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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hiatus broken! Firefall Beta Discussion

So a brief post amidst long hiatus where I've been busy being a law student and fondly recalling when I used to have time for "fun". Alas in truth I did find some time to have a bit, and in the past few weeks I've found myself entered into two closed betas. Sadly one of them has me under a strict NDA. The other does not, so I will discuss...FIREFALL!

Created by, Red 5 Studios, comprised of some former Blizzard employees with experience on everything from Diablo to WoW, Firefall is a Third-person-shooter/first-person-shooter (depending on your fancy) in which you are among the survivors of an apocalypse trying to save Earth from an alien force. It's one of those few post-apoc's in which humanity hasn't descended to Mad Max-esque tribes of roving bandits. We can debate human nature all we want, but no one said video games had to be perfectly true to it, and I find it enjoyable to have a more positive outlook on humanity's ability to handle being driven to the edge.

Even before I discovered Red 5's pedigree I was rather impressed by the UI and fluidity of movement. One of my pet peeves in an MMO is feeling "constrained" and limited...easy ways to irk me are disallowing jumping or highly limiting where a player can go. While the game does not have a good tutorial yet (it's EARLY beta) one I grasped the basic scheme of the controls (and the "Calldown" system) the rest felt very intuitive. The guns function like they should (at least in a semi-fantasy setting). In other words, everything "feels" right about the movement and gameplay. There are some rough edges to sand off, some issues, but generally speaking I feel in control and in the world.

I was going to comment on their crafting and progression system, but they are about to make large changes to them so that would be a bit redundant. They seem to have heads on their shoulders; moving away from a long progression to a more open system that's easy to enter but very deep.

So far my complaints are relatively few; nitpicky sort of things, like wishing I could swap which shoulder the third-person camera looked over (like Hitman Absolution allows). Or spicing up the PvE (which is still in the early stages so this is an unfair criticism). I feel confident that Red 5 has a handle on things, but I have been burned before...

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