Blasting its way into the MMORPG Free-to-Play genre, Global Agenda comes out fighting. Will it suffer a humiliating defeat or capture the flag with honours? Check out the latest GamesMediaPro review to find out.
Following the developers decision to drop the subscription fee in favour of a one of purchase price making Global Agenda the ‘New Kid on the Block’ in the MMORPG stakes we take a look at the Hi-Rez Studio’s FPS and give it the GamesMediaPro treatment. See how the game fares in our review.
T’was mere months ago that saw the release of the fledgling title as a paid subscription based game. But now we learn that the developers have opted to select the wise option, and have chosen to change tack on this decision, so now you will find that once you have parted with just £19.99 of your UK pounds you will be able to partake of Hi-Rez Studio’s newest action title to your heart’s content. Not a bad thing in anyones book, we have to say.
So just what lies in store for you upon purchase of you edition of Global Agenda? Come with us as we discover the hidden delights contained within Hi-Rez Studio’s fantastic MMORPG title.
The game is third person shooter set in the stars and a science fiction fan’s paradise, as the title see’s you traversing vast gameplay area’s and lavishly constructed combat zones for you to do battle against your sworn enemy. Which, in this instance, just happen to be mech bot’s that are as deadly as most of the standardised AI opponents in modern gaming. The storyline is simple stuff and thankfully uncluttered. Set in the ashes following the Third Great War, the world is portrayed as a post-apocalyptic dystopia that see’s a domineering government known as ‘The Commonwealth’ controlling all facets of the everyday citizens walk of life. The concept, however, is far more detailed and appealing. You join your campaign after selecting which of the four available classes. There are Recon, Assault, Robotics and Medic for players to choose from and in our first outing in the ‘Spi-Fy’ shooter we opted to go for the familiar feeling Assault class.
The classes are all fully upgradeable in that there is the standard ‘levelling up’ system that is popular throughout the genre. We decided on weaponry and armour and then set off in the pursuit of truth and justice for the downtrodden citizenry under the heel of the dastardly Commonwealth. It is from here that you are set free from your Commonwealth Cooking Pot, that are the housings for all of the genetically engineered and enhanced ‘super soldiers,’ by four comrades who then go about introducing you to the games Tutorial. With the basic instructions safely out-of-the-way and your weapon locked and loaded, it is from this point that you must decide whether to further your adventure Player -Vs- Player or alternatively, Player -Vs- Environment?
Selecting your format means there will be the opportunities for you to earn your player those valuable experience points and handy swag bags that you will need to level up your character. These things are to be earned, after all, and not just handed out in some sort of crazy bonus free for all. And that, kind of, is that so far as the storyline and main plot of the title goes? But don’t get us wrong in one respect it should be seen as a blessing in disguise, as if it is just an afternoon’s enjoyment of blasting around your environment using a jet pack and shooting the living BeJayssus out of every mechanoid in sight, then Global Agenda is the title that you should be reaching for. Didn’t we mention the jet pack’s earlier? Oh, there are Jet Packs too! (For all of those fans of the latest Spartan-Fest offering who think that this is something revolutionary). The only gripe that we had when utilising the jet pack’s though was that for some inexplicable reason the developers have decided to give Global Agenda’s manned-flight a very low ‘hard deck?‘ No, we could not fathom the reasoning behind this decision either, as one more than one occasion during an enemy assault we found ourselves blasting away from an encircling band of marauding Mech‘s only to crack our visor’s on the ‘ceiling’ before crashing back to Earth in an unceremonious tangle of body parts and body armour. That aside we did enjoy the use of the jet packs and in all fairness would have to argue on their good points instead of just focusing on their bad. As on numerous occasions we used the feature to fly off to safety when our health was at a terminal low, and had it not been for the jet pack then we would surely have been turned into a small sticky puddle on the battlefield.
Combat is fast and furious and as we found out to our cost, is not a simple matter of ready-aim-fire. You have body armour, and so do your opposite numbers. Meaning that you have to whittle away the health bar in contrast to the ‘one shot kill’ favoured by most console based shooter titles. It does work with Global Agenda though, and lends the title a more desperate and realistic sensation. When you are in the heat of battle with your foes are bearing down on you, and your ammo count is rapidly dwindling, as you fire round after round into the chest of your oncoming enemy, you can feel your pulse rate quicken as your eyes frantically dart back and forth from Mech to Health Bar to see just how much more this ‘Terminator-esque’ nightmare can take before you have to resort to the melee tactic?
