Everyone is looking at this fall as being another showdown between Microsoft and Sony. Only this time it’s not hardware releases that will face off against each other, but first-party software titles. In one corner there is Halo 3: ODST and in the other corner, the 256-player mammoth known as M.A.G.

To further delineate between the two games we’re doing something a little different here at Blend Games. The staff from Electronic Theatre have joined us to break down which game deserves your vote: M.A.G or Halo 3:ODST. The entire thing will take place over the course of three rounds with one round per week. This week, we cover the topic of Multiplayer Versatility. So without further ado, let’s get this battle started.

Round 1: Multiplayer Versatility

Halo 3: ODST:
BG - Ryan Rigney: When you're talking about a Halo FPS (none of which having ever gotten a Metacritic score below a 90) and a random, bland-looking Battlefield knockoff with a dumb name like M.A.G, the term "contest" really shouldn't come into the conversation. This is a definite case of "Quality Vs. Quantity," as nothing that has ever been shown about M.A.G. has ever generated any response other than "WHOA MAN THAT'S A LOT OF PLAYERS."

BG - William Usher: It’s definitely quality vs quantity, but I don’t know if Halo 3: ODST is carrying the mantle of quality in its multiplayer options. For as far as we’ve all seen it looks extremely generic with a tacked-on horde mode that made Gears of War 2 a game worth playing, which has simply been renamed to FireFight. I’m not really digging it. Still, it carries everything Halo 3 had and that still speaks volumes in favor of ODST.

BG - Mark Barley: Halo is the birth mother of online console FPS's, it's multi-player is the most proven online offering this generation of consoles has to offer. It's ranking system is proven, the matches are well paired, and the lag is almost non-existent with a good connection.

ET – ManPac:The argument for Halo 3: ODST’s multiplayer rests upon the success of Halo 3’s online capabilities as beyond the new Co-Operatively gameplay mode, FireFight, Halo 3: ODST’s retail package will contain an entirely separate disc containing the complete Halo 3 multi-player experience. That Halo 3 remains one of the strongest online console titles this generation will of course help Halo 3: ODST’s online credibility no-end, but in terms of versatility you’d be hard pressed to find another console First-Person Shooter more flexible than Halo 3’s Forge.
It’s no secret that Halo 3’s Forge is one of the series most cherished additions to the console online gaming space, not only giving gamers the opportunity to devise their own maps, but also create entirely new gameplay modes. The infamous Halo 3 RocketBall has become a favourite amongst the growing console mod community and with Halo 3: ODST promising to deliver the complete package – including each Downloadable Content expansion and three brand new maps – it’s highly likely that this community will be reinvigorated by it’s launch this September. When coupling this with the four-player co-operative main campaign, and the brand new survival mode, FireFight, short of supplying fully-functioning Spartan armour there’s clearly no more diverse First-Person Shooter package in the console online gaming spectrum.


BG – William Usher: In this round it’s a tough call to say if M.A.G. is offering more versatility than ODST only because the PS3 shooter is all about multiplayer. Heck, without multiplayer M.A.G would be nothing. However, the fact that its focus is on organizing something to do for 256 players at all times, makes it a truly unique visage for the world of interactive shooting games. Also, Zipper Interactive is no new-comer to online multiplayer, especially with the SOCOM franchise sparkling on their resume. So for M.A.G, the fact that every player will be designated to a team and a team designated to a task gives the game a single-player focused goal for multiple players. The vehicles, air support, para-troopers, counter-artillery and RPG elements make M.A.G a worthy contender in the field of multiplayer versatility. It’s not like it’s always going to be the same thing over when playing this game alone or with friends. A

ET – l.m.h: Few could argue that Zipper Interactive’s forthcoming MAG is set to offer one of the most versatile online multi-player games yet to be seen on the Current-Generation of videogame systems. Built from the ground-up to house large-scale online warfare, MAG has the potential to become the world’s biggest First-Person Shooter playground ever. Confirmed as set to offer 256 player matches from launch, players must as individual components of a well oiled wheel in order to maintain the advantage.
Divided into squads of eight-players, each has a role to play in supporting their commanding force across the battlefield. A deep Class System may see you start as a Medic for one of the three warring factions, but a number of actions you perform on the battlefield will be recorded and utilised to develop your character – find yourself handling more weaponry than gauze and band aids and you could well find your character earning “load-outs” (more commonly referred to as “skills”) more suited to a traditional Assault Class. Fighting through the ranks, a good player will reach the role of squad leader after a short amount of time; a great leader can find themselves taking the role of Officer in Command on the frontline. Whatever your playing style, MAG is flexible enough to accommodate your skills.

Voting Time!

You’ve read the descriptions for each game and we’ve come to the conclusion of Round 1 for M.A.G vs Halo 3: ODST. Based on what you’ve read, which game do you feel has better multiplayer versatility?

Halo 3: ODST Vs M.A.G
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