Here we have a strip that's a little different in style.  I kind of wanted to do something akin to Calvin and Hobbes, except more Gremlin, of course.  That car is even a little Spaceman Spiff.  If you don't know who that is, you are an alien, and Spiff will be 'round to deal with you shortly.

Carter is in Vegas again.  That's twice in as many weeks.  It's because he has a horrible gambling addiction.

Or because there's some trade show.

Or whatever.

In other, lamer news, I have ben playing the MAG beta.  Don't.  It is, in a word, bad.  Here is why.

Most good FPS games actually play out like a sport.  How is this?  Well, the good ones allow any player to "make the big play", saving the day, the flag, the point, whatever.  In Halo, it may be a long range sticky grenade that catches the bumper of a otherwise home-free warthog, full of dudes and YOUR FLAG. In Call of Duty (we'll use Modern Warfare 2 for this example), it may be a Harrier strike at just the right time to get that last game winning kill, or maybe even a Nuke for the win in what otherwise would have been a surefire loss.

The point is, MAG is about attrition and momentum.  When there are 64 players in a game, you need lots of dudes pointing their guns in the same direction to make things happen.  You need to be organized.  You need a leader.  You need to act as if you were actually in an army.  Kinda.  The problem with that is, this game is on the PS3, a system that does not provide a headset.  So, most of the time, you are not organized, not well-lead, and fucking talking to yourself. Meanwhile, you just keep running your head up against that wall to see if you can make anything happen.

And that is fucking boring. 256 players?!  Wow!  I don't care!

Not to mention the controls are clunky, the level progression is broken (new players have the worst stuff), and all the factions are not created equal.  (The SVER faction has to have the worst starting weapons.  I am positive of this.)  And the worst part of all?  The scale.  It doesn't even feel like this massive thing to me, this huge battle I'm a part of.  It still feels like fighting inside a diorama, which makes me feel like they totally missed their mark.  When I call in a chopper gunner in Modern Warfare 2, it has a better sense of scale then the only-flies-in-a-straight-line troop airplane found in MAG.

All said, this is a beta, perhaps things will change.  But I don't know how you suddenly make a game feel bigger.

I wish you all a happy weekend!  May many a beautiful person sit on your face!