Funky, Funky Firefall

By Alec Meer on August 2nd, 2011 at 5:36 pm.

I'm relieved that there will still be pylons in the future

Unhinged, semi-airborne shooter Firefall, which looks a bit like Borderlands meets Tribes meets Brink meets WoW meets Unreal Tournament, has only gone and done the new trailer thing. It is fun to watch! It is also Firefall’s first big show of footage since announcing contentious author Orson Scott Card would be writing this sorta-MMO’s story. But never mind that: this trailer has some remarkably upbeat music. It has some grand views. It has a giant spider-robot. It has men and women flying over vast terrain. Terrain! Music to any PC gamer’s soul.

Can I play as the guy who says “I will kill you!” and “I will crush you!”? He sounds like my kind of guy.

There’s also this, in which a man in a hat and another man in spectacles talk about the game’s and music. Which presumably includes the tight electro-funk of the previous trailer.

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59 Comments »

  1. Orija says:

    When will devs realize that we aren’t the least bit interested in looking at them while they do their talky-talky things?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      it’s the same guys, who think the shot we really want to see in porn, is of a guy’s face making some stupid joke.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      When will people realise that they don’t need to watch behind the scenes/dev diaries if they don’t like them?

      I’m quite interesting in seeing the people behind the games; who they are, what they do. I voraciously watch dvd video extras for the same reason. I’m fairly sure there are a fair amount of other people who are interested too.

    • BunnyPuncher says:

      I assume that dev diaries are a good way ot hook people into a game – the more time people spend thinking about the game the more likely they are to buy it. Plus weak willed souls will feel “involved” and attatch themselves emotionally to the game.

    • Aankhen says:

      Sinomatic: I tried to vote your comment up, but I couldn’t find the thumb icons.

      Oh, oops, wrong site. I was wondering how come there was so much punctuation today.

  2. President Weasel says:

    Boo! Orson Scott Card! Boo!

    • UnravThreads says:

      Agreed. Don’t support this game!

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, I was hyped about this game going by first impressions. It’s colourful, and I dig colourful. It’s got interesting gameplay mechanics, and I dig interesting gameplay mechanics. But they had to get him of all writers to handle the plot for this. I’m expecting some sort of nonsensical diatribe about how the human race has gone completely homophobic and why that’s okay in there. That would ruin the game for me, so I’m simply not going to bother.

      And yeah, he’s become worse over time, so I really wouldn’t put it past the current day OSC to do that. For those wondering what we’re rambling about, this article sums up the sorry state of affairs fairly well.

    • Unaco says:

      Disagreed. If we knew the Politics and opinions of everyone involved in a game, we’d probably all be able to find something objectionable about some of them… and then we’d have to avoid all games. OSC’s writing might be bad, but he doesn’t bring his agenda into his work… this isn’t going to be a Homophobic, intolerant, bigoted game. His personal opinions are not relevant to his work, and aren’t relevant to the game.

    • Unaco says:

      @Wulf,
      You keep saying that the game will be an Homophobic diatribe… I think you even said in a previous comment thread that people with agendas always bring those agendas into their (creative) work. Do you have any evidence that OSC brings his agenda into his creative work? That he is bringing it into this game? What about for other games and designers and political and personal positions and beliefs? Do ‘Furries’ ALWAYS bring their agenda into video games? If I object to certain parts of the ‘Furry’ culture, should I then avoid anything to which a ‘Furry’ contributed? What about Anarchists? I have a problem with the Anarchist philosophy… should I then avoid anything to which an Anarchist has contributed, even if it has nothing to do with Anarchism?

      What about Homosexuals? A few decades ago a lot of people started crying that “homosexuals would bring their agenda into everything they touch”… they wanted to stop homosexuals teaching, because they would bring their ‘agenda’ into the classroom. They didn’t want homosexuals in the Church, because they would corrupt it with their ‘homosexual agenda’. It wasn’t fair then, and it isn’t fair now… Someone’s personal opinions and positions can remain separate from their professional work.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Yeah, I’m gay and I personally don’t care what he thinks about gay rights. As long as he writes a good video game, I say hire him. Of course, if he turns the game into a thinly veiled allegory for how evil gays are, then I might be angry. But dude wrote Ender’s Game, so he gets a bit of a pass from me (plus he’s Mormon. Which means he was essentially raised in a mind control cult which brainwashed him into believing that gays are evil, so I’m not sure if he can help that entirely).

