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Massive Action Game.

The world is at peace! The Millennium Accord was signed by all the major world powers sometime in the second decade of the 21st century. Restricting military engagements to purely defensive roles, the Accord was written to prevent the outbreak of war by imposing severe punishment on any country that starts a war of aggression. With their military forces confined within their own borders, and strategic resources dwindling, countries turn to private contractors to fulfill their objectives. And so, the dawn of the PMC began, giving birth to three major mercenary companies.

Predictably, these PMCs are not at peace. Rather, they're trying to knock each out of business. Tired of buyouts, selling, downsizing, and so on, the three remaining PMCs decide that their companies will do better if they wipe out their competitors. As a result, they attack each other over strategically important resources, such as information, experimental vehicles, next-generation power facilities and oil refineries, hoping to convince potential clients that their competitors are weak, and they are strong. Naturally enough, things escalate as World War III erupts between the factions in a Shadow War that consumes interests of all three major factions.

The factions involved are:

The game is exclusively online multiplayer team vs. team on a variety of different maps, each with different objectives, as follows:

  • Suppression: 64 players from two different teams kill each other. Whoever gets the required number of kills first, wins. Originally, this was internal training exercises (Raven v. Raven, etc), but was changed to straight up deathmatch.
  • Sabotage: 64 players from two different teams attack and defend a communication & data storage facility. The attackers must capture objectives A & B (the communication uplinks) to unlock C (the data center), which must then be destroyed with C4.
  • Escalation: 96 players from three different teams fight over control of three substations of a "green" energy plant. Capturing a substation slowly provides your team with victory points. Capturing any two substations unlocks a fourth point, the power plant itself that, when controlled, gives you victory points much faster. If the fourth point is taken, two strategic points must be captured again.
  • Acquisition: 128 players from two different teams try to control two advanced, experimental APCs. The defenders have a variety of important assets, including air defenses, bunkers, and mortar batteries to fend off the attack, which the attackers can destroy. The attackers have mobile spawning points in the form of APCs and tactical aids that can only be neutralized by functioning defender assets.
  • Interdiction: 128 players from two different teams try to control 3 strategic locations, aided by APCs and a single mortar battery, after both forces met each other accidentally. Difficulty arises from the necessity of keeping the APCs alive to serve as mobile spawn points; letting them be destroyed significantly increases reinforcement time.
  • Domination: 256 players from two different teams duke it out to defend or destroy a vital oil processing facility. Attackers must destroy two cooling towers and two burnoff towers to unlock two corresponding control points, which, when both are controlled, cause damage to the central facility. There are 16 cooling towers and eight control points, making for the most chaotic and strategic battles in the game.

The game was developed by Zipper Interactive (the same studio behind SOCOM) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

The game's multiplayer servers were shut down on January 28th 2014, four years after release. As the game had no single player component, it is now a Defunct Online Video Game that is no longer possible to play.

MAG provide examples of:

