Revisiting Global Agenda – New Zones and Such

This literally came just last night or so. The new update to Global Agenda, expanding on their “open zone” PvE has just got (slightly). I managed to download it and play it for about a couple hours last night. For those who are not familiar to the game, it’s an RPG sci-fi shooter set in the future where cybernetic humans have become a reality. From what I gather, some people don’t like that so much and then there’s a war waged against those who oppose (…or something like that). You play as an agent who is rebelling against the man and…well, you get cool looking weapons and items to toy with which will come in handy.

New zone’s set in North Sonora (I think I spelled it correctly, super lazy to check), where the Recursive colonies (robots…lots of robots) are looming ever closer to Dome City (aka safe zone, where you do most of your crafting and selling/buying of stuff). The new expansion takes the lessons from the first zone (“Sonora Desert”) and adds repeatable instances, much more difficult mobs to down (some you will need a group of people to do) and of course….new quests (both story based and repeatables).

From the start, it’s slightly difficult on where to go to receive the new quests or even where to go to really check out the zone (pro tip: talk to the guy you first meet at the end of the tutorial). But after some wandering, I figured out where to go and how to do it. At first sight, you are introduced to a lush and dry environment. the immediate area swarming with bots and allies holding off endless waves of intruders threatening the safe harbour. Just beyond the mouth of the canyon, you can barely make out distance structures of satellite disks and watch towers.

To not give everything away, here’s a list I’ve made of things you will see or able to do in this new playground:

  1. Teleporter network (awesome if you want to go somewhere quickly)
  2. Larger mob concentration (in certain areas)
  3. Team based area for your team based activities (cookies can be found at the intersection, wink wink)
  4. New PvE mission variety (Defence missions and the usual raids)
  5. Lots of people wanting to group up (for the social types)

I’ve managed to complete the story within a day. But I have to say, the terrain makes the map seem larger than it is. Filled with ruins and mounds, without that map button I would be lost most of the time. Though currently somewhat buggy and annoying (i.e. you die and respawn in the middle of nowhere.), I have to hand it to Hi-Rez to deliver on progress. At level 26, doing all the story missions will provide you enough experience for 3 and a half levels. Overall, still repetitive since it’s either you’re raiding or defending some instance. Though I do see progress in more escort/extraction missions, I feel certain areas of the map are just quest places and nothing more. As a player, I’m never going back there but I would like missions which take you everywhere. As for everything else, not much added except for North Sonora. Oh wait, I did find terrain continuity errors. If you looks at the north gate in Dome City, you can see another dome and open terrain. When you load into that area, that dome is 3km away and the first thing you notice is that you’re in a middle of a canyon which disrupts the view from that oh so distant dome. Though it doesn’t ruffle my feathers about that terrain problem.

So what do you guys think of the new Recursion update?

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APB: Reloaded – May sound pretty good…maybe?

I’ve been looking through my list of games I’ve been following around. Games that I think I would be interested in or would want to check it out . A lot is changing in the games in terms of free to play options. Better graphics and optimizations are allowing browser games to be a bit more competitive.

One such game in development is Star Trek Infinite Space. Currently still in development, it appears it’s going to be a free-to-play MMO with a bit of social networking and adventure (I’m just taking that from the Game Info page). What I’m hoping into it would be something along the lines of Star Trek Online but less resembling Champions Online. Probably not a knock off but more fitted to explore and play with friends than against a newbie unfriendly atmosphere in terms of PvP. Some other info about it; it’s going to use the Unity 3D engine. So cross your fingers for this one and hope they don’t screw it up like Stargate Worlds (P.S. Still want a Stargate game, I’ll be waiting…).

On the subject of Unity 3D, Interstellar Marines has began development of a multiplayer platform for their FPS browser. It’s kind of reminiscent of the Halo franchise in that you are a futuristic soldier in a full body suit of armour fighting a fictious race of creatures (Saw it in the trailer, bipedal great white sharks).So far, they have made incremental releases showing their efforts into immersing players into the game starting with a simple museum-esque piece displaying some of their objects. Then you have a firing range and training facility, pretty much displaying their use of triggers and AI pathfinding. From what it looks like, it’s not going to be free for the final product, but we’ll leave it on the shelf until release.

What’s coming off that shelf is Global Agenda with their release of Global Agenda: Free Agent. Now you can play for free with many limitations to really screw with you. Besides the fact you can’t use the auction house or make agencies/guilds, you can however be like everyone else and have a nice PvP/PvE experience involving futuristic weapons in your choice of classes and weapons. Skills are fairly customizable and you can always reset. Though downside to all this is that in PvP you are really outgunned in terms of your level, being low level also means your skills will not be as fully upgraded as everyone else at maximum, so be prepared to die senselessly to have fun. Quests are pretty short changed in that they’re all stuff to get you accustomed to the game mechanics. After that, they throw you into the wolves and tell you to have fun. Besides the newbie limits of the game, crafting is only limited to certain salvaged items you get as loot as well as weapons you buy in the shop; unless you bought the game, then you can get weapons from missions. So far, server population is pretty good and community looks fairly diverse.

And hurray, APB is back. After being bought by GamersFirst (formerly K2 Networks), APB: Reloaded promises to re-release with certain changes such as skill matchmaking provides a good curious look. As a fan of the GTA series by Rockstar, this mash-up of GTA and massive online gaming (not really an MMO, servers max out at 50 per side), it might be something to keep watch for. Open beta will in June/July, hopefully with a hack-free and entertaining environment. In all likelihood if it’s from GamersFirst, expect one of those or none. From some of my contacts in closed beta, Punkbuster is enabled for servers but seems to have many players bypassing or able to dodge the client. For those who like a urban PvE, forget it. Either you’re breaking windows or stealing cars as a Criminal or impounding car or beating down people for stealing, that’s about it so be ready to kill time to die repeatedly to level up and get your items. As a bias, I would not recommend it since it’s from GamersFirst and they never do anything great with the hacking. However if you’re into the graphics, cars, and customization features for cars, songs, and clothes; I would like those artists to go ahead and take a peak. PvP-ers, you do the same and check it out. As a free to play game, I can’t find anything wrong with the item shop as of yet from those buddies. Who knows? Maybe GamersFirst might pick themselves up and actually do something to fix itself from such a bad rep from me. Be advise, it’s a large download.

That’s for now on the game front for me. I’ve been doing some Call of Duty walkthroughs but I’ve been slacking on the final uploads since I have stuff to do in real life. Until next week folks, keep fragging!