First Impressions: Global Agenda from Hi-Rez Studios

The MMO Gamer guest author Victor Speranza gives a sneak peak at the upcoming action FFPSMMO, Global Agenda.Guest writer Kevin Dudenbostel recently paid a visit to Hi-Rez Studios to get a preview of their upcoming MMOFPS Global Agenda. Read on for his impressions og the game and of the team behind it.

When The MMO Gamer was invited to visit Hi-Rez Studios for a sneak peak at their upcoming game, Global Agenda, I was very interested in the prospect of going.

But, before we get into that, let me tell you a little about the game itself, and the people who are going to bring it to us.

Hi-Rez Studios is a US-based company located in the state of Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.

Founded in 2005, they have grown to become a large-scale operation, drawing away employees from several other MMO studios.

The CEO of Hi-Rez is a man named Erez Goren. His dream was to create his own video games, and now he’s trying to make good on it.

Erez started writing software back in the late 1980s, with one of the first a baseball games for the Atari 400. After college he started a number of successful business ventures, using the proceeds to found Hi-Rez.
Helping make Erez’s dream come true is a group of around fifty people headed by Todd Harris. Todd, whose office is decorated with spy movie posters, is the executive producer for the game.

Enough about Hi-Rez! Let us take a tour of Global Agenda. My very first impression of Global Agenda, from skimming the website and watching some in-game movies, was that it was just another Unreal Tournament clone.
But, having seen it now in person, Global Agenda goes above and beyond what Unreal is. Using their own motion capture studio to do all the animations, Hi-Rez is making a unique game built on the Unreal 3 engine. Michal Adam, the public relations manager, even pitched in and did the animations for the female medic, which is her favorite class.

GA is set in the future of Earth. The current governments of today have faded away, and new powers seek to control the citizens. Technology has progressed leaps and bounds, especially in the field of robotics. Although there are new governments, like the controlling Commonwealth, Global Agenda characters will be working for companies called Agencies. These Agencies are built of people banded together to try and take over the world in epic campaigns.

Built up on four founding layers of gameplay, Global Agenda is trying to provide something for everyone.

The first layer is action. Each class provides a different way to play, and each mission gives you a wide variety of things to do.

The second layer is character development. With the inclusion of the RPG-style elements you can create a wide variety of characters not seen in traditional FPS games. This can branch into fun for the traditional roleplayer, by having to build your character, or frustration for the traditional FPS player, by not having access to all the cool guns.

The third layer is teamwork. With goals in each mission and for each agency you will get to work with friends to accomplish things you wouldn’t be able to by yourself.

The final layer will be the large-scale warfare. With 45-day campaigns, or seasons, Agencies will compete with each other to be the best and bring honor and fame to their members. Something a player who prefers to solo may not get to experience.

Characters are created from four base classes. The weapon-master Assault class, wielding anything from rocket launchers to miniguns is the damage dealer. Engineers are the masters of robotics, they can throw down a shield to protect teammates from fire while deploying deadly turrets. Medics run behind their teammates healing them and engaging in biological warfare against their enemies. And, the last thing you ever see could be the stealthy Recon class; equipped with a sniper rifle and invisibility cloak.

Each class has more than enough skill options to give them a wide variety, leaning towards eight or more unique builds in total. Each character has a family name. This “family” includes your entire, account and ensures all of your characters are in the same Agency, fighting for the same goals.

Each comes with their own jet pack for quick travel on maps, and has their own specialties. But, with only four to choose from you may feel a bit limited when creating a new character.
These agencies set the central theme of the fast action Player vs. Player for the game. You can freelance yourself if you desire, but the most rewarding action comes from the Agency battles. With groups of around 10 you fight for and defend key points on a larger map.

The larger-scale battles are alliance against alliance, or Agency vs. Agency. These larger battles are part of 45 day campaigns that Agencies participate in to win prestige and awards for themselves and their members. Each “season” provides a goal to accomplish for teams and provides bonuses if they dominate.

Even if nobody from your agency or alliance is online for you to fight with, Global Alliance provides players options to freelance for the government and join groups of random players to fight with and against. Even though PvP is the central theme for an FPS-style game, there is a support role for your characters in the Player vs. Environment.

PvE is used for orientation of new members, class missions for learning how to use upgrades, and learning team building skills. With such little PvE, some casual players may find themselves out of the loop.
All this talk about PvP casual players may be thinking, “I’m no twitch gamer there is no way I can compete with all the 13 year old players!” Well, Global Agenda has added a few things to deal with this. Not only is there a rich RPG-style character progression to gain better equipment but high-end characters as well as low-end characters are limited to how much gear can be used in a match.

Leveling in the game gives you access to new weapons and abilities, but you can’t use them all in every battle. With such limits, the long time player may have access to some of the better weapons in game but they will be limited on some of the smaller items like mines or grenades which are also essential to a well rounded game.

GA also has a well implemented melee system that is useful and easy to learn. When the other team deploys a projectile shield you better get in close with your battle-axe and tear them up. When playing with the experienced alpha testers I found melee a nice twist to the traditional FPS game that gives more depth and gameplay to the normal point and shoot of the genre.