Speaking of melee and alternate forms of attack, there are a goodly selection of small arms, laser katana’s and battle shields at your disposal. All of which can, in turn, be used to dispose of your assailant. The veritable arsenal of weapons on offer to your character to carry the fight to the Mech’s is more than capable for the task at hand, and once you get your character past the Level 15 mark there really isn’t much that can stand in your way until the much tougher later opponents. In the PvP mode of the game, however, we would advise players to err on the side of caution when taking on opponents with Level strengths and upgrades that are far in excess of their own. Pain is all you will find waiting for you there.
In between rounds in the PvP mode you are conveniently placed back at your Dome City ‘rally point’. And where we have seen others complaining that there is a lack fluidity to the matches because of this we would like to at least attempt to offer an alternative explanation, being that you can have plenty of time to upgrade weapons and armour, as well as kit selection. The way to look at these things is always that Global Agenda’s glass is half full, not half empty. If you wanted to you could easily find fault with any title. See the game for its positives and just get online with your friends and have some good old-fashioned multiplayer goodness.
The graphics are solid thanks to the excellent use of the Unreal Engine 3, and the sound effects are mare Star Wars than Napoleonic Wars. With an evenly balanced levelling up system that allows players of a lower capacity to put up a good fight against the more powerful enemies, (but ultimately this is not a long-term winning tactic), and upgradeable weapons that have to be constantly tended too for fear of weapons degradation, Global Agenda has set its stall out with what it wants to be and where it wants to go with the format for future generations of the game. There may still be a few wrinkles in the tablecloth of the final plan to be ironed out, but overall the game works well enough so that fan’s of the genre will undoubtedly enjoy the title and the experience that it offers, both in its PvP and PvE formats.
The final part of the Global Agenda puzzle that fits nicely into its position to give the complete picture of the title, is the rather excellent ‘Conquest Mode.’ In this mode players are able to join with friends and other gamers to form ‘Agencies.’ With our alliance secured you move to your desired location and begin construction of your ‘Cyber-Empire’ as you build your base after securing your property in a successful auction in one of the five available ‘Hexs.‘ The so-called ‘hexs‘ are, in fact, the play area zones where you and your friends will compete online against other ‘Agencies’ in a bid to the be the dominant force in the region. This mode is just another reason why you and your friends can have an absorbing time in the world of Global Agenda. With three modes to choose from, all with their own strengths and individual attributes they have all combined to make Global Agenda a thoroughly enjoyable title that will see an even greater influx of players now that Hi-Rez Studio’s have opened the game up as a Free to Play title.
Graphics: Using the Unreal Engine 3 always ensured a strong and shiny render with that highly polished feel to it. Brightly lit combat zones with impressive visuals and excellent attention to detail make for an all round solid performance. 7
Gameplay: With the cracking PvE and PvP that is on offer to gamers and the hugely enjoyable Conquest Mode, Global Agenda has good reason to be optimistic with regards to its future. Competent and capable meets slick and fast paced as the combat does a sterling job of holding the players attention. Good weapons, a nicely formatted levelling system with quality crafting all make for a great game. Fast and furious online. 7
RePlay Value: The multiplayer PvP and Conquest Mode in this sci-fi title make for compelling stuff, they really do, however with recent blockbusters like Star Craft 2 and Halo:Reach being on the table its hard to see gamers being swayed. 6
Presentation: A things said Global Agenda remains a strong title with some truly fine gaming moments. The unfortunate business with the P2P turn around has done it no favours, making it look like a climb down in the quest for greater sales figures, but when all is said and done this is still a quality title from Hi-Rez Studio’s that is deserving of your hard-earned cash. Yes, there may be issues here and there, but aren’t there always? Gaming is about the game at the end of the day, and the entertainment and enjoyment that it provides us with, so in that respect we can safely say that Global Agenda is corkingly good fun and is a welcome addition to any PC gamers Steam library. 7