A first look at Firefall

Firefall,” the first game from Red 5 Studios, was announced a few days ago at the 2010 Penny Arcade Expo. According to a Red 5 press release, the game “combines intense competitive multiplayer and large-scale cooperative gameplay,” which basically means it’s an MMO shooter.

The development team includes a few industry veterans, including Mark Kern who worked as lead developer for World of Warcraft. The game’s most appealing aspect may not be its development team but rather its price: $0.

Since the game won’t be officially released for over a year, little else is known about “Firefall”. However, a gameplay trailer has been released which contains some enticing details.

At first glance, “Firefall” may seem familiar: shooting aliens in a sci-fi world — the quintessential formula for many shooters. And that’s certainly what you’ll see if you watch the first four and a half minutes of the gameplay trailer. However, the video showcases a few innovations that warrant a closer look.

It may seem small like a small detail, and you might have even overlooked it, but at about one minute and fifty seconds into the video the perspective of the player shifts from third to first-person. Not many games allow for this, but in “Firefall” you can actually change perspectives on the fly.

But this gameplay trailer contains much more than a few changing camera angles. At about the four-minute mark in the video, you see the players get inside a ship, which I initially presumed to be a simple loading mechanic, i.e., get in the ship and then the screen fades out while the next area loads — “au contraire.”

The ship is functional and, after seeing how huge the world is, practically a necessity. After flying over an expansive canyon ravine full of lush vegetation and flowing waterways where dozens of other players can be seen fighting alien creatures, the ship lands in a canyon-side metropolis.

At about eight minutes and twenty seconds, you get a taste for the customization that will be available in the game. It looks like players can find items in the world that will provide both an aesthetic change and new abilities — like the “charge shot” at about eight minutes and fifty-five seconds.

The rest of the video shows a sprawling battle throughout the city area, with a particularly nasty looking  spider-like robot coming in on the offensive toward the end of the video.

If you like what you see, you may be interested in signing up for the beta. Those who are selected will get early access to the game in order to help the developers test it out for bugs and glitches.

Video Credit: Red 5 Studios

21 Responses to “A first look at Firefall”

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    I don’t know anything about games, but I know my brother is completely addicted to World of Warcraft. He spends hours and hours playing and never gets tired. If the lead developer of WoW worked on “Firefall”, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

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