Firefall is a new sci-fi action, first-person shooter MMO from RED 5 Studios. It is free-to-play and, in my humble opinion, worth playing. Everything feels polished from the shooting mechanics to the graphics, and may make this one hell of a contender for your spare time in the near future.
One of my favorite aspects of this particular game and one that I haven’t seen in too many others is the lack of a true playable class. What you have instead are battleframes. These battleframes are unique and let you approach any challenge in a variety of ways. You can go sniping long range with the Recon suit, go in as a Biotech to heal and buff, deploy a variety of turrets, shields and other on field boosts as an Engineer, run as infantry with the Assault class, or do some tanking as a Dreadnought. This allows you to play as the same main character all the time, switching between battleframes and keeping all that hard-earned loot you have in your inventory without dealing with trading between characters. Essentially you play whatever style you want, whenever you want.
Another of the huge selling points of this game is the co-op, which gives the battleframes a chance to really shine. Suppose you are on a team and find that 3 out of the 4 players are wearing Assault frames. This gives you an opportunity to bring some much needed support as an Biotech to keep your team alive while they storm the objective, or lay down ground support by using your Engineer battleframe to defend and buff. The variations are endless and make this a game with a lot of replayability.
Now, this is not to say the game is perfect. One of the few gripes I had was the lack of background information about this universe, the cataclysm and lore regarding the war in the past, the enemy and why they number in variety. I am sure much of this will be addressed as time goes on, though. Another problem was (I can’t believe I’m saying this) the lack of early-on story missions. Most of what you get past the first two missions is just random “go here and kill these things” quests that you get at a job board, doing little if nothing to advance the overall story and lore of the world that you are living in. I also felt that the game might function better if you had a decent controller versus your standard keyboard-and-mouse as it just had that kind of “console shooter” feel, which I suspect is what they were going for.
Now one thing I should mention for full disclosure to show just how truly awesome this game is, is the crappiness of my laptop. Even though the game promptly declared that my PC did not meet the minimum requirements to play this game. Lo and behold, with the graphics set next to nil it played smoothly, the graphics were still impressive, and I did not experience any of the lag that sometimes comes when playing a graphically-intense game on a low-end machine.
This is the kind of game you go into with your friends, and you play for a few hours. I found it easy to pick up and play and did not find the same kind of pay to win aspects that you sometimes see in more and more of the MMO’s these days. This game is also surprisingly family-friendly I would say, with little to no gore that I could see, most kids over 10 should be okay playing this and would be a good game to play with your kids or your younger siblings if you were so inclined to do so. Check out Firefall at www.firefallthegame.com.