  • A.K.A.-47: Averted and played straight. Common, public name weapons like the M4, M9, and the AKs are used. Others, not so much. Zipper Interactive's alternate names from the SOCOM series carry over into this game. (F57 for the Five-seveN, SASR for the Dragunov, etc.)
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Only on a support scale. The higher the command level you have, the more access to support abilities you will get. With the 2.0 update, you automatically qualify as a Squad Leader (leading one eight-man squad) at level 15. After that, you have to be a squad leader in order to qualify for better positions. It takes 100 leadership points to earn Platoon leader (leading 4 squads), and you get 3 points for a loss, and 10 points for a win. Officer In Charge (leading 4 platoons) requires 350 more points. Essentially, if you see a platoon leader at low level, you can rest assured that they know what they're doing.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: APCs are the only ground vehicle, present in the Acquisition and Domination modes (and the target of Acquisition missions), armed with 3 auxiliary turrets alongside the main turret. As of patch 2.0, you can adjust skill points to change how fast your turret fires and reloads. They can be quite devastating if used by a skillful driver and gunner, and depending on the skill of its driver and its passengers once disembarked, they can even get into standoffs with bunkers.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Countries no longer go to war, but only because the penalties for doing so are crippling. The PMCs provide extraterritorial protection for the countries they work for, but also try to cripple the competition through sabotage and directly killing them. Resources are scarce and getting scarcer, so the solution to wanting a contract that your competition has is to kill them and blow up the resource facilities to prove that they're terrible at their jobs and you can do it better. There's not a lot of good guys here. Even Valor, the first major PMC, established with noble goals, doesn't shy away from being the bad guys.
  • Blatant Lies: The Valor soldier's "mission statement" to fellow troopers in the opening cutscene that "we're here to uphold the Millenium Accords" - you know, the very same Accord Valor is violating via loophole.
  • Captain Ersatz:
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The PMCs follow this, with SVER being red, Raven being blue and Valor being green.
  • Color-Coded Armies: SVER are orange/red, Raven are blue, and Valor are green.
  • Combat Medic: Because of how the skill tree works, it's very possible to be a medic and still have as much firepower as anyone else in your squad. Moreover, heals and Resuscitatation (to half-health) are the fastest ways to gain XP. It's not surprising that most people play as these.
    • Only limited by Improved Resuscitation (full health) originally costing almost double of heal+limited revive. Fortunately, Resuscitation is not a prerequisite for the improved version. Either way though, the Medi-kit item will take up about a third of your loadout's weight, which does affect movement speed in addition to gear choices.
    • With the 2.0 patch, anyone can use a medical kit (but you have to buy it with the in-game credits system), but you still have to spend skill points to be able to resuscitate other players. However, since all skill tree points only cost one skill point, it's much more feasible to have the full resuscitation ability. And yet it still costs five (total) skill points to get there.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Raven's weapons are more accurate, SVER's are more powerful and Valor's are more balanced. While the difference is noticeable (a SVER assault rifle will take out a target before a Raven assault rifle of the same level does), the game still relies much more on skill than any advantage in weapon quality.
  • Dystopia: According to the source material, the world is at peace. But since there's no wars or hatred or pointless killing to thin out their numbers, the population is growing much faster. As a result, materials and resources are starting to get scarce. Governments are oppressing their people, keeping them under control. The only alternative to being oppressed is joining a massive PMC.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: It's the future and everybody is packing an IFF chip; The ability to detect them is expected. Certain items and skills make detecting them easier.
  • Escort Mission: How some players define Interdiction. Which is slightly inaccurate, as you're not escorting the vehicles, you're trying to whittle down the other side, like in Suppression. However, guarding the APCs is vital, as without them, you're reinforcements take much longer to get on station.
    • Acquisition, sort of.
  • Evil Versus Evil : Averted actually. The PMCs aren't inherently evil; they're only fighting each other because other countries can't. However, given that they're fighting each other in order to gain contracts, which are only good for money and require killing a lot of people, it's more a case of Black-and-Grey Morality.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: M.A.G. = Massive, Action, Game. Also, the Spooning Elevator. It involves two players triggering an elevator glitch by essentially positioning themselves to look like they're spooning.
  • Excuse Plot: You belong to a company. They belong to another company. Now go and shoot them. Somewhat reminiscent of Team Fortress 2.
    • Its All There in the Manual, really it is, and it's actually quite complex beyond the simple "Us Vs. Them" mentality.
  • Friendly Fire: Active all the time, although a patch eventually prevented knives from committing team-kills due to how often players were inadvertently causing them by inadvertently clicking the right analog stick (when using default control layouts). Killing two people within a short period of time, or killing one person before either of you are in the field of battle (where the enemy can walk) will get you a warning, followed by an automatic kick from the game if you keep it up. Of course, there's ways around that, leading to...
  • For the Evulz: Teamkilling takes on a whole new art as the game has an auto-kick feature for anyone who thinks it's funny.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Initially "MAG" stood for "Massive Action Game". This was dropped due to sounding silly.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Although there are no explicitly good factions, VALOR and Raven use good guns, while SVER uses bad guns.
  • Guide Dang It!: There are a few important points in the Metagame (like how important getting medic skills early on is) and some important game mechanics (like "FRAGOing" objectives) that the game tells you nothing about.
    • Medic skills have become somewhat less important (experience gains are a bit easier now with various tweaks). The credit system, on the other hand, is vague and poorly-defined... until you get your first "good job" ribbon, which provides you with a hefty bonus to your combat pay.
  • Hollywood Healing: The medkits can heal almost anything, and from a distance, even. The backstory lets you know that it involves nanomachines of some sort (except for SVER, who can't afford the awesome nanomachines, but they still get the same abilities anyway). The only thing that the medkits are guaranteed unable to heal is a headshot, which is why snipers will always go for your head.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Prior to the MAG 2.0 update, silencers masked all sounds your gun made and made you practically invisible. Post MAG 2.0 update, Silencers now require skill points (which reduce the accuracy penalty and decrease the radius in which you can still be heard) to be used effectively further pushing the difference between "Stealthy Defender/Stealthy Attacker/Coward hiding in the back/Loser not doing anything really useful by being unseen" Those in the latter were not happy. Oh, they're also called suppressors now.
  • It's All There On The Official Website: There's actually a growing backstory to the war and the events behind it are being shaped by the players as they play. It's a real shame that people never bother to actually look at what's going on.
  • Leitmotif: The music you hear is dependent on your chosen faction:
    • Raven - Rhythmic electronic digitized music, fitting their modern cutting edge theme
    • Valor - Hard rocking blue grass/country style guitars, matching their down to earth boots-on-the-ground vibe
    • SVER - Heavy pounding drums and distorted strings, reflecting their harsh, almost barbaric, nature
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The whole point of the game and the Accord.
  • No Fourth Wall: The GNN Broadcasts and the new in game News feature.
  • Nothing Personal: It's all business. Especially with the new currency system. Naturally it can become personal to some players, especially when they've been killed multiple times by the same opponent. Matches can go completely Off the Rails when a squad becomes dedicated to killing specific enemies as opposed to accomplishing objectives.
  • Secret War: The Shadow War. It isn't. But no one really cares, because the PMCs are working for everyone.
  • See the Whites of Their Eyes: One of the many things veteran players tell newbies before they run off and get killed.
  • Shoot the Medic First: And don't miss a single one, or he'll get the other medics back up and you'll be stuck with a full team up and ready to fight back. (Fanon has this as part of the reason for the world "peace".)
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted in the case of the shotgun since patch 2.0 due to the tightened spread.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: There is no Shadow War. Valor and Raven have not been engaging in battles at the Flores Transfer Basin.
  • Temporary Online Content: Hope you got the platinum trophy before the servers shut down.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You see that downed player? Why wait for him to die when you speed up the process personally?
    • Actually a perfectly valid tactic, despite the War Crime implications: a completely dead player can't be revived by a medic. If you're trying desperately to defend a position, you don't want to be overrun by the soldiers you've already killed.
  • Walk It Off: Surprisingly avoided for a modern FPS. Sadly, there are players who will hide until someone comes to heal them; They won't notice and assume their health is regenerating on it's own. The screen does flash red when your health drops below 50%, but it will stop flashing after about fifteen seconds.
  • Web Original: The GNN Broadcasts, worthy of their own folder. Which is in progress, see below.
  • We Have Reserves: The Command Ability: Rapid Redeploy.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Typically the response when you constantly partake in the Cruelty mentioned above. Also the end results of the following:
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The common question asked when people see their teammates stalking, chasing and eventually failing to knife another player.
    • Knifing, post 2.0 update, can now be increased in potency. And is perfectly silent. And almost always leaves a corpse rather than a severely wounded (and potentially healable) soldier. And you can somehow get headshots with it.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: There are honestly so many ways to die in the game it would take a wikipage to catalog them all. But don't worry; Most of them fall under explicit subsets, when dying while taking groups of other people with you.
  • Zerg Rush: A surprisingly effective tactic in game, especially on Domination maps.
    • A favorite tactic by SVER, in universe and in game. Actually somewhat encouraged by the very limited camouflage available to players. A bright orange vest really doesn't permit much help when trying to sneak around in foliage.
    • Averted on Acquisition maps, as, though it's easy to get to the vehicle you need to capture quickly, getting it to the extraction point without taking out the defenses is almost impossible. Smart defenders will ignore any alert that a vehicle has been taken if the bunker lines are still intact. As a tactic used sparingly though it can be effective at overwhelming the individual bunkers needed to clear the way for the eventual extraction.
    • Particularly noticeable in Escalation matches, especially against the defenders of objective D.
    • Specifically, the Zerg Rush works if you're attacking defenders that haven't had time to become entrenched. If you've managed to distract them by taking out their air defenses, Zerg Rush works wonders. If you're running into a location they've got locked down with clear lines of fire and anti-personnel mines, Zerg Rush will fall apart.

