With The Jetpacks And Stuff: Firefall

By Jim Rossignol on September 4th, 2010 at 1:06 am.


It’s late at night, and it seems the logical time for news of a free to play Tribes-alike shooter to appear in our inbox. It’s Firefall. It’s being shown at PAX. It’s got a beta sign up over on the official site. It’s being designed by veterans of Tribes and World Of Warcraft. It’s looking pretty good. There’s ten minutes of game footage embedded below. More on this soon, I am certain.

Oh, and watch the whole video. This one escalates.

, .

107 Comments »

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  1. ZIGS says:

    Looks Borderlandish. Which is not necessarily bad

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      El_MUERkO says:

      the love-child of Tribes and Borderlands imo

    • Tacroy says:

      I don’t know, though – I didn’t see any of Tribes’ grace in that clip. I mean I’m sure it can be fun, but the thing looks more like a brutalist Gears of War With Jetpacks than Tribes.

      I do like how it looks like they’re differentiating player classes by jetpacks, though – different light patterns for different class archetypes I bet.

    • A Punctual Nord says:

      The Tribes comparison is a bit of a reach. Yea there’s jetpacks but that’s where it ends really. Reminds me more of original Halo than anything else, although it certainly takes a few pages out of the book of Borderlands for its art style.

      Looks pretty fun but I hope to god those are placeholder gun sounds. Needs more bass. Oh and maybe some enemies that actually have a little staying power. Seemed like they had to bring in new enemies every other second who were then butchered nigh instantly, Serious Sam style.

      That type of gameplay is only fun for ~30-45 minutes.

  2. vatara says:

    Wow.

    Registering for the forums is the beta signup for people confused like me.

  3. fearian says:

    That looks really, really, fun.

  4. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    You want a whicky whacker?

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Wow, that’s the first time I’ve seen both third and first person views being smooth. I likey.

  6. fearian says:

    Holy shit. Japw dropped at around 5:30

  7. escort bayan says:

    This game is really doing very, very nice thank you from the hands of health to take great pleasure in playing the game I recommend to play

  8. WTF says:

    3rd person camera, retarded cell shaded crap and guns straight from Halo.

    Please don’t mention Tribes in the same breath as this dross…

    • stevehatesyou says:

      Hey, we made it eight posts in before an Angry Internet Man posted. That’s not bad.

    • fearian says:

      Are you trolling? The art is delightful, and I’m not useualy one for the borderlands look (didn’t like it), the gameplay looks Smooth with a capital Smooth, and JET. PACKS. Tribes, Natural Selection, heck, Aion. I loved them all because you could fly.

      how far did you get through the video? If you didn’t stay for the epic hub destruction fight, fuck right off.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      WTF: Saving You From Your Own Honest Joy Since 2010

    • schokakola says:

      Wow, his attention span must really suck. How long does it take for the game to switch into the first person fighting? A minute?
      Oh, and it’s CEL-shading, notice the lack of CELL in CEL-shading if you’re going to comment on it.

    • valru says:

      lead designer of this game = lead designer of the original tribes…

    • Commissar says:

      This game reminds me of that god awful multiplayer Space Marine and Bug RTS/FPS that I cannot remember the name of.

    • WTF says:

      @stevehatesyou – sorry – I was bsy or I’d have been here sooner =)
      @fearian – No, not trolling. I think it looks terrible. Cel-shading is just never a good thing and I do not like the animation one bit, especially the way he runs. As to jet packs: were? Suer what he is wearing LOOKS like a jet-pack but I see no flying what so ever bar that gimmicky “jump high, slam down” AOE attack he keeps doing
      @schokakola – mope – watched all of it. My point is that is plays in 3rd person for 90%+ of the video. Even when it swap to First person it looks forced like its just a zooming mode and the view angle cramps up tight like a crappy console game. Also thanks for making such a HUGE deal about my typo – jerk
      @valru – so? Ken Levine gave us System Shock 2 with one hand then slapped us with Bioshock in his other. Just because the guys who made Tribes lucked out (skiing, the games main attraction, was an accident remember, not design) does not mean they can repeat their success.

      Point is, to all, that I see nothing here that looks like Tribes in any way. While the world as a whole seems large, it also seems that the game takes place in tiny, cramped ravines between mountains of rock and that does not seem interesting. The combat, particularly towards the end with the base defence fight looks tedious and very low skill and the weapons are simply horrible (that machine gun looks and behaves very similarly to the one in Halo).
      All in all I see nothing of merit here at all. So sorry to ruin your day =/

    • MrSafin says:

      I agree with your feelings, WTF. This is console-stuff all over again!

