Hands up who’s been playing Global Agenda? Currently in closed (pre-order) beta and soon to go live, it is a team-focused FPS. What makes it worth investigating – apart from that fact you get to swoop about with jet packs – is that as well as the usual point-capture and demolition modes that are fairly typical of the genre, the game features a persistent campaign – that you’ll have to subscribe to – where alliances of agencies can wage war with a view to taking over the map. The developers of the game have been fairly open about the fact that EVE’s alliance wars have inspired the design of GA and they’re hoping that similar power blocs will rise up and evolve in their game. (Indeed, myself and others have spotted a number of EVE players and familiar alliance names parading about the mission terminal in Dome City, so it’s fair to say EVE players have taken an interest already.)
Away from the rather dreary hex-based map, small-scale skirmishes are the order of things on the ground, which means only small teams can assault and defend each map, with entire zones shut down at various times of the day. The upshot of these design decisions is that not only are large alliances unable to deploy the blob tactic for individual battles, but also those alliances not able to call on agents 24/7 can rest easy in their sleep, safe in the knowledge that they won’t wake up to their hexes being the wrong colour.
I mention this otherwise very unEVE-like game because when CCP announced Dust 514 last year I immediately thought of Global Agenda and I bet the makers of Global Agenda did too. (Who knows, they may even have paid a visit to CCP Atlanta to loosen a few tyre valves, since the Hi-Rez Studio office is just a few miles up the road).
The presentation and pace and of CCP’s console FPS will undoubtedly be very different and, due to the nature of EVE itself, vastly more impressive in scale and scope, but playing Global Agenda does give a sense of how Dust’s planned skirmishes could play out in the context of a planetary war and how planetary interaction might conceptually interface with the rest of EVE.
As a game Global Agenda is worth trying out on the basis of it being a fast-paced and vibrant shooter, but with Dust hanging in the air and planetary interaction apparently next on the EVE expansion schedule, it offers also a teasing premonition into a plausible, if somewhat over-simplified, future EVE. Maybe.