FireFall is a free-to-play MMO with a sci-fi theme that puts you in a colorful world, fighting off alien bugs and completing missions for NPCs. The game was created by Red 5 Studios, who first announced it back in 2010. Ever since the official announcement of FireFall, the developer has been releasing visuals for everyone to see before the beta release. Yes, the game borrows elements seen in other free-to-play MMOs, and Red 5 Studios even confirmed it cost almost as much to create FireFall as it did to create World of Warcraft.
In FireFall, you will execute the same tasks found in other modern MMO games; such as exploration, PvP, raiding and crafting. The sci-fi theme really makes this game original, as all those MMO elements combined with jet packs and aliens makes for an action-packed game.
However, there is a great deal of repetitiveness in FireFall and it does get old quick. The beginning of the game is somewhat boring, and the NPCs are very dull. Basically, if you can get past the beginning then FireFall will have you hooked in no time. So yes, it is definitely worth it to keep playing past the beginning even if you think the repetitive quests aren’t worth your time.
The open world really makes things interesting, and when you begin playing the central area is about the same size as GTA 3’s Liberty City. As you make progress you will unlock another 10 square-miles of land, which is about the same size as Mafia 2’s Empire Bay. It’s an exciting co-op experience, with 200-300 people in one game channel at a time – so its full of action.
Being able to play in both first-person and third-person views is great, similar to the switch in Fallout and other related games. The graphics are what really make FireFall unique, they are almost cartoonish, but if you pay close attention to the details you will see some textures look weak. The graphics are okay and they definitely don’t look horrible, unless you are extremely picky about visuals. The bright colors and overall appearance really makes the world around you feel alive, but everyone seems to have a different opinion on FireFall’s graphics.
Instead of calling them character classes, this game labels them as “Battleframes”, which can be changed at any time by visiting a Battleframe station. Yes, the Battleframes can be upgrades and customized with other items to get both active and passive abilities. Increased speed and other perks can be acquired by customizing your Battleframe.
Assault, Recon, Medic, Engineer, and Dreadnought are the Battleframes you can choose from. The Assault Battleframe gives you what you would expect, a character with heavy armor and strong offensive skills using the Plasma Cannon. The Recon is for snipers, but they get special abilities like special ammo that can plant a mine or even freeze enemies. The Medic can use a heal beam to either heal an ally or take the HP from an enemy. Engineers work with turrets, shielfs and other deployable weapons that can be upgraded using a wrench system. Dreadnought, is basically the juggernaut with the heaviest armor, slowest speed, and tough minigun to really bring it to opponents.
FireFall has all the features you want in a modern MMO but it lacks the life and character development needed to really make the world come alive. The NPCs are lifeless, and that is a huge problem for a video game like this, where side-quests should be more interesting. For a free-to-play MMO it does have its pros, and the cons are not so bad when you look at the big picture.