      Although, I would be more worried about him simply because (like many writers do) he seems to have burned out in recent years. His best ideas and best writing are long behind him, I think, so I’m not sure if he has it in him to write a good video game at this point.

    • Danarchist says:

      Hard call for me, I absolutely hate bigots and this guy is their grand pubah. On the other hand he is not the only guy involved in this game and it seems unfair to punish everyone else involved in development. Granted hes a giant tool, but hes a hugo and nebula award winning tool. Seriously if i boycotted everything that was created with the help of a small minded bigot I would never be able to purchase anything made in Texas.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      @Danarchist: Would you say that you are . . . bigoted against bigots? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

      @Juan Carlo: Disagreeing with the views of the Mormon church is fair enough, but calling them a mind control cult which brainwashes people is a little hyperbolic.

    • UnravThreads says:

      @Juan Carlo:
      “Yeah, I’m gay and I personally don’t care what he thinks about gay rights.”
      How about what he does about gay rights? He doesn’t just sit there on his high horse, he actively tries to restrict the rights and abilities of homosexual people, for no reason other than the fact they’re gay.
      Thinking something is one thing, but trying to actively destroy lives of people for being themselves? It’s barbaric.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      The tolerance paradox is bullshit because it misreads “tolerance” as “anarchy,” which, it isn’t. Tolerance is not “anything goes” or “tolerance of all things, even intolerance.” Tolerance does not mean that you have to tolerate all actions, even getting robbed at gun point, or burning Jews, or what have you.

      I, for example, am perfectly tolerant of anti-gay people. If that’s what they want to believe, then God bless them. As long as they leave me alone, I won’t try to change their minds. I even don’t mind if they express their views or try to proselytize–that’s just an opportunity for discussion and debate. However, I will not be tolerant of them putting their beliefs into action in such a way that it forces them on people who don’t want to share those beliefs–especially when this comes to the law. So, for example, if they want to believe that homosexuality should be illegal (as Scott Card does) that’s fine. But the minute they try to actually pass a law I will fight them. And it’s not intolerant of me to fight their intolerance in such a situation.

      “Disagreeing with the views of the Mormon church is fair enough, but calling them a mind control cult which brainwashes people is a little hyperbolic.”

      Well, I think all culture is a brainwashing cult, so I’m not necessarily treating Mormons in any special regard. Culture is like growing up on a pig farm You are never going to smell the shit or even be aware of the smell unless you leave, and even then, the smell of shit will always be “home” to you no matter how far away you wander. So, like I said, I cut lots of people slack when it comes to bizarre views they have simply because of their religious or unique cultural up bringing. It’s not necessarily their fault they grew up on a pig farm.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      @UnravThreads

      I’m not saying Scott Card’s political agenda shouldn’t be actively fought (it very much should be), just that I don’t think his political agenda changes the fact that Ender’s Game is a good book. Nor do I think that it impedes his ability to write a good video game.

      If I was making a video game and I liked his story proposal I wouldn’t have a problem hiring him.

    • Unaco says:

      @UnravThreads,

      That is what he does in his PRIVATE and PERSONAL life, but it doesn’t encroach on his PROFESSIONAL work. I reckon that what someone does in their spare time, on their own dime shouldn’t have an impact on how we view their professional work. I work with some people who are quite strict Muslims… they think alcohol should be illegal in the UK, that Pork etc should be illegal. I don’t agree with that, and think those sorts of views are objectionable. Does that mean I dismiss their PROFESSIONAL work?

      Basically what Juan Carlo says. His abhorrent views and his work are separate.

    • PFlute says:

      The unfortunate fact of the matter is that giving money to Firefall will, essentially, count as monetary support for their decision to contract/hire OSC. It is reinforcing that decision. Even if he doesn’t get a dime, there’s essentially the business message that hiring OSC is a good idea. And OSC has demonstrated that he will actively use his own wealth to fight to infringe upon the rights of homosexuals.

