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Firefall takes over PAX Prime

by William Schwartz on August 30, 2011


Firefall had a huge presence at this year’s PAX Prime, taking over a half of one hall, the game is apparently a big deal.  Or at least their presence at the convention would have you to believe that.  If you aren’t aware of Firefall, don’t be ashamed, neither was I.  Firefall is PC based free-to-play game that has a pretty decent pedigree.  Mark Kern of World of Warcraft and Scott Youngblood of the Tribes 1 & 2, teamed up to create their dream game by forming Red 5 Studios, and Firefall is the result.

The game is a massive open world shooter which has alot of moving parts.  Having a chance to play through a few modes in the game, I found that you’ll have plenty of combat options available through the games customizable combat system. The system itself revolves around a crafting mechanism within the game via loot collected and earned through said combat.  The open world of Firefall is massive, boasting over 10 square miles of story driven gameplay.  It looks like a premium MMO but with none of the subscription fees that come along with that experience.

The game offers a robust story written by Orson Scott Card in its PvE mode, that is said to expand over multiple years while players complete key objectives.  The gameplay revolves around a world covered by the “Melding Storms”.  These storms spawn “The Chosen”, who players will fight to push back the melding and constantly reveal more of the game.

There’s also a deep PvP mode that advertised to be focused on e-Sports, which features clan based warfare, with options to group and manage your army (clan).  Match sizes can range from a small five versus five, to an obscene 50 on 50 that includes instanced matches and a matchmaking component.

Firefall releases this December, and it will be free to download with no subscription fees.  The free to play model sounds interesting as I was assured that the game is driven through microtransactions that focus on boosts and aesthetics, with a focus on preventing the “paying to win” model that many free to play games follow.

Have a look at some of the screenshots and video from Firefall below.

 


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  • Black_Napalm

    looks like Brink got in a head on collision with Unreal Tournament and the bugs from Half Life got thrown in……

  • IanCoves

    Firefall looks to be one of the sickest games of 2011, with its December release. The open world looks stunning, gameplay seems polished and the development team is community active and has already confirmed using community ideas. Some people may have negative views on Orson Scott Card but the story in Firefall is really interesting and mysterious. I’m really excited for some 100+ player group activities. Red5 have re-invented what free to play means with this title I hope other take note.

  • JBWill

    Nice overview, thanks for writing this up! I’m really excited for this game, tried it out at PAX East and it was a blast. I wish I could have gotten out to Prime to try the PvE. This game seems like it’s really shaping up to compete with the big boys on release. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  • Warstratigier

    O.O, now here’s some things I haven’t read about before. I wonder how the story will be since it goes on a span of some years and how the players will play roles into it. Sure the objective is simply clear, push back the Melding, but who knows what can happen since so little is known about it. Now I’ve heard 5 vs 5 and 10 vs 10 PVP but 50 vs 50?! Only one question arises from that: What sort of PVP modes/maps could be in store for those sort of numbers?

  • Glowbeans

    This 50v50 is news to me, but is it ever good news! It sounds like something planned for the near-future after release, but it reminds me of my Battlefield days. How amazing would it be if this game had its own game-mode inside it, using the vehicles that were already confirmed, to have a similar epic-scale experience.

    The possibilities with this FPS/MMO thing are really exciting.

  • Alx223

    50 vs 50 so far has not been confirmed, it was confirmed that the engine could handle it, but so far I believe Red5 said that those massive battles made the individual player feel unimportant and unneeded and they honestly believe they weren’t as fun as some of the smaller structured matches. However, they said if the community had a strong want for massive PvP battles then they will give it to them.

    • William Schwartz

      I’m not saying this is a definite, but I talked with the developers there and the way it was phrased to me. The game supports 5v5, 10v10, even massive battles up to 100 players. I take that meaning it was 50 v 50 but hey I could be wrong.

    • Hoder

      While it is true that the game can handle 50v50, they’re not aiming for these kinds of battles at the launch of the game. When people ask for these kinds of battles, they might try to put them in, but that could involve vehicles and they’re holding off on combat vehicles for launch.

      Be sure to check out the official firefall site, beta should be starting soon! So excited about this game :D.

  • Raijin

    I had the chance to play this quite a bit, and I don’t recall them confirming a 50 v 50 mode, they have mentioned it’s possible within the engine, but expressed it’s far too chaotic to be considered fun at this point. Perhaps later on.

  • SoulOfOrigin

    Firefall looks really nice, I hope I get in the beta so I can try it out. The closed beta starts at the end of this week by the way. I actually wonder how we have to push the melding back, will there be special quests for that or what? :p

  • ImOnTheRadio

    Really nice pictures there. The game looks really awesome, I hope you guys are going to play the game when it comes out. The really cool thing about this game is that it is a free to play game that beats the retail games and it is not even pay to win, they are planning only to sell cosmetics etc with real money.

  • thblackdeth

    This game looks to be so polished and so well developed for a F2P. Can’t wait for a chance to get my hands on it and give it a go. I have high hopes for this game and have a feeling great content can come from this story for years to come.

  • iLLuSioN

    Very nice review, I enjoyed looking through the many screenshots. I am very excited about FireFall and after following it for awhile now I know it will be a huge hit come this December. I can’t wait for its release later this year.

  • TheJayde

    I really hope that this game does well. With all the other games that are coming out at the same time, I feel that this game is not getting the proper respect that it deserves. Hopefully people will step away from the Guild Wars, or Star Wars, and experiment with thier Fire Falls, and be drawn in. I sadly do not see that happening, because…. like the movie industry, familiarity is selling. This new IP that is Firefall has a tough time ahead of itself with the whole dumbing down of the populace.

  • TheJayde

    The only thing that dissappoints me in this game, is that you get to choose either wings, or jet packs. I want both. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this game to anyone to at least look into. I mean… it’s free. Who could complain about that? (Well… I know some people, but they aren’t going to be brought up… except in this part… which doesnt count… shut up…)

  • Illian.Amerond

    I can see the confusion of the 100 man participation but I believe they are talking about the PvE battle where you pit your army against the Chosen… perhaps this is the ‘Titan’ we keep hearing about from time to time. It is all going to be more clear as we pass December and get in the game :) In all this was a great read, very well written IMHO and I enjoy the eye candy too.

  • Manuito

    Well even if it’s not confirmed, that 100 players battles sounds great. Obviously they’ll be able to handle it the same way that 100 players together could be trying to repel one of the Chosen invasion in the open world. They’ll need a big map for that, though… or what about if they are refering to a posible PVP between armies in the open world, in the future (some time after game release), for territory control or whatever other excuse? That’s another rumour coming out of Gamescon and PAX… and one that would be awesome in my opinion. Once the world has expanded and is no longer as tiny as it will be at the beginning, I think that a open world PVP could make Firefall even better.

    What do you guys think? They say they will do whatever the community wants them to do.

  • David

    The backstory is by Orson Scott Card? I have no need to support anything that hateful homophobe does. Count me out.

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