Firefall Game Preview

Firefall Game Preview
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The Fire Will Fall

In the new age of competitive online gaming, MMOs are pretty much the wave of the future. Let’s face it, a lot of people like playing games with their friends as well as kicking the crap out of them using futuristic, high-tech sci-fi weapons and space-age vehicles. While Tabula Rasa introduced gamers to this concept with triple-A qualities, the game unfortunately fell hard due to its glitches and high-priced pay-to-play model. Hi-Rez Studios followed up on the sci-fi MMO genre with something a little more accessible in the likes of Global Agenda, offering gamers more streamlined play but without the grand-scale battlefields.

A thumper landing

Well, Red 5 Studios – composed of former designers from World of Warcraft and Sierra’s Starsiege Tribes – wants to combine all the high-end, fast-paced, technocratic action from a game like Global Agenda, but with the steady leveling and open-world effect from the highly respected but ultimately doomed Tabula Rasa. This FireFall game preview features a brief look at what the gameplay aims to offer and what gamers can expect from this title when it launches in the fourth quarter of 2011 for PC.

Character Depth, Customization And Loot

Fighting off some bugs

While most games have a create-a-character that center mostly on picking heads and picking body types, there’s a little bit more going on with the characters in FireFall. The standard template will see continuous changes throughout the game given the game’s large focus on upgrades and modifying the character to suit the player’s play-style, something I think is actually pretty cool. The basic options, for now, that a player will be able to modify for their character includes hair styles, face shape, gender, head types, hair color and skin

Upgrading equipment in town

color. To further enhance the experience Red 5 also employed NaturalMotion’s Morpheme engine to help with player animations, combat transitions and custom interactions, which was also part of the arsenal used by NaturalMotion’s own popular sports title, BackBreaker.

Throughout the game, as players level-up and complete quests, loot drops will become available that enable players to acquire new equipment such as weapons, armor, and ability upgrades. The game’s ability management is similar to OG Planet’s Lost Saga where various items have differing grades and ability slots. And much like Borderlands, the item drops are randomized with different grades, ranging from common to epic.

Quests And Clans

Gathering loot

There’s really no point in playing a game that’s all about adventuring, exploration and character development if there is no real point to doing any of it. Red 5 recognized that despite the game’s close similarities to games like Borderlands and BattleSwarm: Field of Honor, it takes more than constant guns-a-blazin’ combat and fancy visuals to keep gamers glued to their seats. Sometimes a few good quests will do the job, and that’s why there’s plenty of traveling, trading, and grinding quests available in the game.

Another feature that’s part of the early goings of the game is clan support. Working together and using teamwork with friends or strangers plays a big part in many aspects of how the world in FireFall evolves, as well as how players can establish groups which will ultimately play a big part in attacking and defending districts scattered throughout the game world.

Resource Management And Combat

Boarding a dropship

Every game needs a solid enough combat mechanic to keep the masses appeased. Luckily enough for anyone interested in an MMO that doesn’t rely on turn-based mechanics, the combat in FireFall is entirely in realtime and allows players to play in either third-person or first-person perspectives like in Fallen Earth; there is no visual discrimination here.

Flying around in a dropship

What’s more is that the game has a variety of weapons that have attributes adjusted for different kinds of gamers. So newbie casual fans of large scale shooting games like FireFall won’t have to worry about super twitch skills when using some weapon. But in the same way, players who are twitch masters, honed from playing games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, can use specific weapons tailored for pulling off fast headshots.

The combat also ties in very closely with the game’s resource management, which sees players calling down a mining tool and having to protect it from nearby mobs while it gathers goods. Successful resource gathering will reward players with materials that can be used in other capacities of the game.

Stationary Weapons And Vehicles

Fighting a titan in a turret

In addition to using standard weapons and loadouts, there are also secondary devices to use, including turret guns and other stationary weapons. For the most part, these environmental weapon enplacements are built mainly for defending specific areas or to help defend certain populated territories from sieges or invasions. Operable vehicles don’t end with turrets, though, there are flying dropships available to transport players from one area to another.

Players can fly the ships around freely and survey the areas. The only thing that hasn’t been confirmed yet is whether or not the ships can land anywhere or only at the landing pads.

Town Sieges And Instant Events

Exploring the town

The towns prove to be a very important piece of the gameplay. Not only do they work as a hub to pick up quests, socialize or modify equipment and characteristics, but they can also be lost in raids by rival groups, making it imperative that players stay alert at all times. FireFall uses instanced events instead of instanced dungeons, so while shopping or changing your armor’s color you and the townsfolk could be attacked by a rival gang aiming to control the city, or worse yet, come under siege by giant monsters called titans.

The instanced events can consist of various mob types and if a town under siege is captured by a raiding group, then players will lose access to the town’s amenities. So keeping the town safe isn’t just a fun side activity, it actually plays a part in maintaining continuity for player progression.

FireFall is set for release at the end of 2011 for PC. For more info be sure to visit the Official Website.

For more online shooter games be sure to check out the complete listing at the Bright Hub MMOFPS Game Directory.