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Firefall: the Jack of all trades in gaming?

by Han Cilliers (Lola)  Posted Monday, December 24, 2012 10:15:38 AM

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Firefall from Red 5 is game with a difference; it caters for a variety of genres and disciplines within gaming. Created by seasoned developers including the team-lead for vanilla World of Warcraft and the lead-designer of Tribes 1 and 2. The question is, can they pull this off, or will Firefall turn out to be a master of none? Let’s take a look at what the game offers.

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A massively multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS)

Firefall is a sci-fi MMO PC shooter set in a future Earth. Players must band together, collect resources to craft weapons and vehicles to fight back the apocalyptic threat. Special Nano-technology suits of armor called Battleframes enhance the human race in this future Earth and allow players to jumpjet across battlefields, wield a variety of exotic weapons of heavy destruction, and employ special abilities to reclaim the world.

Co-op Play

Co-op shooters often feature 4 or 8 player, with Firefall each instance-shard of the world holds hundreds of players at a time. Create an army with your friends and work together to gather resources, to craft weapons, and to fight the war against the Chosen invaders.

e-Sports player-vs-player events and shoutcasting

Fighting in Firefall is fun and completely skill based. Movement is fast and vertical thanks to the jump jet feature on every Battleframe. A natural extension of the combat system was to create an array of e-Sports Player-vs-Player (PvP) maps, where teams can compete on ladders.

A tournament is planned for 2013 with a a 1 million dollar prize pool!

Firefall features a replay and spectating system, in addition to the spectator mode, shoutcasters and streamers will be able to customize this feature to make broadcasting matches easy and exciting.

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Open world player-vs-player events (PvP)

This is an upcoming feature, planned for release in quarter two2013. Firefall will feature additional races and new territories designed to host massive player vs. player battles in the open world.

Story driven campaign

Firefall is planned to be an episodic, story driven game. In Episode One, "Whispers in the Fog," the crash of the Arclight starship, commanded by Admiral Nostromo, unleashes an energy storm called the Melding which blankets the Earth and wipes out most of humanity. Out of this energy storm spawn the mysterious and hostile race known only as The Chosen. Nostromo must gather the players in an all-out effort to survive and take the war to the Chosen and discover their true nature. This feature is planned for quarter one of 2013.

Changing Player-vs-Environment (PvE) and dynamic events

Firefall's open world is a simulation. Instead of a static world, the Chosen will invade the world systematically and the war effort will be propelled by a deep, player driven meta game. The Chosen themselves will be controlled by an A.I. "General" who plans attacks on important strategic areas in an effort to eliminate all players.

Dynamic missions that are not fixed in any one place in the world drives the PvE. Missions vary in enemies and rewards depending on where and when they happen. Players are guided by a "game director" system called Aero, who relays missions to the player depending on what is happening in the world and to the player's preferences.There are few static quests in Firefall, instead, each new day brings a new set of dynamic world challenges.

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Crafting and character customization

The majority of items in Firefall are created with resources, known as Crystite Hybrids. These resources are generated dynamically in the world and players must survey for optimal mining points. Once found, special rocket propelled mining drills called Thumpers are used to collect the resources. There are millions of possible combinations that create unique properties in player crafted items.

Instead of classes, Firefall features roles defined by which Battleframe players equip. Battleframes are arranged in five major roles: Assault, Engineer, Biotech, Recon and Dreadnaught. Specialized versions mean there are dozens of choices with more to come! Each character can collect and customize their Battleframe, much like collecting and modifying cars in a racing game.

Tiers not levels

There is no leveling in Firefall. The game features horizontal progression in tiers. Each tier is filled with a tech tree of Battleframe customization choices and perks that are unlocked via allocating experience points. Players can maintain extensive garages full of Battleframes, tailored to specific PvE missions and ranks of PvP play.

Progressive Tiers are more powerful in PvE, but not necessarily in PvP.

Jetpacks!

Firefall's open world and PvP maps are extremely vertical, with high perches, vast mountains and deep valleys to take full advantage of the jumpjets installed on every Battleframe. Engaging in combat in Firefall is a whole new experience in depth and dimension. It is vertical gameplay redefined for a vast open world.

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Free-to-play business model

Firefall is an AAA game that is completely free to play. You can play and access all the core features of the game absolutely free when the game launches. What is more, Firefall is Free-2-Play (F2P)and never Pay-2-Win. The game offer convenience, time savers, utility and cosmetics in our item store but we will not sell or rent weapons, or anything that affects the balance of the game.

Source: FireFall Official Website

What the important people are saying about Firefall

“FireFall looks especially exciting and explodey and, well, really, really, awesome.” IGN

It is a dream game. It’s an amalgamation of shooter and MMO and RPG. It takes moments and mechanics from a lifetime’s worth of gaming experience – resource collection, social interaction, dynamic events, jetpacks – and lets them blend together in the wandering minds of its creators.” PC Gamer

“Firefall certainly isn't rushing to the finish line. It's taken a measured approach and slowly built up to its current point through extended testing. But all that time has let it carve out a unique identity of its own, making it unlike anything else on the market -- shooter, MMO, or both.” Shacknews

Closing thoughts

Sounds exciting? Firefall offers FPS, RPG, Strategy and eSports features and best of all it is F2P. The game is currently in Beta phase with thousands of players giving feedback to the developers. You can check it out on the official website.

Many thanks to Dan Bester for the Beta key!

Check out the gameplay trailer for a peek into the exciting world of Firefall.

 

Han’s Twitter | Blog / MWEB Gamezone Twitter | Facebook

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd.



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