We firmly believe that attaching rockets to things makes them better. And though Aion might’ve pioneered flight as a combat mechanic in MMOs, Global Agenda’s jetpacks aren’t simply a thematic accessory for the game’s spy-fi setting - they’re a critical piece of equipment every player has strapped to their back.
Above: Most combat takes place on the ground, but strapping jets to every character’s back makes normal combat encounters feel dynamic and unpredictable
GA doesn’t allow for free-flying tactics like Starsiege: Tribes (your jetpack boost is limited, and draws from the same battery your weapons do), yet jetpacks are nonetheless a liberating addition to your abilities. Platforming between the rooftops of futuristic facilities; launching a surprise attack on a control point by lobbing an EMP grenade through a hole in the roof; even retreating desperately, vertically back to your teammates is a feeling we’re thrilled to experience again. And we love the wide level design that accommodates these tactics - ceiling entrances, tiered ledges and other heights mean matches rarely dwell at a choke point for too long.
2) Badass Classes
The design of Global Agenda’s character classes is drawn from the hundreds of hours its creators (Georgia-based Hi-Rez Studios) have spent with Team Fortress 2. And, frankly, that’s the best possible source of inspiration. The roles supplied by TF2’s classes create a layered set of gameplay mechanics, a food chain where Spies target Medics, Pyros chase Spies and Engineers guard flags and capture points.
Above: Handymen of the future, the Robotics class can deploy structures to aid allies.
Global Agenda applies the same proven formula: if you’re playing as Robotics, you’ll focus on laying medical crates, missile turrets and other support structures in the field to create mini-bases to resupply and protect your allies, but you’ll be vulnerable to sneaky opponents playing as Recon, who can sabotage turrets and backstab. Medics and Assault characters are usually seen side-by-side, pushing onto capture points or other objectives with the Medic’s healing ray tethered to his minigun-toting best friend to keep the hitpoints flowing.
Robotics: Mobile defense. Wields a shotgun, deploys turrets, force fields and other tools - kind of like the sci-fi second cousin of the Engineer in Team Fortress 2.
Assault: Suppression, tanking. An amalgam of TF2’s Demo, Soldier and Heavy.
Medic: Support and debuffing, but combat-capable. We love that the Medic’s “Agony Gun” healing tool can also be used on enemies to increase the damage they take.
Recon: Stealth, sabotage. Plants mines on turrets, can use sniper rifles and turn invisible. Similar to the Spy and Sniper in Team Fortress 2.
3) Big Cojones
Designing a game that balances the pace of third-person shooter gameplay with the persistency and progression of an MMO is a real challenge - especially for a studio that’s developing its first title. Our biggest worry is that the game’s pricing model might divide the player base - one-time purchasers will have access to 30 character levels and basic PvP and PvE.
Above: The character customization is more reminiscent of World of Warcraft than your typical shooter
Subscribers (at $13/month) will have access to Global Agenda’s most ambitious mode: “Alliance versus Alliance,” an open campaign that combines base creation, resource accumulation, and crafting with attack and defend matches.
Jan 20, 2010