Evening Reading

By Brian Leahy, Jun 25, 2010 5:00pm PDT Next week should return to normal with news flowing again and E3 safely put to sleep for another year. It was a wild show and there are a lot of great games coming down the line.

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  • Global Agena

    It's Guild Wars, with guns!

    No really, that's what it feels like...and that's not a bad thing at all. So after initially planning to go with a subscription model for their action MMO, developer HiRez saw the writing on the wall and decided to not actually go that route. It would have been akin to Valve charging $15 a month for the arguably better shooter, TF2. The first expansion, being rolled out in 3 parts, is free. Expansions from that point on will cost money, but there is no monthly fee associated with this game any more.

    But is it fun? After trying the demo for a day or so, I have to say yes, yes it is.The first 10 levels you spend pretty much doing some random PvE instances with groups but those 10 levels fly by. At level 10 you can start doing PvP for exp, etc with various mission types. The final stage being some kind of uber war that the various guilds fight for resources. Although there are leveling mechanisms and skill trees in the game, it feels much, much more like a FPS than mmo. For instance, a level 50 might have more skills and equipment that my level 12, but in the "Arena" (Non XP PvP practice) it's still entirely possible for me to kill someone of a much higher level.

    Cons:
    The recon class is the refuge for people wanting easy play and kills. In this way it's not different from most shooters that offer a class than can turn invisible and gank the crap out of you. It's frustrating for non recon class players and it feels cheap sometimes.

    Some of the PvE missions can feel repetitive early on. But, to be honest, by the time it started to get annoying, I turned level 10 and could move up to harder PvE and PvP opens up as well.

    The UI is odd and confusing, but easy to master.

    Pros:
    This is a modified U3 engine shooter with MMO elements. It is not a MMO with FPS elements ala Tabula Rasa.

    Classes are fun, even the recon, if you're into hiding a lot.

    There is no monthly fee.

    Most importantly, it is on sale.

    Steam has it on sale for $26.99. Now, at this price I think the game is well worth it. But, I have to be honest and say at the normal price of $40 I would be less likely to purchase it.

    TLDR: Fun fps type game with MMO elements. Worth the sale price, but don't pay full price.

    There is a demo on steam, so you can play up to level 15. After you go through the tutorial and arrive at dome city, hit "m" and jump into some basic PvE team play with others to earn quick exp and items.

    If you want to experience PvP before level 10 (but for no xp) look for the transport tubes that will take you to the virtual reality trainer. There you can fight it out with others from all levels just for fun (and it is fun).