Global Agenda does a nice job of blending RPG and FPS to create a game that anyone can jump in casually and play a good game. The depth of character building and agency campaigns will allow you to enjoy the game for a long time to come. Even after playing an hour with the alpha testers I am very excited about the ease one can get into Global Agenda.

Offering aspects of traditional games that allow most gamers, casual to experienced, to have a place to play brings a lot to the table.

Comments

  1. Von Demon says:

    I’m looking forward to this one. The game design, animations and artwork all look great. I’m interested to see how the persistent war unfolds with the political interaction between the player controlled Agencies.

  2. MMO doesn’t seem to properly describe the experience with this game. From the interviews and trailers, I would put it more as a normal FPS/action game. But although it sounds like it is lacking a few MMO aspect, I hardly consider that a bad thing. The trailers and various details I found around the web point to this being an excellent shooter in its own rights.
    I guess the MMO tag is just there so they can charge monthly fee after release. A bit of a cop out strategy, but I’ll let it slide if they are truly dedicated to updating the game with maps (and I mean at least monthly updates).

    • Haven’t had the chance to try this game yet, but judging from what we know so far, the game is a massively multiplayer game. With a persistent online world, divided into zones. As more information comes out, we’re likely to find out more details, such as the number of players the game can support per server and zone etc. But so far, nothing seems to imply that it’s a regular online FPS, which usually support no more than 64 players per server/map, with no persistant world.

      We’ll be sure to ask at the next opportunity we get, to get things cleared up. ;)

  3. Nicholas Lambert says:

    I was at the pwning for a cure event for Global Agenda. What Kevin was saying about appealing to casual vs experienced players, is that in the game you can choose multiple levels of different abilities. You could put 4 points in melee with 2 in stealth and 3 in armor. You start off with only a few points, but later on you’ll have more. So a new player could fill up points in one or 2 areas very strong, and be able to use those abilities and be as strong as more experienced player. Of course a more experienced player would be able to invest his points in more abilities, that an being experienced would change the field. Nonetheless, the new player learning how to play well enough can still jump in with the big guys.

    The game really does play like both an RPG and an FPS. (Note that you can be in third person mode, not just first person) You have a small action bar to use your abilities. There’s plenty of strategy involved, along with many FPS elements. Teamwork is essential as well, as you don’t last long alone. (Unless your a recon of course. I tried the other classes at the event, but I almost exclusively played Recon. It was also the favorite at the event as far as I recall.)

    It appeals to both MMO, RPG, and FPS fans alike. I personally play all three kinds of games. I love the fast paced action of FPS’s, and the planning and strategy of MMO’s and RPG’s. If I was a fan of only one of those genres I would take a good guess this game would still deliver for me.

    Knowing that the game is not yet complete, it was extremely fun. The hours I got to play it at the event were worth it, and that has cemented me a fan, and one of the people at the midnight launch when the game releases. This IS a great game.

  4. jason hasson says:

    I think this game will be a great one because it’s the first game that looks challenging to me and i try to find the most challenging and yet have the most fun in playing the game and I’ve played a lot of mmorpg games and none look as good as this one does.

  5. Sweet Jack says:

    i dunno. global agenda looks like tabula rasa.. i do not like the gamedesign. maybe global agenda is a good choice for younger players.

  6. Ben Crawford says:

    Tabula Rasa? this game has fluid combat, in depth decision making on the spot, and a nicely incorporated sense of progression added to it. I can't say Tabula Rasa had any of these, from my experience.

  7. This game isn't even remotely like TR… ??? I love how so many people that comment on games have yet to try it… they make tons of general assumptions on what they've "heard" or read (and generally not read closely). Just watch one video… nothing like TR. It's not TF2 either, though closer. If you want to pay, you can open up a whole new world of the game, though you don't have too. *boggle* w/e Each to their own

  8. Do not buy this game. It is absolutely AWFUL. Complete waste of money.

  9. Rob is correct. This was a complete waste of 50 bucks. The PVE is horrible and if the devs think people will actually pay $13 a month to play dull 10v10 battles they are mistaken.

  10. Usually you make thorough explanation as to why it sucks. Otherwise you're just stupid.

  11. Poor controls, low quality graphics, no depth of story and not much to do other than run around shooting stuff – I feel like I have flushed $50 down the toilet ###AVOID THIS GAME###

  12. Awsome game, Tons of fun even though it is quite simplistic. PvE Content is nothing great at lower levels but the constant traps and ambushes at higher levels make it a win! 10v10 PvP is anything but dull. Its a damn good time all around!

    • Lol PvE? What PvE?? If you enjoy killing a bunch of random bots and then a boss bot at the end of the lv OVER AND OVER, no storyline, no quests/missions, then sure ok, PvE is great in this game…

  13. guest010213021321 says:

    This game is Team fortress in 3rd person and more RPGish….everything about it is a ripp-off from team fortress. you know it so dont flame me for this

  14. No real PvE story line, very few maps, Limited to 10 player PvP, this game isn't worth the few hours of fun you get out of it. I feel so ripped off right now. almost all FPS titles alow 24-32 player maps and don't charge a dime for online play. and most newer MMO's allow more than 10 players in instances. This title fails at everything it wants to do. The only thing setting this game aside from others are the jet packs, everything else is done better somewhere else.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] To find out more about the game, visit the official website or check out our first impressions. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*