follow us:

Latest News

Tusk returns to Killer Instinct
The barbarian from Killer Instinct 2, Tusk will make his return to the franchise in Killer Instinct Season 3. ... [read more]
New Nintendo Direct shows Star Fox Zero in action
The latest Nintendo Direct had info about some up Nintendo's upcoming games, but let's face it, the start of the show was Star Fox Zero. ... [read more]
Capcom punishes rage quitters and will look for more
On Feb. 26, Capcom's Neidel "Haunts" Crisan revealed that rage quitter's were going to get punished, but he didn't give specifics. In his latest blog, he revealed the fate of those who can't take the loss. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

PAX South 2016: Umbrella Corps Preview
Compared to last year, PAX South 2016 was lacking major developers. This would explain why I was excited to see Capcom in attendance. I don’t play Resident Evil games, but something about the previews I had seen compelled me to stand in line to play Umbrella Corps.... [read more]
Your safe space doesn't belong in my competitive game
Whether it’s trash talking or teabagging, some people are looking for a nicer online experience. Guess what? We’re not in elementary school anymore. This is digital dodgeball and players like me are aiming for your head. ... [read more]
Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most p... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Firewatch Review: Prepare for an interesting sensation
Firewatch is the first game developed by San Francisco-based company, Campo Santo. Needless to say, for this to be their first game it was certainly on fire. ... [read more]
Pony Island Review: Not that innocent of a game
I saw the trailer for Pony Island and thought to myself “Well, this looks like a fun puzzle game at least and it’s a pretty funny title”. I gave it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed.... [read more]
Undertale Review: An 8-bit RPG with a twist
Toby Fox first made himself known to the public with his ROM hack, “Press the B Button, Stupid!” for an Earthbound Halloween Pack back in 2008. With the help of artist Temmie Chang, he created a game that will take you back in time with its 8-bit look, music and turn-bas... [read more]

Latest Videos

PAX South 2016: Lords of New York Interview
If you never thought you wanted a poker RPG, then you haven't played Lords of New York from Lunchtime Studios. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Moving Hazard Interview
Moving Hazard is a new take on the zombie action game. The multiplayer shooter makes the zombies the weapon to take out the other team. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Eternal Interview
Dire Wolf Digital is jumping into the card game genre with Eternal. Unlike other card games, Eternal lets players make decisions both on offense and defense. ... [read more]
Firefall Preview
Posted on April 19, 2013 by Nickolai Niver

I’ve been watching Firefall development over the last couple of months with a great amount of interest. Designed as a squad-based MMO, Firefall consists of two games. On one hand, it’s an unique PvE experience that pulls groups of friends together as they desperately try to fight back the hostile forces of The Chosen. On the other, it promises class based combat that makes games like Team Fortress 2 so popular. It’s a bold move, but the development team, Red 5, promises it will be an experience unlike anything else.

I’d imagine the first thing a new player might notice is the unique art-style that Firefall offers. A bit of Borderlands meets Team Fortress 2. While this works on games like Team Fortress 2, I was admittedly a bit skeptical to see it applied to such a serious shooter. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it worked. Granted, my character ugly as sin, but I’m going to mark that up as a perk.

It’s good that the aesthetics check out, but I was also a bit bothered by the fact that a game like Firefall, with so much professional work put into it, is free-to-play. This is the kind of game I’d see a $40-60 bill posted to, and then have some very small in-game purchases in exchange for not charging users for a monthly fee. What this told me was that Firefall was going to be one of those games that favored people with fat wallets. Unfortunately, I was correct.

My issue with many F2P games is that they sell power. Unlike games like DotA 2, LoL, and Smite that offer some visual improvements, or unique visual accessories for the customers, some games flatout give people who offer them money more power than people who don’t. In this situation, the game breaks and people who would be on otherwise even playing levels are now separated by a vertical canyon where one is winning simply because they have a fatter wallet.

In Firefall’s case, the battleframes that players can equip come in two forms. The ones they start with, and their final forms when they decide which sub-class inside their main class they want to go with. Here’s the issue. For a small sum, players can quickly jump from the lower-grade frames they start with to these upper tier frames. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if this armor then wasn’t available until a player reached level 20, but Firefall is without a clear leveling system. The experience you gain goes into improving the specs in your battleframe, meaning that there is absolutely no downside to simply buying a better frame. This is the equivalent to a player being able to start at level 60 in World of Warcraft if the user agreed to pay $10. Yes, they’re offering a game for free. But they’re also offering game breaking features at a price.

Aside from this glaring issue that I despise, Firefall has done quite a bit for the world of MMOFPS titles. Red 5 has taken the best of games like Borderlands and Tabula Rasa, and applied these features to Firefall, learning from mistakes, and adapting these features in their own way. Rather than generic fetch quests (even those still exist for those who can’t live without them), the game has taken a new spin on quests that people who play Guild Wars 2 might find familiar.

Quests are almost never meant for just one player.  Rather, when the Chosen show up (remember, these are those bad guys that define the PvE experience), they tend to assault an external location that the players are trying to protect. This begins two phases. In phase one, the players generally work to defend or reclaim whatever was taken by the Chosen. After that’s accomplished, players then go to push the Chosen away by destroying their drop points. It can get a bit repetitive sometimes, but it’s a new spin on an otherwise boring concept for questing. I’m actually excited to see what else the developers will do as time goes on.

The PvP system isn’t anything special. As of current, it has some obvious balance issues with some battleframes being infinitely better in PvP than others, making balance a laughing matter. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, which wouldn’t be a problem except that players can earn vital experience at a much quicker rate through these PvP matches than they can running escort missions.

Firefall is the first respectable attempt at a MMOFPS that I’ve seen since Tabula Rasa. I have a lot of hope for it, but I haven’t exactly loved some of the decisions the developers made, specifically in the world of selling power. However, it’s F2P and one of the few options for people looking to break away from the monotony of turn-based grind quests found in games like WoW. It’s worth a look at if you have a decent computer, a decent internet connection, and the desire to play an arcade style shooter with thousands of other players.

Nickolai Niver - Staff Writer nic (@) | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for March?

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Tom Clancy's The Division
EA Sports UFC 2
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
MLB The Show 16
Pokken Tournament
Killer Instinct Season 3
View Results - View Comments


Catching up with Koretzky

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Review

Left 4 Dead Review

Firefall Review

Other Gaming News From The Web