      Still not sure what I’m going to do. The game still looks interesting. I guess I could donate to charity if I do any micro-transactions? Not that things work tit-for-tat like that, but.

      @ The idea that people who try to diminish the rights of others should go politically and financially unchallenged as if they held just another opinion: lol

    • kikito says:

      @Jamison Dance: Brainwashing is the main principle behind *any* religion.

    • Malk_Content says:

      @PFlute. Its okay the game is free to play, so we can enjoy it and not give him money!

    • PFlute says:

      @Malk_Content: Right! Heck, if you never pay for anything, you’re practically just eating server space/bandwidth! Of course, you might still be making the game fun for other players, and therefor encouraging them to spend money.

      So the obvious answer is to play the game a lot and troll like there’s no tomorrow!

      …I don’t like this answer.

    • C Ellis says:

      I won’t support this game because of Orson Scott Card’s crazy. I get it’s not practical to boycott everything on the planet that someone produces or makes because you may disagree with them. Hell, I’m sure glad I have electricity and I’m pretty sure I could find a racist guy working somewhere between the coal mine and my bathroom socket. Should I shun the usage of electricity or tube-socks or what have you? It would be impossible to survive in a meaningful manner, and my wife would be very angry something quick if I acted in that manner.

      Card makes his money with words and spreads his hate with words, he should be punished for his words. They call him “Uncle Orson” in their posts and pretty much talk him up as a selling point, so yes, I will refuse to do business with them even though I’m fairly certain Red five doesn’t have a policy of hate towards gay or lesbians folks. I like Red Five studio too, they’re plucky and I dig the art direction of the game so I was looking forward to giving it a whirl. Will it make a difference that I do not play their game, not one bit, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

    • Wozzle says:

      I doubt it will be full of any homophobic stuff, in fact I’d be surprised if it acknowledged homosexuals at all.

      But I won’t be supporting anything by that hack.

    • Kdansky says:

      Can one be a homophobe and a decent engineer? Certainly, as long as you do not develop sex toys, because building a car has nothing to do with it.

      Can you be a good writer and a homophobe? That is a lot more difficult, as writing stories and characters will always draw on your world-views.

      They should get someone else to write for it.

    • BAshment says:

      @KdanskyI doubt character’s sexual orientation will be a big part of firefall’s story so I see no problem with him writing it.
      I also think it would be interesting for the issue to be tackled in a game story in the future and think his point of view could be put in a creative way into a story. Just because someone is a bigoted person in your opinion you should not dismiss their work.

    • medwards says:

      Lengthy argument == Orson Scott Card in. I’m out.

      As a public figure he isn’t held to the same standard as some engineer in a corner. More to the point his (more recent) writing reflects a broader bias than brazen homophobia. See the treatment of the American ‘left’ in Empire. There is the obvious dig that they are prepared to mount an insurrection and assassinate the President, but subtle digs in which all the main characters who oppose the uprising represent good social values but the opposition is always crazy. I loved Ender’s Game but I was done with actively supporting him awhile back, and I’m now more than prepared to be uninterested in releases that plaster his name on them.

  3. wccrawford says:

    The whole time, I was like, “Okay, now announce that it’s free-to-play, or at least doesn’t have an up-front cost for the disc…” And of course, they did say it was free-to-play at the end! Yay! :D Looks like a pretty neat game.

  4. skyturnedred says:

    Been looking forward to this for a while now. I understand it will be free-to-play, so I’m wondering how they will make money with this. Hats?

  5. CaspianRoach says:

    Looks pretty. Wonder if it plays pretty though.

  6. ResonanceCascade says:

    Where did all the wacky PC-exclusive shooters magically appear from? It’s like we finally hit the pinata this year!

    Not complaining.

  7. Arona Daal says:

    Bit too much Anime/Cartoon Aestethics for my Scifi-Taste,

    but:

    Seems to have FPS/TPS Choice,
    Almost no Neon Stripes on Armor,
    no “Evil Glowing Eyes” Clichee,
    no “Plasmagun which shoots slow Neonblobs of slight Hp reduction”,
    + Jumppacks AND Gliding?

