Lately I have been taking notes on my time spent in the recently released title: Firefall. This post apocalyptic MMO is set in real world places that have been marred by alien technology. The game is among the most challenging undertakings ever seen coming from an independent studio. This title has been developed over the course of years with no gigantic publisher backing it, if you can believe it, and all to see if it can turn the MMO world into something new. Well on that very issue, we’ll tell you our ideas in our review right this second.
There is an extremely lengthy and detailed lore to Firefall’s universe that I will not get into here. In a nutshell, you are a mercenary helping defend the world from an alien threat (known as the Chosen). Go shoot at things, and develop a more powerful character. That is the basic premise, really.
One thing has stayed the same along Firefall’s path to its final release: its artwork. Some may value more realistic appearances, but there is no denying that when every one of its effects are turned up that Firefall can be an extremely pretty game. Choosing a vibrant cell-shaded appearance similar to Borderlands over the realistic feeling of something like Planetside 2, the views of Firefall are gorgeous and the world is a delight to investigate. There is quite a large amount of detail to take in.
You will not find any memorable melodies here, although the game’s audio is nicely done as well. The voice work is sound, if thin. Even if it seems that some community members dislike them, your storyline friends by the names of Oilspill and Aero often add a pleasant touch of having a group if you are not partied with others. These guys may not help you fight, but they tell you of things going on in the region, and keep you up to date as you advance through the narrative of the game.
Firefall isn’t your standard MMO. You are given a capable, although short, tutorial on how to move about and world events and then that is it. Some will loathe the thought that the game asks you to figure it out along the way, while some will revel in this very detail. You will either love what the game has for you to play, or you will walk. But if you stick around long enough to see the complex kind of character progression, the intricate crafting, and start to work through the forming narrative, I believe most folks would find Firefall to be quite remarkable and imaginative.
The shooting, gliding, jumping, thumping (mining for resources) and crafting of Firefall are all really interesting aspects. There are a number of problems with the broken scaling of content (do not attempt to do everything alone in Firefall), but the game works splendidly when there is action on the server. The issue is that the developer, Red 5, just barely within the last year has figured out where they’ll be taking Firefall with regard to its overall design. In recent months during the beta they’ve actually turned a focus towards the open world content of the game, its invasions, large gameplay events, and the notion that the players will determine what regions of the world are uncovered for additional exploration later on.
Can the game last?
The largest issue facing Firefall is that they have created an excellent foundation game that is truly in need of more stuff to do. But as any of the players of the game so far will tell you: there are just so many times you’ll be able to push back the invading aliens or protect a mining craft before you are left wanting something else. Having said that, there is more than enough to take up your time considering that the game is free, and it is interesting enough that I will undoubtedly be watching and waiting for additional content to hop back in and play through.
There are many things worth purchasing in the game, but every bit of real content that changes your gameplay is free for the taking. It’s possible for you to unlock all the Battleframes all for free. PVP is not completely affected by cash as everyone’s given the same equipment in PVP (instanced). The actual cash currency within the game itself called Red Beans is allowed for mostly gear that ends up being decorative, faster access to new Battleframes, and being able to speed up the crafting of things (which takes real-world time). There’s actually no reason not to try out Firefall since there’s no money involved if you don’t want there to be.
PvP, group resources, and are tons of fun when there are others around. There is a great VOIP service running behind the game client too. You do not have to group up with players to get credit for social stuff, though. See something occurring, join in and you will get the benefits of your actions. But one thing that is actually missing from Firefall is a guild system that has some sort of significance.
The server acting up and the UI’s responsiveness are the largest problems confronting Firefall as I write this. Generally, the game feels better and better with each patch. Once there is some more content poured into the game, the aforementioned UI issues are resolved, and the scaling problems are solved, Firefall will definitely be able to compete with the MMOs already out there.
Firefall is an ambitious undertaking for any studio. Red 5 Studios are far from just any studio, though, as they are basically just a group of gamers who wanted something new from their shooters and their MMOs. So they began making a game they had an itch to play. Someplace along the way they got a little lost, but they are back on course now with something that is rather unique. It is still a bit unrefined at the moment, but I will happily urge trying out Firefall to anyone who is tired of typical MMO games.