MAG Is Live, Are You Buying It

I've got a copy of MAG sitting right here on my desk waiting to be cracked open.

I've managed to never play the game at any of the events leading up to its launch, so I'm not sure whether I should be anxious. As a big first-person shooter fan, am I going to be disappointed or will the massive battles live up to my (and your) expectations?

Yesterday, Zipper Interactive's Jeremy Dunham walked readers through the differences between the Beta and the final game.

The beta version only had six maps and two modes, he says, while the final version has five modes and 15 maps. The retail game is also getting a day one patch that will add the ability to knife enemies while reloading, increased sprinting and tweaks to framerates and lighting effects.

Here's the full patch 1.01 breakdown:

Gameplay
· Added ability for player to use knife during a reload animation.
· Applied significant tuning adjustments for all weapons and armor.
· Increased sprint duration before tiring by 30%.
· Lowered XP requirements for levels 2 thru 4.
· Lowered level-entry restrictions for Sabotage from Level 3 to Level 2.
· Lowered level-entry restrictions for Acquisition from Level 5 to Level 4.
· Lowered level-entry restrictions for Domination from Level 10 to Level 8.
· Enabled proper level requirements for unlocking headgear, facegear, and uniforms.
· Fixed problem with recoil/firing animation that kept playing for a few seconds after the player fires an automatic gun and uses knife swipe simultaneously.

Interface
· Fixed bug where incapacitated players' nametags would occasionally disappear.
· Repositioned onscreen weapons for improved field of view.
· Armory items (facegear/ headgear/ uniforms) reordered.
· Removed helmets from "Loadout 3" for all factions.

Graphics
· Made significant increase in framerate during player-heavy games.
· Changed light settings for all environments.
· Polished recoil effect for better realism.
· Fixed offset muzzle flash effect.
· Tuned camera to shake more realistically when hit by bullets.
· Adjusted "blur" effect for both normal sights and iron sights.
· Added alternate reload animation.
· New "light scatter" treatment for all skies.
· Repaired various "weapon clipping" issues.
· Enacted several particle fogging adjustments.

Audio
· Switched first-person weapon sounds to true stereo.
· Moved first-person character interactions and weapon switches to true stereo.
· Tweaked sounds effects relating to landing on surfaces.

Technical
· Added error display and queue panel updates to notify player when they've encountered a "join game" failure.
· Made various server stability fixes and tweaks.

MAG Beta vs. Final Game