questing to see how it flowed, and it's totally generic. Go there, kill 10 of these, collect 5 of those. It's funny the features that I now expect to come with games, like quest tracking. Quest tracking has become pretty standard, and Global Agenda's system is hardly there. You can only track one at a time, and although quest locations show up on the map, you can't track them from the map! You have to open up your journal, select the quest, and select 'track quest.' No hotkeys or anything. And the most annoying little thing, 'M' doesn't open the map! You have to push 'N' for map. 'M' opens the mission menu where you queue for PvP and instances. 'M' is always map! So questing was...questing. Nothing special. By the time I stopped though I'd died a handful of times and got better at planning my infiltration of enemy-heavy areas. As a mechanic, it turned out to be cool, and my favorite quest was one in which I had to kill 2 semi-boss guys, who each were surrounded with 3 lesser enemies. I spotted one of these groups crossing a bridge in the distance, so I flew up on top of a rock, set up a turret and a barrier, crouched in a corner, pulled up my scope, and opened fire. As usual, they started running and I couldn't keep my crosshairs on them well, so they all got close before I killed one. I was protected for a short while, but when the shield went down, they turned to focus fire my turret, at which point I jetpacked to the ground and flanked them, killed another lesser enemy while my turret finished off the big guy! Then I jetpacked up again and repaired my turret as it fought the last enemy. I imagine combat gets cooler as you go on, but this was the best instance of 'ooh, that was cool.'

    One thing that makes the game feel dead is there's like no music. It's very quiet. NPCs also have no voices. They don't greet you or anything. Definitely missing something there.

    And finally, my favorite thing to wonder over, the payment model. GA is now totally free to download and play (used to have to pay for the game). You can upgrade to Elite Agent status for the price of the game box, $20, and this grants you DOUBLE xp when you complete quests, finish a mission or battleground, as well as an additional item reward for the instanced content. You also get access to the auction house, mail, can create guilds, and have chat restrictions removed. Here's where it gets crazy. You can then buy 'Boosters' that add another 50% xp. It was incredibly defeating to finish an instance or battleground and have the summary tell me what I earned, and then tell me what I WOULD HAVE earned, or what I missed, if I were an Elite Agent and/or had a booster pack. Oh man, I could have gotten 3x the xp and two additional items! Crap. It's a huuuuge incentive to buy that stuff if you really like the game. Other than boosters, the cash shop is really limited compared to, say, Turbine's.

    Summary: Fun enough, just another MMO. Oh, and P gave me his copy of Aion with 1 month free, so there's another 'flying' MMO to try at some point.
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    dkirschner's Global Agenda (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Thursday 26 May, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Friday 27 May, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Neat enough so far, sci-fi/postapocalyptic/dystopian MMO(-3rd person shooter). Very generic, but jetpacks are fun.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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