Global Agenda review
Global Agenda may be the youngest ever MMO to switch over to the free-to-play model. Launched mere months ago with subscriber-only access, this class-based MMO shooter now has a one-time fee of $39.99. Once you’ve purchased the game, it’s yours to play forever and ever (assuming the servers stand the test of time). But is this a game you want to put in serious hours with?
This online third-person shooter shares gameplay elements with its more RPG-based MMO sisters, giving us something like Team Fortress 2 meets World of Warcraft Lite: An MMO for those of us who don’t spend our paychecks on movie-quality elf ears. Of course, if it actually were that game I would slap a 10 on it and get back to playing.
The main focus of Global Agenda is PvP, which, for the uninitiated, means fighting other players’ avatars. This is opposed to PvE, which means fighting against AI. PvP is sort of a deathmatch mode where characters are split up into four traditional classes: Medic, Recon, Assault, and Robotics (basically an engineer). There are objective-based skirmishes as well, like capture the flag and bomb the base. Though it’s well done and balanced, this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, and the game’s fiction fails to captivate.
You are able to level up and work through a skill tree, but unlike more intense MMOs, you don’t need to be an upper level character to take one out. Of course, having a higher level helps you out in all the ways you expect, but in this game it functions more like a traditional online multiplayer shooter. If you don’t enjoy class-based shooters, you’re not going to like Global Agenda’s PvP. And if you don’t like its PvP, you’re not going to like Global Agenda.
Global Agenda shines brightest in Conquest mode, the other face of PvP. It takes place on a persistent world map, and like other, more traditional fantasy MMORPGs, lets agencies (the sci-fi word for guilds, I guess) take over and defend territory on the map. The battles get pretty heated here, and if you’re willing and able to belong to a serious agency with a big time commitment you’ll be spending plenty of time playing Conquest, also known as Alliance vs. Alliance (AvA) play.
PvE (in which players fight against an evil global government called the Commonwealth) lacks any real draw, and environments are bland and uninspired. Considering that the trial for the game has been pulled, you might want to wait until the price drops before jumping in. As it stands, it’s not worth the price of entry unless you’ve mastered other similar, fuller games out there and are cursed with copious amounts of free time.
In addition, Sandstorm, Global Agenda 1.3, dropped recently. It’s good to see Hi-Rez continue to support their game. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t do enough to warrant a definite purchase. The biggest changes are 32 new weapons, jet packs that allow for simultaneous flying and shooting, and a new loot and token system for getting gear. Weapon quality can now degrade over time, obnoxiously requiring repairs. One last kick to the armor-shielded gut: If you are currently playing the game using a trial version you downloaded prior to it being made unavailable, be warned that in-game voice chat may now be interrupted by audio ads—a stinky (though gutsy) move to "encourage" subscriptions.