April 19, 2012

PAX East Preview – FireFall

Firefall LogoI remember playing a build of FireFall last year at PAX East 2011 and I went away from it not very impressed and not excited for the title at all.  So I went into the demo of it again this year with a bit of skepticism and wasn’t expecting to be swayed from my opinion of it.  In short, I was wrong.  FireFall, from Red 5 Studios, is a breath of fresh air in the world of MMOs.  This MMO is a 3rd-person/First-person shooter at its heart surrounded in gorgeous Borderlands-like cell shading goodness, wrapped in dynamic story-telling like no other MMO has ever achieved and tied up in a pretty free-to-play bow.

Firefall screen 2

FireFall is attempting to redefine the Online Multiplayer experience in a few different ways.  The first, which I found to be very interesting, was the removal of the need for different characters for the different classes.  Instead of creating multiple characters for each class, or Battleframe, you want to play, you simply “equip” the Battleframe at an available station onto your character.  Instead of leveling up your toon, by playing each of the classes, you will level up your Battleframe instead.  Battleframes will include Medic, Engineer, Recon, Assault, and Dreadnaught and all are playable by any single character.  This certainly alleviates the issues other MMOs feel when trying to put together a good raid group and there aren’t enough support players available.  In FireFall, any one player can decide to be the Medic for the group this time, then choose to be the Assault class the next time.  It’s a brilliant concept.

Firefall screen 1

Another great innovation that FireFall will be introducing is the concept of Staged Content.  In short this means that certain parts of the FireFall world can be opened up for every player through all players working together to push back the enemy strongholds.  The team at Red 5 Studios are striving to create a truly living world in which the players all play a real part.  The studio, with the help of Extra Credits, put together the following video that helps explain this concept:

FireFall is truly shaping up to be a game changer in the arena of MMOs, and I believe they are doing things differently enough to differentiate themselves from the rest.  I am very excited for this game, and what I saw at PAX East simply blew me away.  It sports an absolutely gorgeous atmosphere, fluid and solid controls and is simply a joy to play.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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