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GameX 2009: Our hands-on with Global Agenda


It's an MMO, it's a shooter, and we stealthily gathered enemy intelligence on it at GameX 2009. It's Hi-Rez's Global Agenda, the "spy-fi" team based shooter that has lots of people talking in excited whispers.

We sat down at Hi-Rez's gaming rigs once again for a look at the game, and this time we went beyond the PvP matches. We got to have some personal time with Global Agenda's PvE mode, getting an inside look at how secret agents deal with insane governments that utilize robots to the Nth degree.

So what can you expect from Global Agenda, both PvP and PvE-wise? If our looks into the game were any indication, you can expect lots.

Why hold the line when you can use jetpacks?

First off, let's get into Global Agenda's PvP mode and work our way down from there. Global Agenda is a team-based shooter, similar to Team Fortress 2, where players choose a class and work their way from there. However, Global Agenda's classes are what happens when you smash World of Warcraft into Team Fortress 2. Classes are not cut and dry: they fall into hybrid types thanks to both equipped gadgets and character talents.

So, if you're one of those people who wants to make the recon class into a sniper, you can do that. If you're more of a rogue, you can twist the recon class into a backstabbing ninja. So don't feel that once you choose your class you're rooted directly to a single play style.

PvP matches can break down into several different map types, and we got to play rounds of the "push objective" maps, "area control" maps, and "attacker/defender" maps.

Push objective maps involve one team attacking and another team defending. Attackers need to stand next to a very large technological object (an object so complex and dastardly that few people knew exactly what it was we were moving) and "push" the objective forwards through the map along a track. However, if defenders rally around the object, they can (and will) push it backwards. There are checkpoints in the map, so the objective can never go backwards across a checkpoint, but it does give defenders the opportunity to gain ground on their defense while the enemy rushes back into the fight.

Area control maps pretty much explain themselves. These maps have a few different areas that must be controlled by standing on top of their capture points. The presence of an enemy on the point with you negates out your capture until they either kill you or you kill them. If you hold two or more points at the same time, your team starts gaining points. The first team to max out their points wins the map.

Finally, attacker/defender maps involve one side defending a base while the other side needs to infiltrate it. Attackers need to rush for a marked point and control it while defenders need to prevent this from happening. If the attackers claim the point, the defenders are pushed backwards on the map to their fallback spawn point while the attackers take over the spawn point the defenders use to control. If the attackers claim all of the spawn points within the time limit, they win.

These modes play very much like Team Fortress 2 crossed with Tribes. Jetpacks are very, very useful, as well as setting ambushes, traps, and other sorts of insanity. Robotics players and recon players can set the stage for ambushes using the Robotics turret and the Recon's mines, as well as the Recon's decoy ability to distract enemies.

The gameplay is also very fast paced. Don't expect downtime or waiting around for something to happen -- something is always happening. The matches are very tight, very chaotic, and very fun. I wasn't expecting the game to be so easy to pick up, with its toolbar of imposing, nameless abilities, but after playing around with the items for a minute or two you get the hang of them.

But you know all of this, right? So then, let's talk about the PvE gameplay.

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