Global Agenda Hands-On

October 16, 2009 - As the MMO market gets more crowded every year and gamers have started clamoring for new challenges, developers have been trying to find ways in which to make their game a little different from the rest. Given the popularity of first-person shooters both in cooperative play and player-vs-player settings, it's no big surprise to see a hybrid evolve out of FPS and MMORPGs. So the MMOFPS enters the arena. With Planetside perhaps being the first significant game of its kind, the genre is by no means new, but two upcoming titles - Huxley and Global Agenda - have sparked renewed interest in it. Global Agenda is currently in a limited closed beta testing stage, but I was able to get in on a play test session with the developers to get a feel for what the combat is going to be like in the game. The game allows you to choose one out of four classes to play - Assault, Medic, Recon and Robotics. Since the objective was to experience as much of the game play as possible without dying and having to run back from a spawn point, I chose Assault, equipped to take damage and able to stand against the enemy toe-to-toe, at least in theory.

The PvE portion of the game allows players to gain experience points as they level up, as well as obtain materials for crafting upgrades to their weapons and equipment. Just for a taste of what it's like, our final destination was a PvE encounter where our four-person team assaulted a mech base. At one point, we encountered a purple droid that we had to avoid since it would trigger an alarm and call up troops that would most certainly wipe out the group. At the very end was a giant robot that took a couple of tries to take down but we eventually succeeded. Although certainly not as frantic as a PvP battle, where your enemies are driven by living, breathing, thinking people, I found the PvE map to be just as fun and challenging. There is certainly more to Global Agenda than can be digested in two hours so hopefully, we can get into the game and play it some more in the future.

Published by: Hi-Rez Studios
Developed by: Hi-Rez Studios
Genre: Persistent Online RPG
Number of Players: UnlimitedRelease
Date:US: Q4 2009

Minimum Requirements:OS: Windows XP SP2+, Windows Vista SP1+ Processor: 2.4+ Ghz Single-Core Processor Memory: 3GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA 7800GT+, or ATI Radeon 9800+ DirectX: Directx 9+ Hard Drive: 15 GB Free Space
Features: Online

Art buyers find few investment masterpieces

It was only when Jussi Pylkk√§nen was climbing down from the auctioneer’s rostrum that he realised the scale of what had just happened.

Having presided over the sale of a ravishing nude by Amedeo Modigliani for $170m, it struck him that this surpassed any previous auction figure achieved for the Italian artist’s work — by a staggering $100m.

“I knew the record would be broken, but not by how much. When you get a work that suddenly makes $100m more, that is the greatest single leap,” says the global president of Christie’s.

Since that New York sale in November 2015, auction records for individual artists have continued to tumble, underlining the appetite of super-rich collectors for the most desirable works of art. The global caravan of auctions, gallery shows and art fairs, which this week pauses in London for the annual Frieze fair, rumbles on in anticipation of the next masterwork to be offered for sale.

Many of those buying high-value art argue that the money involved is less important than gaining possession of a unique object of unimpeachable beauty or artistic value (and, perhaps, the chance to stand out from the gilded crowd). The idea of art as an investment is a secondary function, if at all. “You’re supposed to buy art because you like it. It’s a terribly corny phrase, but you get a ‘dividend of pleasure’,” says Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and former art dealer.