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Global Agenda E3 2009 Hands-On Preview

Updated Wed, Jul 15, 2009 by Ethec

At E3 2009, Ten Ton Hammer sat down next to Global Agenda’s Executive Producer, Todd Harris, to get a hands-on play session with the upcoming persistent world shooter, and we’re happy to report not only that the game is coming along nicely, but that aspects of GA like pacing, social aspects, and itemization have a lot to offer the traditional MMO player.

Character creation was fairly standard, with a few anachronistic choices like lamb chops and a handlebar mustache, but it all adds uniqueness to your character. The opening sequence sees several agents busting in to rescue you from a stasis chamber - what the Commonwealth uses to salt away and straighten out its dissidents. Instead of a smooth extraction, the rescue team was annihilated in an explosion that simultaneously busted me out of the chamber proper. This also explains why your character is feeling a little weak and perplexed at the start of the game, despite being an important part of the resistance.

The tutorial, which came next, was a fairly typical progression from learning movement to tuning in to the basics of combat. Much of this will be familiar to online FPS players, except for the lack of sprint. Todd explained that the jetpack had taken the place of sprinting, and I couldn’t help but feel it was a good trade. Another nice movement touch was mantling obstacles by jumping up to grab a ledge, then jumping again to pull yourself up (which may be necessary when your jet pack is temporarily out of juice and recharging). After tagging a few baddies I was ready to blow out of there, and jumped onto a hovering transport for immediate evac.

I soon found myself in an underground facility used for training by the resistance. It was time to make a class choice, and in true demo fashion I went not with the class I’d want to marry for life, but the coolest looking one. My choices were assault, robotics, recon, or medic - all of which do about what you’d expect save the robotics class, which builds missile turrets and healing stations, sporting mobile robot pets and other gadgets designed to highly annoy the opposing team. I remarked on the robotics guy’s third arm, and Todd noted that having a distinctive silhouette was really important to Hi Rez.

In the end, I went with a recon sniper build, hoping to get my Tom Berenger on. The other recon choice was infiltrator (a built for speed and melee class especially great at moving up your spawn point, a critical function in GA’s timed matches), though you can mix and match abilities to create a more balanced character. Equipment choices are based on a DnD character creation style point-buy system that gives you a pretty wide assortment of weapons and capabilities at the start . GA allows you to trick out your character by, say, picking a powerful sniper rifle as your primary weapon and maybe gimping yourself a bit on melee weapon. You’ll also fill your other equipment slots with a jet pack, stims to restore health, mines, decoys, sticky bombs, grenades, and more. Clothing and armor slots were about what you’d expect, but the enhancements concept was fairly new. At present it’s just a host of open slots where you can equip player-crafted (roll your own from PvE loot or buy at auction) persistent buffs, or implants in terms of the lore.

Hi Rez showed the Skills interface for the first time at E3. This is a classic talent tree that increases the strength of your existing skills and might add a few new ones. After giving myself a healthy boost to marksmanship and stealth abilities, we were off to the domed city in Sonoran Desert via fast transit. Todd explained that the game isn’t really designed for explorers (with apologies to Fallout, not much can really live in a post-nuclear wasteland), and the game is tied together by ways to get you from combat to social areas and back quickly.


Global Agenda Free Agent

The Global Agenda Booster Pack celebrates the second anniversary of Hi Rez Studio's flagship MMOFPS on February 2nd by giving the player extra experience, credits and tokens for completing quests and missions for a period of three days. Get your game on and get a boost up!

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