Firefall Preview

Color us “sold.”

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson


Firefall is an open, perpetual, PvP, PvE shooter with a flare for action, progression and social play. We had a chance to hang out with James Macauley, VP of Production Development/Execeutive Producer, over the weekend at PAX East. He showed us the goods, gave us a tour and made us instant fans of Firefall.

joeyJoey Davidson: Well, I'm sold. It didn't take long, but I'm now officially bound and determined to head home and download the Firefall client.

This free-to-play game, with its action, art style and concept, has lured me in.

mikeMike White: I signed up for the beta quite a while ago. Actually, I think it was at last year’s PAX East. As soon as they announced that attendees who stop by their booth were guaranteed access to the beta, my pants felt a size or two smaller.

The development team behind Firefall has some serious pedigree. There are members of the original development team from Tribes and a former team lead from World of Warcraft. I think it’s safe to say they know how to make a fun and engaging game.

joeyJoey: And that’s why I felt a heavy Tribes influence. I was a major, major fan of that original game and its sequel way back when. The jetpacking and the seamless play it encouraged held me tight to my computer for weeks on end.

I guess that’s what’s driving me to want to play Firefall. People say “MMO” to me, and I instantly think of waiting, grinding and this constant, slow-drip form of gaming. It works as its own genre, but it’s one that I don’t necessarily think would fit into the world of a shooter.

Firefall, based on what I saw today, seems more like the quick, instantly gratifying type of shooter that I’d love to play both competitively and cooperatively. The best of both worlds?

mikeMike: I couldn’t agree more. I love games where you can get in and get out and feel like you’ve accomplished something. But there’s more to that in Firefall. What Macauley emphasized to us was community building. When you have passionate players who care about the game’s longevity, mixed with a persistent world where actions matter and have a lasting effect, that’s what gives a title legs past the “new and shiny” phase.

joeyJoey: I’m excited for that. After playing games where other players are only there to do their thing and move on, I’m actually looking forward to a title that brings with it a community of players that are actually excited to help others learn and play. That, to me, sounds awesome. If the community is as great as Macauley made them out to be (not that I’m calling him a liar!), we’re in for a good time.

What about the game’s customization? It looks like there’s an epic ton of content here for players to tailor their experience to their style, would you agree so far?

mikeMike: Totally. You always take the developer’s word with a grain of salt, because they are fully invested in the success of their game. I’m always rooting for them. Their pitches sound great. It’s always a rollercoaster of emotion following the developer hype through to the actual implementation.

We actually saw what they were talking about today. Not only the part about the community, but also the customization. A quick aside here, as James was showing us a crafting station, a community member ran up and jokingly typed to him “less playing, more making me PvE content.” The community is established, and they recognize the devs when they’re logged on.

We also got to see the ways in which you can custom tailor your loadouts. Loadouts are essentially the class you’re playing at that time. They can be changed out on the fly and leveled separately through PvP and PvE. Each module can be upgraded and modified to fit your play style. There seems to be no one right way to play.

joeyJoey: Right, and that carries out all the way until the end of the game. There, supposedly, won’t be a scenario with a bunch of end level characters hanging out with the exact same sets of gear. “What, you don’t have the level WHATEVER assault pack with the +something or other? GET OUT OF MY FACE!”

None of that.

So, yeah, Firefall looks like a beautiful, customizable, free-to-play beast that’s just waiting to take my life over.

mikeMike: We haven’t even glossed over the open world aspects yet. This game has depth and offers up enough unique experiences to keep all types of gamers invested. This will be a social experience. I’m looking forward to jumping in immediately when we get back from Boston.

Anyone who is at the convention, and I’m sure they’ll follow this trend with future meet-ups, can get into the beta. Other than that, they have sign ups at their website. Log in and become an active member of their community forums. You won’t regret it.

This article originally published as part of our PAX East hub coverage. Head over to the site to read more articles from our weekend in Boston.