|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hi-Rez Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Hi-Rez Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 1, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: MMO||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
All the PvE and PvP content is included with the purchase of Global Agenda. For those players that want more out of the title, there is also Conquest. In order to get access to Conquest, you'll have to pay a monthly fee that is competitive with other MMOs. Conquest is a mode that has you join a particular Agency (i.e. Guild) and participate in PvP matches that have persistent world consequences. Rather than just fighting, you'll team up with other Agencies and form Alliances for global control of territory. Your territories can be reinforced by purchasing facilities and upgrades that make it more difficult to invade or easier from which to spearhead attacks. Conquest provides players with a strategic and political metagame along with an increased sense of camaraderie that the PvE and PvP portions simply don't offer.
The Conquest mode is definitely an appealing aspect of the game; one that will likely draw players into paying the monthly fee. That being said, it's a shame players who purchase the game don't get more then trial access to it. I've got a feeling that most players will soon tire of the PvE and PvP battles and find the fee to be too steep to pay month after month. In truth, there probably isn't enough content out of the box to keep players into the game long enough. Perhaps this can be allayed if new classes, more maps, varied mission types, etc. are introduced for free, or for a one-time expansion fee, to all players. If only the paying participants are given continued support, I don't expect the Global Agenda community to thrive for very long at all.
Controls in GA are not perfect, but they are more than sufficient. Some of the default button-mapping, for instance, is not ideal. The use of abilities and devices is dependent upon pressing the right key in a timely manner, and reaching up into the number keys is not quick enough. Fortunately, you'll be able to customize the skill mapping to your liking, making access to things such as the jetpack (crucial for getting in and out of fights quickly) far more accessible. Still, don't expect inch-perfect control.
The sights and sounds of Global Agenda are pretty lackluster, if not unbearable. The maps, enemy and character designs, and even power animations are all fairly uninspired, though they get the job done. Thankfully, GA is a surprisingly stable, marginally-taxing game that will allow even gamers with moderate PCs to join in on the fun. Still, while it's not toe-ugly, it isn't a game you'll want to take to the prom. Worse is the music and voice acting in the game. The background themes aren't bad; they're simply phoned-in generic. The voice-work of the NPCs in Dome City, on the other hand, is just plain awful. Fortunately, solid effects make weapons and power usage satisfying.
Global Agenda isn't an excellent game, but there is a lot of co-op and competitive fun to be had. In fact, the overwhelming vibe from current players is quite upbeat. Still, there's not enough content included with its purchase to keep you playing for months on end; you'll have to pony up the monthly fee for the Conquest mode to get any lasting appeal. Hopefully this won't destroy the title, but I've got a feeling it is going to quickly chip away at the vibrant community of players that currently exists unless significant after-purchase support (e.g. new classes, more maps, new city hub) is included gratis.
CCC Editor / News Director