Almost 10 years ago the greatest first person shooter came out and most of you probably never heard of it, never got to play it and never will.

26th of January, 2010, Sony Interactive released a first-person shooter game that was way ahead of its time. A 256 massively multiplayer online first-person shooter game graced our PlayStation 3’s and delivered some of the most epic online battles in gaming history. The game was MAG.

Discussion

MAG stands for Massive Action Game; which aptly describes the game itself. It was developed by Zipper Interactive, the crew that brought us the SOCOM series, and, unfortunately, it was the one of the last games they ever made.

This massively online game was massively ambitious.

MAG used a new server architecture to support online battles with up to 256 players, with users divided into eight-player squads, with four squads forming a platoon, and four platoons forming a company. Each squad is led by a player who has advanced through the game’s ranking system.Character statistics and development also increase with frequent gameplay. The players assigned leadership positions are able to simultaneously direct the battle and participate directly in combat.

And to really make multiplayer meaningful players had to join one of three factions to fight for: Raven Industries GmbH, SVER and Valor Company Inc. This created a palpable war scenarios as each player really fought hard to win it for their squad. There was a sense of pride in MAG that I had never seen or experienced in any other game. Even to this day, MAG players will cheer when they see their faction banner. At least I do when I see SVERs.

The Factions

  • Raven Industries GmbH was a faction based in ViennaAustria, with personnel from ItalyFranceGermany, and other western European nations. Raven believes that precision in training creates perfection on the battlefield. Raven’s operatives are high-tech, elite soldiers exposed to the latest virtual training techniques.
  • S.V.E.R. (Seryi Volk Executive Response) was a guerrilla-style militant force based in Grozny, in the Chechen Republic in Russia. Their personnel are drawn from ChinaIndia and Russia, as well as some African and Middle Eastern nations. They’re infamous for their passion of battle, and makeshift tactics.
  • Valor Company Inc. was made up of U.S.BritishCanadian and Latin American special forces, has elite, experienced soldiers, tough weaponry, and reliable vehicles. Valor’s tech is based on the modern American military. Valor is based in Alaska and North-Western Canada.

Why did it end?

Four years later sadly Sony pulled the plug on the MAG servers making the game defunct. The reason was because of dwindling numbers, but it wasn’t entirely Zipper Interactive’s fault.

Despite being a powerful console the PlayStation 3 was lagging behind in sales due to a shaky and extremely expensive launch. The PlayStation launched featureless and with the hefty price tag of $700 dollars to try and rival the Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. And the fact that it was rushed to market meant third party developers didn’t have a full comprehension of the development tools making nearly every multi-plat game look and perform much batter on the Xbox. But the PlayStation truly showcased it’s impressive power with its line-up of AAA exclusives… like MAG.

MAG on the PlayStation 5

It’s been five years since MAG disappeared from my life and I still get the urge to play it today. Every time I walk past a clueless game retailer selling second hang copies of the game a part of me still wants to buy it, just to own as a piece of memorabilia or some kind of sentimental token.

But then, last year, when I was having a cocktail with a few friends who currently work for Sony Interactive Entertainment MAG was brought up sort of in passing (I may or may not have been the cause) but it sparked an interesting discussion about cloud gaming, virtual reality and some other stuff and my mind went immediately to the PlayStation 5.

PlayStation 5 concept | Sausage Roll

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not confirming that MAG is returning to the PlayStation or even trying to start a rumour. But this did get me thinking, why not bring back MAG for the PlayStation 5? Or even for the PlayStation 4? Sony clearly have the numbers and the resources to bring this baby back to life. And, with the reason news of the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility, there should never be a shortage of players.

Well, one of the greatest first-person shooter games has come and gone, and a bunch of you missed it. I’m really hoping that Sony bring this masterpiece back so that those who missed this amazing experience will know exactly what I am talking about.

Did you know?

If you want to see MAG make a return to the PlayStation then get the word out. Maybe Sony will respond if enough people start talking about it again. So click like and share this article!