Examples of Tropes by PMC

    open/close all folders 

    Seryi Volk Executive Response - S.V.E.R 
  • A.K.A.-47 :Averted and falls victim to it at the same time. While S.V.E.R actually does use the AKs, they also have the trope fitting AGVK and AG-94.
  • Badass Army : Probably the most prominent example. SVER consists mostly of criminals, mercenaries, despots, rebels, people searching for a cause, former KGB and Spetnaz soldiers mixed in with Israeli special forces. Their guns and vehicles are extremely outdated and mostly falling apart, and they fight two PMCs with better equipment and training, with nothing but teamwork, comraderie and sheer guts, and they don't always lose.
  • Badass Normal: Aside from the actual soldiers. There's no "practice," their "training" consists of surviving or dying. If you can't cut it, the bullet in your head will tell you everything you need to know.
    • The training mission actually has the player participating in a live operation that went sour.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: It's understandable to have your magazines taped together, but when there's tape holding your entire sniper rifle together? There's something wrong with your armory. When the gun is more than 40 years old, and maintenance has been lacking, it's understandable.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform:
    • Both types. Wearing a bright Orange Life Preserver into varying warzones of varying colors ranging between verdant greens, city grays and desert browns isn't exactly helpful.
    • Also, SVER's maps are mostly orange, so they enjoy home-turf camouflage.
  • Iron Lady: The Founder of SVER, Pryia Khan.
  • Lzherusskie: The original announcer before the player chosen voice overrides him.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Their weapons tend to have the highest power, but the worst accuracy.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Not only is that their core statement for being the poorest PMC, this actually caried over to the game itself.
  • We Help the Helpless: S.V.E.R's original business venture was helping governments that were too weak to defend themslves from being overtaken by druglords.