    • ChampionHyena says:

      Except… it’s a PC game. I’ve seen no announcements declaring other platforms, it’s F2P, and if you watch the demo, all of the control prompts are for mouse buttons and keyboard input.

      Have we just decided that we’re gonna throw the word “console” at stuff we don’t like now?

    • pupsikaso says:

      Yes, because if you make a console game exclusively for the PC it’s still going to suck.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Cel-shading is just never a good thing”

      What the fuck man.

  9. Tunips says:

    While I’m not a huge fan of the shooty-shooty (it looks rather stilted), that big, seamless, complex world with, apparently, stuff happening in every part of it certainly holds my attention. If things actually happen, rather than just appear to happen, this could be really great.

  10. WiPa says:

    They need to change the logo. Starcraft much?

  11. Freud says:

    It seemed a bit schizophrenic. Is it a multiplayer shooter where you play against other players or is it a scripted game where you mostly cooperate with other players or sit next to them for 2 minute flights where you have no control (that element will get old really fast)?

    The core gameplay mechanics looked decent enough but I simply can’t tell if this is something I would want to play.

  12. Cvnk says:

    Their perimeter security is shit. Those enemies were in the middle of their base when the computer voice alerted them.

  13. DOS4GW says:

    Hmmm…no skiing, gunplay plays out nothing like Tribes. Don’t think this is going to scratch the itch.

    I’ll continue waiting for Legions to come back on Instantaction.com, thanks.

  14. Commissar says:

    You can never have enough brownan and blooman space marine games.

  15. Kryopsis says:

    Shame this appears to be a microtransaction-based MMO game (judging by the developer’s site and forum) rather than a standard product.

    • Freud says:

      I think generally MMO-shooters are quite hard to succeed with. Planetside and Tabula Rasa failed and it seems some of the shooters that has a payment model struggling a bit too (Global agenda and BF: Heroes).

      I think the big reason is of course that there are plenty of popular shooters that are free (TF2, CS, MW2) and consumers simply don’t see the added utility in a MMO-ish game as worth paying for. Perhaps shooter fans are the ones with lowest incentives to pay too (younger than average gamers perhaps).

      This game does look pretty ambitious though so it will be interesting what happens. I don’t really like the sound of an online marketplace in my shooters, because it seems almost certain that the things you pay for affect gameplay. Shooters simply don’t have all that many other gameplay elements people would be willing to pay for.

  16. Cael says:

    More tribes less borderlands please

  17. DK says:

    It’s obviously designed for console and if it isn’t they need to fire the person making their interface – and get the damn controller out of the hands of the person playing in the trailer.

    You’ll never get proper Tribes movement and gunplay on a console, and you’ll never the get the depth and options of Tribes without a keyboard, so this has already failed completely right at the design stage.

    • Cael says:

      amen brother

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Uh, pretty hard to make a F2P game for console bro.

      Game looks ridiculously solid.

    • Kryopsis says:

      First of all, the game is a PC exclusive.
      Second, you can easily tell the demo is running on a PC with a mouse and keyboard by observing the aiming and looking at the various examples of keyboard button prompts at different points in the video.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      Whoops, didn’t see this before I remarked on it up above. But yes. Good job on being so PC-elitist that we’ve decided to impugn a FREE TO PLAY PC EXCLUSIVE with words like “designed for console.”

      Seriously. We all love the PC here, but shrieking about consoles any time we see anything that’s not to our taste is just bad form. Especially when what we’re seeing has nothing to do with consoles whatsoever.

    • pupsikaso says:

      But when a game looks like it’s taking design decisions that are the result of game developers having to compromise for consoles and puts them into a PC-exclusive game, we have every right to hiss and boo and label it as a “Console game for PC”, not “PC game”.

  18. Lord_Mordja says:

    Incidentally I think it should be mentioned that the LEAD DESIGNER OF TRIBES is also the lead designer of Firefall.

    So you know…

    Rock. The Fuck. On.

  19. Horatius says:

    Looks like a hoot! The terrain and massive world alone have me licking my chops.

  20. Mechazawa says:

    It looks like someone played Borderlands and said “Hey, what if we made this actually fun”.

    I like it.

  21. fearian says:

    For the weak of faith, you can see skiing briefly at 7:40.

  22. lethu says:

    “What’s up, what’s happeniiiing !!!”

    This looks like; TF2 meets HL2 meets WoW.

