Ambitious, online-only military shooter with 256 players.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game doesn't give an overly positive message to the player -- that conflicts in the near future are handled by shooting enemies and stealing intel from their base -- but the violence isn't not overly graphic either. However, shooting is the core gameplay mechanic in this game.

Positive role models

Because killing is the name of the game, the character in which you play isn't a very good role model. You are basically a murderer for hire, in the name of your government. But it's still killing other soldiers (not civilians). You can customize the look of character to be Caucasian, African-American, or Asian, as well as other traits.


Ease of play

Some of the controls are a bit odd, but you can get used to them fairly quickly. Otherwise, the game is fairly easy to pick up and play.


MAG is a first-person shooter set in a massively-multiplayer universe, allowing up to 256 players to compete online. Violence is the name of the game with and a brief plume of red blood flowing when an enemy goes down. Players can use machine guns, sniper rifles, knives, and grenades to kill other human-controlled characters in this online-only game. It's also possible to take head shots and shoot a player on the ground once they've already died.

Not applicable

The word "hell" and "damn" can be heard from time to time from the few computer-controlled areas of the game (such as training and tutorials). Plus, this online game supports a headset so it's possible to hear profanity even though we didn't in our testing.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents needs to know that MAG is a massively multiplayer online war game. It looks quite realistic and takes place only 15 years from now. The game isn't played alone -- it's an online-only game where players can interact with other human players (even in other cities) to accomplish a number of missions, such as taking down enemies, securing a base, stealing intelligence, and so on. While it's a first-person shooter, MAG is a "Teen"-rated game instead of a "Mature"-rated game because there is little blood. Because of the compelling nature of playing with others, this game will tempt kids to keep playing so pay attention to time management issues.

What's it about?

MAG (\"Massive Action Game\") is a PS3 exclusive that lets you battle with up to 256 players over the Internet in a number of near-future military skirmishes. The story, if such things interest you in a military shooter, takes place in 2025, amidst a global crisis caused by food shortages, dwindling fuel reserves, and ensuing economic depression. Rather than afford a full-time military, governments contract smaller groups of private military corporations to protect a country's interests. This is the start of the \"Shadow War,\" pitting three private army factions against one another -- the Valor, Raven, and S.V.E.R. -- each with their own skills, weapons, and unique side to the conflict.

Is it any good?


While this ambitious online-only shooter suffers from a few technical kinks, action fans with a penchant for multiplayer mayhem should be happy with this much-hyped war game. After choosing a side and playing through a brief tutorial, you can join one of the missions and chat with teammates using an optional headset. "Sabotage," for example, supports up to 64 players and your task is to protect valuable data from the opposing force (or, if on the other side, steal this intel from the enemy). In "Domination," which supports up to 256 simultaneous players, you must fight to secure and hold eight targets.

Depending on how you want to play, you can sharpen your skills as an on-foot soldier by learning the terrain and finding the best places to fire your machine guns, sniper rifles, or toss grenades, or you can become the commander of your unit and assign orders. If you're good, you might work your way up to commandeering a 32-person platoon or 128-person army. Military shooter fans who prefer multiplayer matches over computer-controlled opponents should find MAG an ambitious but successful shoot-em-up that's easy to pick up but tough to put down.

Online interaction: MAG is an online-only game. There is no single-player component other than the tutorials. What separates this title from other military shooters is you can play with up to 256 players at once and work your way up to commandeering entire squads, platoons, and armies. Online interaction with others on your same team is fun (with or without a headset). If a headset is used, the language you might hear is unpredictable.


Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether an online military shooter is any worse than a single-player one. That is, how do you feel about playing against real people in cyberspace and shooting them? What about the greater risk of hearing profanity?

  • Because players are part of a team playing online with others, they will be tempted to just keep playing. Families might want to discuss time management strategies about playing video games.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Available online?Available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:January 26, 2010
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Mild Language, Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bybuzzwords September 13, 2010

above average community

i'm a big gamer so i have a lot of experience with this and several other online shooters, and i will say this to mags credit.. the way the game is structured generally makes the online voicechat MUCH less of a problem. the way it works is, when you first play the game you choose from one of 3 factions. sver, valor, or raven. (i play for raven myself) it's not easy to CHANGE this initial decision, you pretty much have to start over. at first this sounds like a bad idea, BUT if you fight for raven today, you fought for raven yesterday, and you will fight for raven tomorrow. this creates something of a team mentality where veteran players are much more helpfull to new players and generally more friendly, (since we're all on the same side) in most shooters the person next to you NOW could be against you 10 minutes from now in the next round, and might have been against you 10 minutes ago, why should you help him? it also helps that players almost never TALK to players from opposing factions. it is possible but it's not practical, so shouting matches pretty much never happen. of course cursing still happens, but bullying is non-existant
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom June 22, 2010

Not a mature shooter at all.

MAG is an Online only shooter with barely any violence at all. The violence is very low, With only a bit of blood and no gore at all. You shoot them and they drop down. Its not as mature as Call of duty or Battlefield. The language is going to be pretty high considering its an online game and you will get teenagers and young kids swearing and swearing and making insults for everyone. Not a bad game really.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 17 year old Written bymelissa m. March 4, 2010

scary, bad, and unsafe for children of the state.

I think this game can give kids a bad message on what they should be when they are grown up. Like being in a gang, a killer, or maybe being a bad example to other kids like maybe cursing in front of them or making them think it's all right to curse or do any of this stuff.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns


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