style="font-style: italic;">Quests? In MY online
shooter? It's more likely than you think with the new
Global Agenda is one of the few games
of 2009 for PC that
was released and not completely broken or half-assed.
Its a hybrid RPG/First Person Shooter that
has you creating one of four classes and leveling up via PvE or PvP
acquiring new guns, armor, and cosmetics along the way.
At launch, the primary focus of the game was
on PvP and while it still is to some extent, the recently released
expansion takes the game in the PvE direction for those of us who
shooting more stationary targets, without the stress or the potential
involved in PvP.
Its setup much like Fallout, with
quest givers giving you a
variety of quests to slay in the wasteland.
You kill for loot and the like and return to the quest
giver for the
same thing as any other mmoloot, cash, and xp.
The variety of quests isnt all that impressive, but if
yourself losing interest you can also level in the PvP of the game
The game is constantly receiving
updates, most of which is
based on feedback sent to the developers from the community, giving the
good reputation for catching and fixing overpowered or imbalanced
tactics before they ruin the fun of the gamewhich happens very quickly
first person shooter!
Global Agenda is for everyone, but remember that the online experience changes depending on who you talk to.
Gameplay - 87 / 100
style="font-style: italic;">Soar and shoot at the same time
now, or take the melee to the skies to evade or pursue targets.
Sandstorm has added a major dose of respectable PvE as well.
Previously, if you wanted to fight against the AI of the game, you were
limited to missions against the Commonwealth, the bad guys.
They were randomly generated stages that were also fairly randomly
populated, culminating in a boss fight against a big bad android and
resulting in rare loot and experience for all involved. Now
theres a good array of more standard content that people from all
walks of MMORPG life can appreciateespecially because it involves
blasting the hell out of people with guns instead of
auto-attacks! The previous PvE, while uninspired, actually
serves up a decent challenge for even premade teams and still holds up
for the occasional mission when youre sick of the
One thing that Sandstorm gets right immediately is the
jetpack. Previously, you were forced to change weapons to the
jetpack in order to get around, which meant suicide in most
firefights since it takes a little bit to get
velocity. Now there is a hands-free jetpack option which
enables flight while firing a weapon, giving the game a much more
action packed feel at the cost of precious Energy to maintain your
weapons systems. Tribes players, rejoice!
Graphics - 70 / 100
style="font-style: italic;">Bosses are massive and detailed,
but leave something to be desired on their attack animations and
hitboxes for dodging them.
The new look of Sandstorm doesnt
break any boundaries set
by the original, which is a bit of a disappointment.
The added content looks passable, but some of
the Sandstorm NPCs look pretty ugly even on high settings. style=""> Of course since this is a
shooter, you can
overlook that when the enemies still eat lead and blow up in a pleasant
In terms of scalability, Global
Agenda can be played on a
variety of systems which is surprising for a relatively unknown game
both on my high-end
desktop and pathetic on-board graphics laptop provided a playable
important detail about the graphics of a
shooter is the frame rate, and the expansion did nothing to hurt the
performance of the original, even on highest or lowest settings. style=""> Perhaps the weapon effects
were sacrificed to
gain this though, since none of the explosions or bullet particle
particularly impressive or even passable.
Graphics are much more important to this than other
MMORPGs due to the
detail you can notice staring at your screen for enemies instead of at
Sound - 65 / 100
A respectable music score can be heard from time to time, but is instantly drowned out or forgotten the moment action breaks out. Voice acting is pretty much non-existent, and the only thing saving the sound score from mediocrity is the above average sounds of combat. When youre swinging a big ol axe, it feels and sounds like youre swinging a massive weapon on impact. Most people like to add their own soundtrack to the game anyway in a first person shooter, or play with no music at all to heighten their senses to approaching foes. Dont go in expecting a 4 CD spanning epic and youll be satisfied.
Multiplayer - 90 / 100
The heart of Global Agenda has always lied in its strong team-based PvP, and thats no exception to Sandstorm. New maps have been added to the rotation of both random and Guild-based PvP, and any combination of classes can find success. A new Arena battle mode can take out the objectives and just let people duel in a skill-based contest for supremacy. And when that gets old, you can still kill your fellows in PvE during Double Agent missions that have you fighting against your allies temporarily.
The tears of your former allies will never get old
Value - 97 / 100
Sandstorm is completely free to anyone who owns Global Agenda. Add in no monthly fees and the fact that the game is constantly going on sale (50% off for the holidays!) and youll get a lot of bang for your buck here, quite literally. Theres something for everyone in PvE and PvP so long as you enjoy keeping people in your cross hairs. On top of that, the community is excellent and the developers at Hi-Rez Studios are some of the finest in the market at responding to their community and adapting to the changing MMORPG market.
Lasting Appeal - 90 / 100
There is some repetition that is unavoidable when leveling up your character, but the randomness of the old PvE combined with the chaotic goodness of team PvP gives the game a long lifespan. Guild based PvP is very popular and organized for those who want to stick with the game to the end, and with further content coming down the pipeline and regular patches, the game doesnt seem to be getting stale nearly as quickly as it did before Sandstorm came out.
Pros and Cons
- One of the best developers on the market with rapid patch deployment and community involvement in them
- A respectable PvE aspect to a shooter is virtually unheard of in an MMORPG.
- Still no monthly fees!
- Feels grindy at times while leveling.
- Crafting needs work.
- More means of fast travel would really help the wasteland not feel so barren and lifeless.
Sandstorm has breathed new life into what was a stale team shooter. With the addition of raids, much more accessible solo PvE and something resembling interaction with NPCs, leveling no longer feels like a chore nearly as much and gives everyone access to better weapons and such much faster that before. The Agency vs. Agency combat has been refined to be more fair to those who play around the globe, and the new weapons add new possible builds and load outs to an already complicated game for that. What Sandstorm needed to add was depth, and it did just that!
Overall 84/100 - Very Good
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