Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Global Agenda

Global Agenda is an online shooter game by Hi-Rez Studios. Generally I do not play third-person shooters, much less a Team Fortress 2-style shooting game. However it’s a free-to-play (F2P) game and I had seen some the gameplay on Youtube. It looked like a fun game, it’s on Steam, so I figure why not?

Global Agenda takes place in the 22nd century when a global disaster and a “Third Great War” left parts of the Earth uninhabitable. A government called the Commonwealth now rules Earth with an iron fist and you are part of a rebel army fighting against the Commonwealth. The solo quests in the game has you escaping from the Commonwealth and joining up with the rebels before going into the desert to cure yourself of a virus given to you by the Commonwealth.

First off, Global Agenda is not your regular traditional MMO with elves, swords and sorcery. It is a game with jetpacks, guns and sniper rifles. There’s even melee for gamers who like their action close and personal. The game features four classes: Assault, Recon, Medic, and Robotics. All have customizable skill trees with their own weapons and their specific role in the game.

At its core, Global Agenda is a combination of a MMO and a FPS. There’s also a certain RPG element in the game and Global Agenda managed to combine these different genres into an exciting game that requires a certain level of skill from its players.

For new players of Global Agenda, I strongly they play the tutorial at least once. The starting tutorial has a good story and it introduced the basic gameplay pretty well. However the game itself is surprisingly deep so be prepare to learn the game as you go.

Although there’s a quest line for people to solo, the main meat of the game is in the PvP section of the game. The normal PvP mission pits 10vs10 in a random map with an objective to receive. The action is fast-paced with teamwork the name of the game.

The first time I played a PvP mission, I was like a headless chicken running around shooting at all enemies but after a few rounds, I discovered what my role was. Each class has a role in the game and your team need to work together to win. Don’t be intimidated by the teamwork needed in the game because although the gameplay is deep, it is also easy to pick up.

After a few rounds in the PvP, you will know the role your class is for and you will also get a lot of help from your random teammates. I remember a game when I was the sole Assault on my team. As the Assault is the tank class and my team was the defender in the scenario, I placed myself at the main entrance where the attackers would come in. I managed to hold them off as 2 Medics on my team were healing me like crazy and a few Recons hovered around me to make sure I don’t get swarmed by the attackers. As I was the only Assault, I was important and needed to stay alive.

Everyone on the team thought we were doomed at the start but we did win the mission through good teamwork. The best thing is that no one used the chat at all. Everyone just knows what they need to do and did it. That’s the kind of game Global Agenda is.

Of course there are a few bad spots in the game. The quest line in Global Agenda is too short. I usually run around doing the quest line while waiting for the PvP to pop, and even with such interruptions I managed to finish the quest line by level 20. And once you finish the quests, it’s PvP all the way which can be boring as you can find yourself just standing there while waiting for the PvP missions to pop.

Another problem I have is the slow leveling of the game. Although it is now F2P, in the past Global Agenda was a buy-2-play (B2P) game. Like Guild Wars, once you the buy the game you can play it for free. When Hi-Rez Studios converted the game to F2P, they introduced a system that spilt the players into Elite and Free Agents. Free Agents are players who joined the game after it went F2P while Elite Agents are players who had bought the game before it went F2P. Elite Agents has access to better weapon and armor in the game but the advantage is not so great that I had a problem with it.

What I do have a problem with is the slow crawl to level up my character! Free Agents get experience slower than their Elite Agent counterparts, and I mean a lot, lot slower! Once my Assault hit level 22, it practically stopped leveling! And since the level cap is 50, I’m putting my money on the fact that there are no Free Agents who managed to hit the level cap without paying for a few level boosters. I can understand the fact that Hi-Rez need to pay the bills but it is seriously bad!

Overall, I have to say Global Agenda is one fun game. It is exciting and has enough unique points about it that it will pip anyone’s interest. Run-of-the-mill is something this game is not. Play it and find out for yourself!

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