    That could be damn good!

  8. rawtheory says:

    Sooo into supporting this game just to counter the politically correct liberal crowd that dominate this site. If but really, if it blows there’s plenty other games available to play.

    • C Ellis says:

      I suppose you could just man up and go commit some sort of hate crime to show us you mean business, that would teach us not to share your views. Always the victim, you poor thing you.

    • Kdansky says:

      It sure is horrible that the “crowd that dominates the site” does not have views fit for the 15th century any more! If only there were more racists, homophobes and religious nutcases, then everything would be so much better.

      There is a vast gulf between political correctness and living in the past.

  9. FakeAssName says:

    well, Hi-Rez is fucked …

    outside of the OSC (Oh, Suck a Cock) issue, this game looks like the shiz-nic!

    but how many games look like that in the pre-release trailers? time will tell if this lives up to that video.

    • Reefpirate says:

      I don’t understand the Hi-Rez hate… I still go back and play GA pretty often, and their servers always seem to be as busy as when I last left. Just because Firefall has JETPACKS doesn’t automatically make it a Hi-Rez killer…

    • FakeAssName says:

      it’s a Hi-Rez killer because it stomps what they have been able to do like a bug. Hi-rez has got some good character design artists (talking about the basic armor sets, not the stupid flar heads) but their level designs are quite crappy, on top of which they don’t do a damned thing to expand on the basic game play features that come packed in the UE3 engine … GA is like a really cool Unreal mod than it is it’s own stand alone game.

      what they are doing with tribes is no different to my eyes, just that it’s in first person this time so the game can run a bit faster thanks to not having to draw the player character in high detail at all times: other than that it looks like just another UE clone (albeit with a higher jump rate and Tribes skins).

      *shrug* too little, too late is how I think of Hi-Rez; they have used up all their slack for being independent of a big publisher by constantly under performing and reneging on their promises despite taking peoples money on a product that they have reformatted three times since it was released.

    • aethereal says:

      I played Firefall at PAX East, and I used to play GA. Firefall FEELS far more like a shooter does than GA does. Theres no taking 20 sniper shots at some guy because headshots dont exist and he’s wearing thick armor. Its much faster paced.
      As long as they fix the small handful of glitches they had at the demo, I will be very happy.

    • oasisisthewin says:

      What the hell are you smoking? This looks massively inferior to Tribes Ascend. Firefall looks like Gears of War with jetpacks and pink armor. The jetpacks really seem very limited too, I want to manuever, I want to ski. Its going to be a slow game. All movement looks really clunky, maybe thats a product of the terrible character design. It just doesn’t look fluid at all. All the weapons look exactly the same, some gigantic particle effect. I had hopes for this but I’m steadily growing more disappointed as time goes on.

  10. Brise Bonbons says:

    I’m liking the looks and the noise I’m hearing out of Tribes: Ascend more at this stage, but Firefall looks like it could definitely be a solid entry into the F2P shooter market. Unfortunately, I’m really not impressed by the PvE aspects…

    Firstly, the “encounter design” they’ve shown for PvE just looks bland – like middle of the road FPS “shoot a few guys and then another wave comes in, and then oh man that boss is big“. This when we have both a new Serious Sam coming soon, as well as Red Orchestra 2. To keep my interest, you’d better show me something unique in your gunplay or scale or AI design, or something.

    Secondly, I’m done killing bugs and robots. Every game, it’s bugs and robots, bugs and robots. It’s like those are the only things that might ever decide humans are pretty crappy and need to die. At least Rage and SS3:BFE have some bloody bipeds to shoot.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Close… It’s either bugs, robots, zombies or arabs/foreigner insurgents.

    • molten_tofu says:

      Agree 100%. I remember playing Crysis for the first time without really paying attention to the hype before hand about the plot – the first 1/4 was fun! And I blacked out the rest.

  11. Jake says:

    Boom Sim is basically the best possible name a sound designer could have.

    I don’t really get this sort of trailer though. These guys seem perfectly lovely but I have just no desire to hear them talk about their game, I would like to see their game sure, but at the moment all I am doing is skipping around the video trying to find bits where they aren’t talking. And they talk over gameplay footage as well, they even talk over the sound effects they are talking about.