    Some parts of it almost make me excited, but that must be because of the over used/tired to death cel-shading style which is holding it from impressing me. Cel-shading starts to seriously come out of my eyes. Devs, please forget cel-shading, it was nice and still fresh back in the JetSetRadio and Parapa the Rapper era, it just doesn’t cut it in the modern days anymore imo. Try finding some new effect, or just keep with realistic textures, always more realistic! I am ok with this.

    PS: you’ll notice I didn’t mention Tribes, that’s because I have too much respect for that game, don’t compare anything to Tribes please!

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    Tinus says:

    Where’s the skiing? Really, where’s my beloved skiing? :(

  24. irongamer says:

    Looks like fun. As El_MUERkO mentioned, it does look like Borderlands meets Tribes. Makes me wonder if one could see the insane battles of Planetside had during the first few weeks that were so amazing.

    I like that they are at least giving co-op some focus.

  25. Tilla says:

    I see nothing wrong with this. I can’t believe how cynical some gamers are these days, every single newly announced project comes off as a direct attack on them :P

    The huge map is just plain awesome, guessing this is MMO style?

    • Dominic White says:

      The stuff revealed this PAX seems to have been a breaking point for many. Embattled PC gamers are forced either to accept that the games industry no longer revolves around their platform of choice, or become insane, paranoid wrecks.

      See DK’s rant above, where he (quite erroneously) flips out about this being a console game, because they’re everywhere, man! They’re coming out of the goddamn walls!

      On a tangential note, I take anyones ‘You can’t do proper aiming on a console’ and raise you this:

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “On a tangential note, I take anyones ‘You can’t do proper aiming on a console’ and raise you this:”

      It’s “no proper aiming on a gamepad”, actually. Footage from a console game (designed with such limitations in mind in the first place) doesn’t do much to counter that. Try footage of Quake or Warsow or somesuch played with a gamepad.

    • kyrieee says:

      That you think that is is proper aiming kind of proves the point

    • ChampionHyena says:

      Remember when they tried to do cross-platform FPS play on XBL/GFWL? Do you remember one of the big reasons why they didn’t follow through on it?

      (Spoiler alert: Keyboard and mouse players ate gamepad players alive.)

      Aiming with an analog stick is like trying to do brain surgery with an ice cream scoop.

    • K-k says:

      @ Dominic White.

      Microsoft actually recently had a contest between, get this, professional console players, pitting them against your average, run of the mill PC players, in such games as vanilla TF2, Halo, MW2 and so forth.

      Of course, the professional console players were playing with the xbox 360 controller, while PC gamers had their mouse and keyboard. The professionals got their arse handed to them, repeatedly, each and every time of the 10 matches, without even a minor margin of victory.

      Why this test? Microsoft was planning to link the LIVE services so console people could play with PC people. It certainly won’t be coming up. I take your rebuttal on “you can’t do proper aiming on a console” (which you can, on a wiimote. Not with pad controllers.) and raise again with this knowledge.

      http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/07/21/did-microsoft-kill-xbox-livewindows-live-cross-platform-play-because-console-gamers-were-too-bad/ (Just one of the many reporting this incident)

      Though, we should cut out the console discussion, we already know by far that keyboard+mouse is hands down the best controller you can get, and this game is PC exclusive, sooo….

  26. Dableo says:

    You have JETPACKS! Use them! Seriously, what’s the point of having them if all they do is run and gun? Hopefully it just didn’t come through in the video and it’s better than it looks, because there is some huge potential in there.

  27. Eggy says:

    This game looks very exciting, but my joy is somewhat dampened by the fact that Project Offset will not be the first offset engine powered game released >:

    • rebb says:

      It’s using the Offset Engine ? I thought the company had gone bust.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No they were bought out and then it was cancelled I believe. I think they were bought by Intel but I’m not sure. So I imagine they will be selling the engine, which is all Offset ever really was.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    It looks pretty slick so far, but without more details I will not get overly excited. The shooting and stuff might be fun, but the meta concepts of a possible persistent world and the leveling/character development system make or break such a game.

  29. H8Cr1me says:

    WOW. This looks excellent. fantastic level design, use of color theory, and gameplay (for what it is).

  30. NukeLord says:

    Jetpacks, aliens, cartoonish landscape, base defense, big guns, switching between third/first person, coop/squads…sounds a lot like Giants to me.

    Though perhaps without the humour and more shooting, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since Giants didn’t quite hold up to it’s level of humour with the actual gameplay.

  31. loGi says:

    So is this a MMO or a Co-op experience like Borderlands?