    Raven Industries, Gmb H 
  • A.K.A.-47 : P90 = F-90, FN F2000 = Atac 2000, and many others.
  • Bling of War: Sleek solid black futuristic uniforms, sunglasses, berets and that's just for the light armored. Huge RoboCop styled battle armor for the more assault geared classes. That's pretty damn impressive.
  • Badass Army: Despite many of them having no actual combat experience, Raven holds its own against the more experienced Valor and much more determined SVER through superior equipment and technology.
    • As an in-game example, they were briefly at the top of the Shadow War.
  • Badass Normal: No training? No problem. If you have the resolve and the ability to complete the VR program (which, by the way, isn't easy), you're in.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Horst Schaefer and Antoine Jeannette; Schaefer being the definition of rough.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Raven invokes this trope with their modus operandi of "better equipment leads to better results".
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Despite looking badass, having the words RAVEN printed on your leg and back don't help with your camouflage. The solid blacks don't blend in too well on more arid maps, leading to what appears to be an all out attack by army ants.
    • The less said about Raven's Heavy Armor when engaging in combat from a distance, the better.
      • To clarify, Raven heavy armor is a bulky mass of all black, bulky body armor. It even slows you down considerably compared to the other two armors. You may as well make the job slightly more easy for S.V.E.R and VALOR by painting a target on your helmet.
  • More Dakka: Raven's weapons tend to have the fastest fire rates. It's all part of being better equipped. Their weapons tend to be weaker as a result, though slightly more accurate.
  • New Meat: Many of Raven's soldiers actually have zero experience on an actual battlefield before being deployed the first time. They train solely with VR simulators. This had lead to several Epileptic Trees with the fanbase that the game takes place in the same universe as Metal Gear.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Raven's core belief is "better equipped soldiers lead to better results, and we only equip the best". They spend significantly more on training, gear, and everything than Valor (and especially SVER). It does work, allowing them to compete on equal footing against more experienced Valor and numerically superior SVER.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Claudia may do her job well but, like Svetlana...
  • Up Marketing: Claudia Gelli's job. As the spokeswoman of Raven it's her job to continue the prestigious and elite look of Raven in the media.

  • A.K.A.-47: Half and half. The M4 rifle and M9 pistol are named normally, but the SCAR becomes the SFCR and the Cheytech becomes the Rollins.
  • America Saves the Day: In their backstory, Valor was responsible for ending all known terrorism.
  • Badass Army: Valor consists mostly of soldiers from varying nations. This includes former special ops from Canada, Britain, America etc. Unlike SVER or Raven, Valor consists entirely of special forces or those trained by special forces. If you don't have previous experience, you're not welcome.
  • Big Damn Heroes: How Valor is successfully portrayed in the media of their universe.
  • Boring, but Practical: Well, less boring, more "Tried, tested, reliable, and practical". They aren't interested in looking sleek and high tech, they aren't looking to hire any guy off the street of a third world country to fight with them. They want only things they're familiar with, and works. Training is old school boot camp and obstacle courses, They wear good old fashioned forest green/khaki fatigues, and their weapon choices are bog standard, but time-tested armaments like the M4 rifle and a Mossberg pump shotgun.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: See Badass Army.
  • Failure Hero: Despite their history of ending terrorism and being former special forces, they did the worst of the three main PMCs for the entirety of the Shadow War. While they did have more contracts than Raven initially, Raven soon gained more contracts and overtook them, and Valor then only had a contract in Sabotage for a good chunk of the war before SVER took over completely.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Amazingly averted. Valor's colors blend into a variety of environments; But then you have the eyesore that is the Bull Dog armor which only seems to blend into a school bus parked next to a shrub. While not quite as "camo" as some of the other patterns, the Bulldog blends quite nicely on SVER maps.
  • Jack of All Stats: Their weapons sit somewhere between Raven's and S.V.E.R.'s. Average Power, Accuracy, Rate of Fire, etc.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Valor's original creed, until they were bought out and restructured into the effective PMC they are now.
  • Slave to PR: Suzanne Kobyashi, no matter how horrible the mudslinging gets between the other spokeswomen. Suzanne manages to stay calm, collected and consistently portrays Valor as Big Damn Heroes.