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Global Agenda

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010 (US), Sept. 10, 2010 (EU)

About Brad Hilderbrand

I've been covering the various facets of gaming for the past five years and have been permanently indentured to WorthPlaying since I borrowed $20K from Rainier to pay off the Russian mob. When I'm not furiously writing reviews, I enjoy RPGs, rhythm games and casual titles that no one else on staff is willing to play. I'm also a staunch supporter of the PS3.

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PC Preview - 'Global Agenda'

by Brad Hilderbrand on April 4, 2009 @ 9:00 a.m. PDT

A departure from the traditional online settings of high fantasy, outer space, or military, Global Agenda, powered by the Unreal Engine 3, is set on 22nd century Earth. An invisible war is fought not with armies, but with elite teams of highly trained and well-equipped special agents, where technology is a race, knowledge is power, and everyone has an agenda.

Genre: MMO Shooter
Publisher: Hi Rez Studios
Developer: Hi Rez Studios
Release Date: TBA

In video games, the experience is all based on structure. You're given a character, a mission, some tools to complete said mission and then sent on your way. While there may be branching paths and multiple endings, there's always a more or less set progression from the start to the end of the game. Developer Hi Rez studios wants to know what happens when you take out that structure and let the crowd run wild, and we'll all be able to find out soon enough when they release Global Agenda.

On its surface, the game is a fairly prototypical sci-fi MMO. Players create a character in one of four classes (Assault, Medic, Recon or Robotics), gear up and then head out on standard capture the flag or capture and hold missions. Completing missions earns you experience to level up characters, and in between sorties, you can hang out at base HQ to chat with friends or try and join a guild (known as agencies here).

That's not to say the gameplay is totally uninspired; one of the coolest things we heard about was the ability to get 60-vs.-60 teams going on a single mission, though not all 120 players would be on the same map fighting over the same objectives. Instead each squad will be broken into six teams of 10 and sent into their own maps with their own goals. However, actions by one team affect the others, meaning that while you may not physically see your teammates, you'll see their handiwork. For example, one group taking down a power grid could disable the turrets on another team's map, or disabling shield generators could make another unit's base assault much easier. It's a clever solution for the downright insanity that is 120 people fighting in the same general area, and it has potential to make for some highly entertaining matches.

What really sets apart Global Agenda is the fact that the devs are going to be constantly altering the world, and instead of players fighting for months or years to attain a static goal, the title will feature a new set of challenges every 45 days. While agencies may team up to achieve a common goal one month, it's very possible that they'll be on opposite sides of the conflict a few days later, attacking the very soldiers who they once defended as brothers. The developers are saying that they want to craft future gameplay scenarios around players' suggestions, so if the title gains a substantial following, you may be one of the folks who can figure out where the game will head next.

New MMOs are being released almost daily, and the team at Hi Rez understands the need to stand out and offer something new and intriguing to players. Will the constantly shifting world of Global Agenda be an enticement to those who grow bored of stale old missions and raids, or will it merely frustrate and confuse those who can't keep up with the constant flow of action? We'll be keeping a close eye on this one through the beta this summer and its eventual release (tentatively slated for the end of the year) and see how it can deliver on its rather ambitious plans. Hi Rez has a global agenda, all right; let's hope that it's big enough.


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