Global Agenda is one of these games I’ve seen floating past but never really given a chance. To be fair, the marketing for it is terrible and doesn’t at all give an accurate impression of what the game is even vaguely about. That said, when Hi-Rez asked us to have a look at the game I was sort of in a pre-SW:TOR limbo and decided to give the game a go.
Global Agenda is a free-to-play mmo, mostly a shooter with some tiny bits of rpg blended into the mix. You get to choose from 4 classes: Assault, Medic, Recon and Robotic – and each perform very different functions in group-based content. Most of the game is based on PvP – though there is no open-world PvP whatsoever. All PvP is handled in battlegrounds and AvA, with more about that later in the review. You do get the usual MMO features: there are quests, gear, shops, crafting, auction houses, etc. Don’t expect weeks of content though, I played the game for a week straight and exhausted all quest content on 3 different classes. That said, it takes a while to get to maximum level and there are plenty of things to unlock.
In terms of the classes, the Assault is essentially the tank class. Armed with miniguns, rocket launchers and skills based around damage mitigation this class can take a serious punch, as well as do an incredibly amount of dps. The medic is exactly what it sounds like: a class mainly based on healing, though you do have the option to spec poison and do a decent amount of damage. Most people will however expect you to heal them, so the vast majority of medics are healing specced. The recon is the stealth / sniper class and does by far the most dps of any of the classes. The last class, the robotic, is what one could call the ‘pet class’. Extremely versatile and largely a support class, the robotic places stations and turrets that heal, buff and do damage. The majority of gametime by a robotic is spend setting up and repairing their stations and turrets.
As far as gameplay is concerned, besides for the quest content the game has instances which are grouped in medium security, high security, max security and ultra-max security. In a nutshell, the boss of the lower level becomes a normal mob in the next level up – so these are exponentially harder. The latter two are quite unforgiving and playing with people who don’t communicate or are completely ignorant can be an exercise in frustration. Since this is a free-to-play game, one can purchase a so called ‘Elite Agent’ status for a one-off fee of around £15 – which provides a substantial increase in experience, tokens, credits and most importantly: provides loot from instances and other activities. On top of this, players can buy a booster which doubles the rewards, and stacks with Elite Agent. Free players might find this a little irritating, but it’s done in a reasonably tasteful manner and isn’t too obnoxious.
Other nice touches include the fact that all your characters share the same name, so people can easily identify you. They also all share the same inventory, credits, tokens, everything except gear which is ‘bound’ to that character. The nice thing is that you can purchase an item for your cosmetic slots and it becomes available for all your characters. Similarly, you can swap between classes without being penalized in progress when it comes to tokens/credits – which makes a nice difference from other MMOs. As a result, it’s much easier to find groups as people are far more willing to use different characters, especially once they’ve reached maximum level (50 at the moment).
Last thing worth mentioning is the so-called ‘AvA’, Alliance vs. Alliance PvP. I only dabbled in this a very short while, but I really liked what I saw. This essentially is the organised mass-scale PvP, where alliances fight over maps divided in hexes and conquer/defend territory during specific seasons that last a specific amount of time. Alliances can build facilities on these hexes, get resources, bring in dropships with support equipment that can be used during matches, etc. etc. It’s really rather in-depth and pretty much anyone interested in PvP participates in this. The game keeps long-term halls of fame, and the good/competitive alliances are well-respected within the community so it can be a very rewarding experience. Matches are 10vs10 affairs and are extremely well organised by the alliances which want to have any chance of success. If you like PvP, I’d definitely recommend giving this a go.
So would I recommend Global Agenda? Considering the game is free, if you have some spare time on your hands and you have a passing interest in MMOs or shooters, I’d definitely give it a go. It doesn’t take long to level a character to a point where you can PvP or do other interesting activities (raids, for example) and largely speaking it’s a pretty decent game. Don’t expect to be absolutely amazed, as it’s not really on par with the paid alternatives, but ultimately this game is free. Even if you end up paying for Elite Agent (which is highly recommended) and perhaps a booster here and there you are still getting a very good deal. I certainly enjoyed my time, and if it wasn’t for the huge titles coming out this time of the year I’d probably still be playing.