    • Droniac says:

      It seems to be a co-op MMOFPS. Sort of like Tabula Rasa with its wide open world that has hundreds of players walking about who are all allied, or a Borderlands with hundreds of players.

      There will be PvP as well, but the way they’re talking about it being geared for competitive play it sounds like that will be cordoned off into separate arenas or something.

  32. baldie says:

    for some reason it reminded me of giants citisen kabuto! a good thing!

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    Chaz says:

    Oh wow, I need to get a new PC.

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    Phinor says:

    Love the concept and potential, truly hate the cell shading and art style. Or in other words, if the gameplay is top notch, I can overlook the silly graphics.

  35. Zwebbie says:

    I’d like to point out to various people that if it’s not shaded in cells, it’s not cell shading. Just saying!

    • Orange Required says:

      THANKYOU. Finally, somebody.

      You are perfectly welcome to say “I’ve had enough of this cartoon-style rendering!” but we really haven’t had many cel-shaded games in a very very long time.

      I do rather love the looks of this, even if the enemies are most astonishingly uninspired designs I’ve seen in a while, even for sci-fi bugs. It feels like the Silent Cartographer level of the original Halo, except bigger. I am perfectly happy with this feel.

  36. Toby says:

    Looks pretty cool actually. I’m just not a fan of the character models, their suits look ridiculous.

  37. Quests says:

    It looked good right before the character started farming useless bugs for i dunnno what reason.

    • Orange Required says:

      Hmm? I’m pretty sure he was protecting the “thumper”, as per his mission.

  38. Tei says:

    Is like Borderlands and Planetside has a swwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwet sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet child.

    I love this very much. And want this now!

  39. Tei says:

    Crystite *dance* MULE MULE MULE MULE!!!!!

  40. Quests says:

    It’s amazing how boring i find PvE in online games. The video depressed me with thoughts of “addictive” typical gear pimping gameplay. Yuck.

    Also i fucking hate jungles, gimme deserts and other barren clear places.

    And finally i wanna decide my activities, online games should be completely run by players.

  41. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    This looks very much my sort of thing, Triborderlands is a damn good idea as far as I’m concerned.

  42. Bluebottle says:

    Environment design and art style look stunning, but I didn’t see near enough soaring through the air at break-neck speeds for me to think it’ll scratch that Tribes itch fully. The combat, and enemies, looked a little…flat, too.

  43. Jake says:

    Looks great to me, Borderlands is a good gameplay model. I prefer Borderland’s graphics to Firefall’s graphics (neither of which are cel shaded), but Firefall looks pretty great as well and the game world looks huge. Some of the first person shooting looked a tiny bit off to me, like maybe the bullet trajectory doesn’t match the angle of the gun or something? Maybe the sound effects were a bit flat, something just seemed lacking.

    The FAQ on the official forums says that the game will be out end of 2011, free to download, no sub, supported by microtransactions that: ‘will offer players items to enhance their gaming experience. We are adamantly against selling anything that might compromise the skill-based aspect of the game.’ So maybe that means vehicles, customisation etc? Can’t really complain if the game is free otherwise.

    • Freud says:

      It is a nice idea to not have the microtransitions effect anything important. Then reality sets in. Most people are free riders and happily go on playing without the thought of playing. Company realize they don’t have a proper revenue stream and are forced to take drastic measures. Such as selling the best weapons. Then you have a whole debate about from the free players about how they have been betrayed. It has happened over and over again in the past (Allods, BF: Heroes) and it will most likely happen here too.

      The idea that you are able to support a game purely through a small portion of the player base paying for non-essential things is naive.

    • Jake says:

      Yeah I see what you mean. I think though that as the game has no sub and no retail price we can be a bit more forgiving, because if they change the shop purchases later on you can drop the game without feeling too cheated. I do wonder what micro transactions they will have that will be so appealing to finance seemingly a high budget game like this. I’d guess things like vehicles, avatar design – maybe housing or something? It would have to really play on the ‘I’m a gaming pariah unless I buy a shiny new item’ market. Obviously if it is top tier items and weapons it is far less acceptable, but from the sounds of it they don’t want this.

      Plus, as long as you don’t end up paying too much in micro transactions you can just equate that to retail cost I guess, then it sort of becomes a pay-what-you-feel game. I am cautiously optimistic I suppose.

    • Freud says:

      In the worst case scenario you can treat the game like a big demo, so you get to know what you are supposed to buy before you spend money. So it’s not all bad.

    • DrGonzo says:

      To be fair Allods have changed a lot since the complaints and it’s not too bad now.