    (I’ve just noticed there are two videos, and one is a very nice trailer with no talking. FINE).

    • tungstenHead says:

      The talking heads can be fascinating. There’s a definite sort of mesmerizing quality to documentary videos that works on some people. I find Foley captivating. I like knowing where the sound effects actually come from and how they generate that noise, because it’s absolutely not what you’d expect unless you’re familiar with the form. You know the sound of a breaking limb, but to find out it’s twisted celery is a larf. It’s neat in that sort of “where your groceries really come from” way.

      Further, I’m a bit of a creative person and hearing what motivates people and what their subtle goals are is interesting. I know everyone says the same cliche things when they’re sat in front of a camera like this, but there’s some nuance here and there that can be very curious and every so often there’s a person who’s so wonderfully off the wall that they bring a real charm or even a new perspective. You don’t always get to hear from people “in the trenches” on works like games with large staffs, so it’s nice to hear why they love working with these other people and where they want it to go.

      These talking head videos exist because people love their jobs and want to tell people about it. They allow viewers to live vicariously through the developers for a few minutes and cement a bit of loyalty towards the studio.

      This video isn’t necessary, absolutely, but it’s incidentally intriguing and if you want to watch a Foley video about games, this is one with pumpkins and hammers. Maybe I’m a bit optimistic or naive in that I’m willing to enjoy this, but I did and I got value out of it. Not everyone needs to find value in everything, but you ought to take what you can get.

  12. Turin Turambar says:

    Looks pretty good. I remember how one year ago was looking a bit mediocre, but they have polished up the game.

  13. Jibb Smart says:

    More games should go for this sort of visual style. Hardly anyone noticed that Borderlands was as dodgy as DNF in terms of animation and entity-world interaction, simply because an intentionally unrealistic style stops such issues from being jarring.

    Similarly, there’s some below average animation along with some poor programming mixing it together in this video, but it doesn’t take away from the loveliness of the game’s look because of the stylised approach.

  14. Jayson82 says:

    Does anyone even care about the story in one of these types of games? Give me a zappy gun and a person/bug/giant robot spider to shoot and ill be happy and leave the story to thouse who care.

  15. Tei says:

    I am looking forward for this game. Mostly because of the dynamic missions, open world, loot collecting… adding a fast travel system (sliding) is just another great thing to it.
    I don’t really like much how the overal game look. Maybe somewhat undetailed, low res graphics, and not perfect animations. But this is a lowres youtube video. And I will be theres for the open world dynamic missioning, and fun things :D

  16. NoobCybot says:

    Looks like Global Agenda

  17. gwathdring says:

    Damn, I hadn’t realized until now just how pretty this game can look. Especially with the flight wings. Definitely going to try it out.

    But what is with the flash-of-leg armor? To be fair, the only character that has it is the female Assault. On the other hand … she has the absolutely enormous boots that, surely, to move around must need to be part of a strength enhancing exo-skeleton like in the male model … right? Her poor knee-caps.

    And http://www.firefallthegame.com/. Really? Really now? I can think of reasons you’d want a flap there, but made of glass?

  18. down1nit says:

    Anyone wondering, the artist is Pretty Lights. He releases all his music for free on his website. Good stuff that!

  19. Skusey says:

    I wasn’t expecting much from this, but that first trailer looks funky as all hell. And it’s, at least partly, free! So I’ll play this. Regarding Orson’s vile opinions, as long as they don’t seep into the game then I’m ok with supporting it.

  20. Dawngreeter says:

    In the futuristic war-torn world of Firefall, the soldiers might be flying into battle but the fairies are outlawed. Orson Scott Card explained that huge, monstrous robotic spiders are what can be expected in the year 2100 if gay marriage isn’t banned. “I wanted to show people the reality of their affront to God, who loves jatpacks and hates teh buttsecks. Unless the butt is female.”

    If the players are successful, the MMO should finish in a glorious triumph of heterosexuality which shall return man to the garden of Eden where everyone will have a jetpack and no male will have a butt.