Global Agenda: Sandstorm Review
Global Agenda: Sandstorm box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hi-Rez Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Hi-Rez Studios 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 12, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: MMO 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

PvP is still a fun experience, and the large scale battles are still interesting. In Sandstorm, Hi-Rez has seemed to favor PvE, but PvP is still a fun part of the experience. I found myself bouncing around back and forth between the two play options. They both serve as a nice respite from the other. If you're sick of preordained encounters, then switch to the mayhem and chaos on PvP.

Global Agenda: Sandstorm screenshot

The problem with the PvE content is it's extremely cliché. There are a sparse few encounters in Global Agenda's new questing environments that amount to more than the extremely tired questing formula of “kill X wombats” or “bring back X number of wombat claws,” ultimately leading up to “bring back the head of the wombat king.”

It's certainly worth noting, though, that top to bottom, this game is gorgeous. I said earlier it's only on par with some of the new World of Warcraft stuff, but that should be thought of as a compliment to both games. Global Agenda is a graphical powerhouse in the MMO genre and Sandstorm continues that tradition. Even the barren desert location the questing opens in is rather full.

Other games present you with a vast emptiness, filled with randomly generated monsters, but Global Agenda takes a smarter approach. Not only are there lots of good looking landmarks, but the terrain is also varied. There are mini-platforming challenges for those who would rather scale a cliff face than walk around. This sort of thing keeps the action fresh and keeps the player from focusing too much on the combat (thus tiring of it more quickly).

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Will Global Agenda: Sandstorm buff the franchise enough to gain a critical mass of players? Probably not, but that's unfortunate because it certainly offers enough of a unique experience that it should attract lots of players. Its principle problem has been it lacks focus. The original game had an identity crisis. Was it an MMO or a multiplayer third-person shooter? Sandstorm clarifies this dilemma and shows Hi-Rez's dedication to making Global Agenda a top-flight MMO. The problem is it's only now feeling like a full-fledged experience. Most of what has been added feels like it should have been there all along.

There's a certain class of people that will enjoy this game. Shooter fans will likely get a thrill out of this convergence of MMO and third-person, class-based action. However, most MMO fans probably won’t find enough new ideas to challenge their current MMO of choice.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Some of the best graphics we've seen in an MMO, but it may push your gaming rigs power to the limit.
3.5
Control
The controls are nothing spectacular, and the reliance on the tool bar method of combat isn't as fluid as it could be.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects are good, but the voice overs are sparse and the music is almost non-existent while questing.
3.4
Play Value
This is a decent MMO with lots of good combat, but veterans of the MMO are likely to feel like they've done this all before.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Create your agent: Create, customize, and develop multiple agent characters, complementing your FPS skills with accessible RPG-style progression. Unlock weaponry and cutting edge devices including jet packs, grenade launchers, mines, deployable turrets, stealth suits, holographic decoys, robotic droids, and hundreds of others.
  • Co-Op with friends online: Four players share the same online mission experience, working as a team, communicating via built-in text and voice chat, infiltrating facilities, defeating end bosses, and earning technology upgrades.
  • Compete in fast-paced, multiplayer matches: Teamwork and tactics are paramount within objective-based game types designed from the ground up to support intense and balanced player vs. player combat.
  • Conquer persistent territory: You and your agency compete against other agencies for control of limited land resources and special rewards.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Global Agenda: Sandstorm screenshot - click to enlarge Global Agenda: Sandstorm screenshot - click to enlarge Global Agenda: Sandstorm screenshot - click to enlarge Global Agenda: Sandstorm screenshot - click to enlarge

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