Since PAX East 2011, Red 5 Studios has kept mum these last few months about FireFall, a team-based PvE and
PvP shooter sporting classes, jetpacks, a cell-shaded graphical style, and much more. Recently, during an event tailored to eSports broadcasters, we got a sneak peek at what the PvP side of the game entails. Does FireFall appeal to the masses who prefer a slower console-style shooter, with headshots the moment you come out of cover? Or
does it appeal to those of us who bunny-hop as fast as possible in the hallways of our house to build speed, and always seeking the rocket launcher in games?
question is which niche does this game fit into?
style="font-style: italic;">Unlike most futuristic shooters,
Firefall is bright and colorful on most maps, and most of its PvE is
outdoors and vibrant.
In the hour long team battle we saw,
gameplay was a mixed
bag of futuristic combat. The
are your typical big assaulters, medics, and snipers, and each one has
jetpack. The problem is the levels that we saw were like something out
and had no real areas to maneuver with a jetpack.
You might be able to cover a little vertical
ground up a sandy hill, or jump on the mast of a ship, but thats the
which vertical mobility helps you. For a game coming from the minds that gave us Tribes 1 and 2, it's really unacceptable.
The other primary problem is that
style="">Firefall has pretty much the exact same
combat and classes (called Battleframes in Firefall) as
Global Agenda. This
would be fine if Global Agenda was
using the subscription
based model it planned to when it launched.
But with the recent Free Agent patch, Free-To-Play has
arrived in Global Agenda and
Firefall now has a serious,
established competitor in the market, and the fact that Firefalls
and Battleframes mimic the game means that Firefall
really has to go out and hit something out of the park in terms of a
killer feature that no other game on the market has.
It is one thing to say that all squad
based shooters are the
same, but the similarities between Global
Agenda and Firefall are
heal with green lock-on
beams and grenades spiked at their feet for an AOE heal. style=""> Recons snipe from afar,
with rounds difficult
to trace, and assaults spearhead the charge with great durability and
weapons. It does have a
downing/revive system, but that's been done and overdone since style="font-style: italic;">Gears of War. Wheres
style="font-style: italic;">With all of these big guns, you
go down in a second of burst fire. Fortunately, you also
revive in a split second if a friendly medic is nearby!
PvP aside, the PvE has the potential
to shine and be that
one big thing that sucks people into the game and doesnt let go. style=""> Theyve promised an open
PvP world, with
dynamic world events, vehicles, and more.
lead to a lot of team vs.
team action with monsters spawning and wrecking everyones day, and
importantly, just lead to PvE that isnt a complete snore. style=""> Even in shooters, PvE has
exploiting the AI and cookie-cutter builds that maximize damage and
speed. Itll be
nice to finally play a
game where the PvE exists for entertainment and not just farming.
The developers need to make their game stand out if it's going gain any kind of a significant fanbase, so perhaps it needs to stick to its unique strength in its persistent, open PvE and PvP world. Putting an emphasis on creating an exciting world where anything can happen, rather than throwing their hat into the ring with a busy PvP shooter market will bring Red 5 Studios glory. CrimeCraft has proven that you can get some traction by having a great PvE experience in their new BLEEDOUT expansion set. That's not to say that the PvP experience of this game is a complete wash--it just doesn't make the game a must buy or a must play in the case of a F2P business model. Now imagine if they took this open, persistent, random world and divided it up into quadrants to fight over in PvP combat as well. Suddenly we have a stylized successor to Planetside on our hands, something people have been dreaming of for years. Get to it guys, I won't take credit for the idea!
As the futuristic F2P FPS market
slowly begins to fill up, Firefalls
appeal diminishes. Its
launching late 2011, which means they
have plenty of time to refine it.
they launch it as is, Firefall will
be nothing more than your average Korean F2P shooter, but with a little
love and a unique feature or two, Firefall
could definitely stand out as one of the major games of the
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