Hype: a word used to describe a game that is so popular at a convention it causes security to force people from queuing up. In a year in which the MMOFPSs look like being the kings of gaming, with they’re recognisable formula of hotkeys, game queues, loot and quests, Firefall stands with its head above the crowd, striving to deliver something altogether new. From the looks of the beta, Red 5 Studios could very well have a hit on their hands with this one.
Firefall takes place on a futuristic Earth, the characters decked out in heavy armour and wielding high-tech weaponry that they use to fight off The Chosen, an alien race that wants to take over the planet. The mission? Survive. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of resources to help players out here.
Players can strike at the ground with a hammer that will reveal items in the vicinity. Once an item is found, the player calls the Hammer Strike—a drilling device that digs the goods from out the earth. Players must then defend the device from alien onslaught.
Combat in Firefall is based on classes—which here are called “battleframes”—which can be swapped and levelled, rather like Team Fortress 2 / Borderlands. Each battleframe has its own unique style, some using heavy weapons where others—namely the medics—carry healing guns. The battleframes are unique and varied enough to provide a depth and versatility to gameplay.
The gameplay is simple and intuitive, meaning you’ll be having fun with this one within minutes of starting to play. You’ll also be gripped the whole time as the combat is fast and constant. Jet boosts and constant motion mean that you’re always actively engaged with the game and suffer little downtime, and whilst some of the modes on offer are all too familiar, the frantic pace of the action keeps things moving along swimmingly. There’s also a PVP matchmaking system that can be queued from anywhere and it’s evident that Red 5 have aimed this one at E Sports with clan support, customisable paint mods, a tournament system and a spectator mode.
Firefall is a shooter through and through and it’s a great one at that. It will keep you hooked for a long time, at least so it seems at this point. The blistering pace is an awesome escapism and the brilliant presentation and intuitive controls makes Firefall a joy to behold. Keep an eye out. This is going to be an edge-of-your-seat shooter not to be missed.