    • Freud says:

      I think the big problem with something like the debacle with Allods is that they lose a big portion of the player base when they after a while decide they need more money, which may mess it up quite a bit for those that actually play. So in the end it might be better to be upfront with players from the start and let the community build more steadily.

      That said, the developers behind Allods went about it pretty clumsily too. I am sure others in the industry watch and learn.

    • Wulf says:

      See, stuff like this makes me wish they’d just slap a price on the box, and have a collector’s edition with some useless but fun and neat tat in, that way they could make money off that, and then they could start working on more content, to release as expansions with a similar amount of content to the original game, for a similar price. And then they could have an item shop which offers cosmetic things which don’t have any effect on the game, and this would sustain them between expansion packs.

      Basically, the Guild Wars model. I’d be so into this if they’d give that a try, and I’m going to give it a look anyway. It’s just a shame that they don’t do a buy-the-box-to-play business model instead. The problem with F2P MMOs really is that there’s not a clear indicator of how much I need to spend in the item shop to be viable, it could eventually end up being the price of four games over. Whereas with a buy-the-box model I know exactly what I’m paying and what I will be paying in the future.

      Still, for all my misgivings, with a system of charging for the expansions it might actually all work out okay! I’ll have to wait and see.

  44. Wulf says:

    D-do I see colour there? It’s mostly flat and sand-ish, but… do I actually see some vibrancy? This might actually be worth a look, that first screenshot was a bit misleading since it looks really washed out, but the video looks a lot better. Some nice colour, cell-shading, an obviously alien planet with alien plantlife (YES!), a rather heavy stylistic approach…

    Colour me (pun not intended?) intrigued and perhaps a little cautiously optimistic.

    Hm, with this, Brink, and Bulletstorm, are we finally beginning to see a paradigm shift, here? Could Western games end up as colourful and interesting looking as they did in the 90’s, and as much so as Asian games? Guild Wars 2 is colourful and odd as well, which is one of the reasons I love it. Other reasons include the beast race present, which is awesome for many reasons (including them having tech and industry that the humans don’t, doo dee doo). But yes, one of the major reasons I dig Guild Wars 2 is because it’s sooo pretty.

    This looks kind of pretty too, which is… interesting.

    Very, very interesting.

    I think I might want this. And if there’s an alien forest in there, then I think I might want this a lot.

    The only thing that bothers me is that it’s Free-to-Play, which could mess with the game’s structure and turn it into a grindfest where you have to buy stuff from an item store. If it’s similar to Guild Wars’ model though, of pay once and then you’re good, with no item shop purchases necessary (just some fun fluff and unnecessary but fun services on there), then I’m all for it.

  45. Premium User Badge

    Flimgoblin says:

    Wow, nice.

    “Dredge”? was it? needs a better early warning system though :p “enemies incoming” usually doesn’t mean “enemies already flooding the streets”.

  46. goodgimp says:

    Sorry, but I was bored three times over watching that video. And it has nothing to do with Tribes (gameplay), regardless of who designed it.

  47. DrGonzo says:

    Didn’t look anything like Tribes to me. Looked exactly like Borderlands with Jetpacks. Which is awesome. So I’m not sure why the Tribes comparison was needed.

  48. moosh says:

    Didn’t I see that they were also making money out of the expansions?
    I’m happy with paying an expansion once or twice a year if I still enjoy the game, and if its optional, even better.

    there’s also a lot of fun they could have with expansions, progressing stories, introducing new stuff, kit, weapons etc, new environments, forms of interaction… ( I’ve player eve for agreement years!)

    personally very excited by it.

  49. Navagon says:

    There must be some bare looking trees judging by the amount of sticks up people’s arses.

    The game looks good. Who cares if it’s not identical to a developer’s back catalogue?

    • Wulf says:

      I’m personally just happy that it looks pretty, and will likely try it for that reason alone.

      More pretty games, please.

    • pupsikaso says:

      /facepalm. You are the reason why the industry is rocketing into the gutter. Surrender your wallets, NAO!

    • Navagon says:

      @ pupsikaso
      It’s free. Although given the barren state of my wallet I suppose that amounts to the same thing.

      Anyway, just because I don’t care if this isn’t a carbon copy of the developer’s previous efforts doesn’t mean that I don’t have standards. With strategy, management and RPG games I want bags of depth. With games like this I want it to be a blast playing it, and it looks like it would be.

  50. Barton says:

    Wussup wasappenin’?

    • Wulf says:

      If that game doesn’t have a waazzzaaaaap emote, I will be disappointed.

      I mean, imagine, two space marines standing around spamming that back and forth.

      Yay for absurdity!