Global Agenda. This game has been successful in causing quite a stir on our website. It seems almost every single story we do on the game anymore turns into the inevitable "this isn't an MMO" debate. We've even tried to give the MMORTS part of it more of a perspective in past articles, but that's neither here nor there. This article isn't about the game or if it's an MMO -- it's about how this game plays.
So, is Global Agenda a worthy investment for the MMOer? Is it a worthy investiment for the FPS nut? Can a game that's a hybrid of so many genres work as well as its creators say it works? Those are all excellent questions and they're also questions that we're going to answer today.
Global Agenda is a game of many sides, kind of like a hexagon! (*Rimshot*) It pulls concepts from many different genres, such as a real-time strategy game, a traditional MMORPG, a third-person shooter, and a team-based action game. To examine the game in short, the main game is the team-based action shooter with influences from MMO PvP, the crafting and inventory systems are borrowed from the MMORPG model, and the overriding conquest function uses 10 vs. 10 battles to determine the outcomes of your RTS strategies while you're playing against a large number of other commanders.
Because of this, the game separates out into two modes -- the actual combat and then everything else in the game. Let's start with the part you want to know about: the combat.
Combat in Global Agenda is as sharp as my recon's ghost blade. It's fast-paced and filled with options for all four of the classes. If you could imagine Team Fortress combined with MMO PvP, that's what you get. It sounds awkward, but it plays out very well.
Each bullet hit or melee attack does a set number of damage, determined by your weapon's modifications and where you put you skill points. Melee attacks are special, as attacking someone from behind allows you to do critical hits in addition to applying a special debuff depending on your class. The assault axe, for example, will light people on fire if they're hit from behind. While all weaponry works on a third-person perspective, most guns allow you to scope into a first-person mode. This mode, in addition to providing magnification, also provides a damage boost.
Global Agenda also lets you know when you've hit someone by displaying the amount of damage you dealt over their head. It's a nice way to gauge how much damage you're doing to them and a great indicator of when you hit someone.
While the combat is fast paced and full of action, it's also full of strategy. Classes have very unique skills in the form of devices, from the recon's escape dummy to the robotics's force field wall to the assault's bullet shield. Some weapons, like the recon's sniper rifle and the medic's poison grenade, cause MMO-esque debuff effects to those caught in the line of fire. For example, the sniper rifle, in addition to doing great single-shot damage, lowers a person's damage resistance temporarily. These types of abilities let classes interact with one another during combat, such as the idea of using a recon sniper to "paint" enemies with their debuff to let an assault with a chaingun finish them off.
The one downside to all of this for the new player is the hotbar. All devices and weapons are on an MMO-esque hotbar system, and this can be a little hard for newcomers to use. When your weapons are on the 1-3 keys and your devices are down on the 4-7 keys, it can be a little hard to reach a device in the heat of combat. We recommend setting your own personal keybindings so you can grab a device ASAP.
In short, Global Agenda's combat goes above and beyond a start-up studio. There's nothing indie about it. It's a good, solid game in this respect.