Firefall: Playable, but not Pretty
Firefall – At the Copa (CO!)
Red 5 studio finally makes with the fun and dropped Firefall on the world today. With that a load of new content that many backers might not have seen until now, Firefall went through quite a few iterations until Red 5 finally came to a consensus on what the players wanted in game. Through a lot of forum reading/interacting and live streams on Twitch, the player base made their demands loud and clear and Red 5 did something a lot of companies don’t do now a days: they listened. This release of Firefall is heavily based on what the majority of players wanted in game and boy did they get it, almost to a fault… so lets dive right in and do this Copacabana style!
Firefall is an open-world 3rd or 1st person (your choice on the fly) Free to Play (With cash shop as per usual but definitely not pay to win) MMO-Shooter that takes place in Copacabana Brazil after an earth changing event that humans brought on themselves and are now forced to live with its after effects. Not a story that you haven’t seen or read before, but Firefall brings it together in a nice package through quite a few avenues. There are 5 main Battleframe types:
- Dreadnaught: The tank of Firefall but also has a DPS counterpart.
- Assault: Main dps class that focuses on mobility and firepower.
- Engineer: Main focus is Support and Area Control through turrets and shields.
- Biotech: Healer Class that also has a DPS counterpart.
- Recon: Sniper class with a hint of support.
A majority of your experience will come from missions, instances, and Thumping, as the main story arc is level dependent for the main quest chain. Doing these missions from mission hubs will gain you not only experience, but everything from usable items, to gear, to even the almighty Crystite which is what drives pretty much everything you do in game. Crystite is not considered a currency…which is where a lot of the weirdness starts. acquiring Crystite comes in many forms, killing enemies, doing missions, and “Thumping” will be the main way you procure this precious crystal, but it’s never described as to why it’s all over the world and in everything you do, nor is it ever told as to why its so important. All we know is that its tied to the “Melding” which is also sparsely described as something that came with the main bad guys, The Chosen. My only gripe with the story is that it feel few and far between and you kind of just do missions until you get a transmission from your ARES operator. Whats it’s purpose? Why are we the players at war over Crystite and why must we get it at all costs? Which leads us into “Thumping”, this is what players will use to mine resources for crafting, salvage items and Crystite. This will be your introduction into the endless amount of farming your going to do for it and crafting resources. Thumping is not all that bad as it will cause local enemies to spawn and cause you to defend the area, and there are two types you can do, A solo Thumper and a group Thumper. Any other player in the area can join in as a local event pops up for them and they will receive exp. resourses, and Crystite as well for helping defend your Thumper which is a nice touch for the community aspect of the game as I’ve experienced quite a few people willing to help me with my Thumping, and I return the favor as well. Don’t be a troll, help your fellow players out, they’re in the same struggle as you are.
Above is an in-game screen capture of an area just outside the main city Copacabana. I apologize for not touching it up or anything like that but I wanted you to see the game as it is. This is on Ultra High settings and for the most part, what you will see throughout your time in Firefall. The scenery is nice and the overall graphics are a little on the cartoony side but this isn’t really a bad thing to me and it’s to be expected as a few of the higher up art devs are ex-World of Warcraft crew. Everything flows nice through seemless zone transfers and the instances group you up with people of similar level and ability (How they can group you up with someone of similar ability is just freaky but nice when you realize you might just be the sharpest spoon in the drawer) and are generally a lot of fun. The community aspect has had a lot of thought put into it through various random events and missions that pop up as your out and about. You’ll help your mechanic out with broken Thumpers you come across, you’ll data mine black boxes you find along the road and even fight off an alien swarm in an event called a Melding Tornado which is kind of like Sharknado, but its aliens in it instead. Sounds off but its actually quite epic when you get a group of 20 people fighting it as with the more people in the area event, the harder the event becomes and will adjust itself accordingly for those who chicken out and split before the event finishes.
All-in-all Firefall is in fact a lot of fun and all that it really lacks is either a faster paced main story arc, or maybe have missions that tie into the main story arc a little better. Far too many MMO’s use this formula for it not to be an effective use of space and resources. Although Firefall plays A LOT like Defiance, its really stood its ground and is quite unique in a lot of ways, and with a few fixes I feel like this could be a game that a lot more people will get into once they actually try it out. Firefalls fast pace action and decent PVP aspect give you and your friends the ability to have a lot of fun as well.
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