The new thing in the Role-Playing genre is the melding of Squad-based First Person Shooters. We had Tabula Rasa, which failed hard despite implementing elements found in World of Warcraft. Then there's the more recent Borderlands, which was more of a hit with gamers but less of an MMO. We now have FireFall, a "team-based online action shooter" title from developer Red 5 Studios, a house comprised of former World of Warcraft and Tribes developers.
When Blizzard employees venture out on their own, they bring with them the quality and polish we expect to see from any Blizzard title. And if history is any indication (Torchlight and Torchlight 2), FireFall should be a game of epic proportions. So I'm building this up to be something bigger than what it really is and we have some time before we see the final product, but after viewing the trailers below you can't help but get excited.
We have the cinematic trailer, which has all the qualities of a WoW-style cinematic and right after we have the gameplay trailer.
Red 5 is staying true to their Blizzard roots in both art style and quality of graphics in the game. Before I get all hot and bothered, let me give you a rundown of the story. After the Crystaline Wars, Earth gets rocked by a massive energy storm called The Melding. And when you think things couldn't get any worse, humanity gets an unexpected knock on the door from an alien race known as The Chosen, who definitely aren't there for trick-or-treating. Humanity bands together utilizing "battleframe" suits, to take down the alien menace.
The gameplay is that of any third-person shooter with emphasis on cooperative play, it also looks like you can also jump into the first-person for more precise targeting. While your battleframe does have a jetpack, the game doesn't seem to have the same emphasis on vertical flight as in the Tribes series. In the trailer, you do get to see vehicle transports however, there's no word on if there will be any vehicles which are directly controlled by the player.
Like I was saying before, the graphics of this game looks amazing! The environments are expansive and full of detail, right down to the player models which sport a cell-shaded look similar to that of Borderlands. For your viewing pleasure, we also have some screenshots and concept art for the game below.
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FireFall is a massively multiplayer online game with the free-to-play model, which is my only gripe with the title. The micro-transaction model isn't something I'm looking forward too, and I would rather pay a monthly fee for a service and full reign of the world than be slowed down because I won't spend real-world money on a virtual item. Maybe Red 5 will change the game and do something innovative with this model. We'll just have to wait and see.
FireFall is shaping up to be an awesome title when it's released in the later half of 2011 for PC. Ranters, are you looking forward to strapping on a jetpack and taking down some alien arachnids next year? Also, how do you feel about the micro-transaction model? Let us know in the comments.