Firefall is an upcoming free mmo third person shooter developed by Red 5 Studios. A couple of notable people from Red 5 are Mark Kern, the CEO which was the team lead on the original World of Warcraft, and Scott Youngblood, the Lead Designer for Firefall, which was the Lead Designer of Tribes and Tribes II. Judging by the people at this company, you can expect high production value and polish, which is exactly what we found.
Compared to other third person action mmorpgs, Firefall has a very beautiful and crafted open world where players can go hunt monsters, experience a immersive storyline and dynamic events. While it has some FPS modes, like aiming, Firefall is basically a third person action MMO.
There are five standard classes available each with their own playstyle and weapons, but they can be customized with crafted weapons and modules. A multi-class system is available, where you can level any class independently just by switching to another class in a city, and you are ready to go, keeping the aesthetic customization from the first class. Very neat feature.
Most of the action mmorpgs take place in instanced maps, but Firefall takes an open world approach. It is beautiful, alive, with huge environments, and a great Day/Night cycle. At night, exploring the world with the gun-light on, you will feel like in a movie like Aliens or Starship Troopers.
While it might look a bit cartoonish, the art direction turns out to work very well with the setting along with a high attention to detail. It is probably one of the few games where I ignored the 1 million colors on the screen, because it all looks so good.
The PvE world is filled with dynamic events, ranging from crash sites which you can seize for resources, full scale invasions against players’ cities or outposts and if these are not defended they will be lost until recaptured.
Each monster drops ammo, resources and health power-ups, and you pick them up by just passing near them, so no inventory management just to keep the fast play going. That doesn't mean there is no inventory. Most of the interaction comes with keeping count of the items you have, changing your setup at the terminals in cities, crafting and researching, equipping new load-outs.
Resource collections can be gathered from several locations and objects, dynamic events, blowing up rocks, calling massive thumpers to drill which attracts the attention of wildlife, making this activity not as boring as it was in the past.
Equipment is split into four categories where the main one is battleframe which determines your class. Backpack, primary weapon and secondary weapon all have their own stats, and in the last category we have modules with the special slots with which you can customize your character speed, weapon damage and other things. What's lovely for traveling and combat is that the characters are all equipped with a jump pack by default which functions like in the old Tribes series, great for site seeing or getting out from a messy fight.
PVP at the moment is only based on queue battlegrounds, with several game modes that reward you with special resources. Fortunately according to the Red 5 CEO, it is just a matter of time for Open PVP to be added, though it won't be at the upcoming launch of the game.
Overall, Firefall is shaping into a free to play gem, innovative, fun and polished, along with the promise of the Red 5 CEO to keep the micro transaction only on aesthetic levels. Action mmo fans will have a great game to play.Firefall - Preview,