50 MMOs in 50 Days #19: Firefall

Last played: 2014
Experience: Very Minimal

Firefall is a game I want to both love and hate, and I can’t do either.

I love the concept of an open-world shooter with lots to do, and who wouldn’t? I got an hour-long private conversation with now-president of Red 5 Studios, James Macauley, at PAX Prime 2012, and he showed me an eye-popping set of features, from adventuring to PvP to crafting, and these weren’t just “drawing board” ideas or hype – they were actually in the beta version of the game. It all sounded so good.

My hands-on interaction with the game has been less rosy. But this is one case where I don’t know that my experience is really indicative of anything.

Firefall-3Some of you might have seen my disastrous stream from a few weeks ago, where I missed the exact moment to progress in the tutorial and had to start it over. Then, after getting killed by a descending thumper, there was no indication of where to go to continue the main quest. I’ve realized that I had the same issue in one of Firefall‘s previous incarnations, seemingly fighting with the UI and quest log to figure out where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do. In beta, I might have lived with that. In live, I’m less forgiving.

I’m also cognizant of the fact that I don’t have the twitch reflexes of some people when it comes to shooters, which is why I never play a scout in Team Fortress 2 or Light Assault in PlanetSide 2. Two dimensions are enough for me, thank you very much, and the fact that everyone has a jetpack to cruise around with in Firefall is a gameplay feature I’ll never be comfortable with.

And then there are all the very well-publicized issues that Red 5 Studios had with Firefall‘s development, and after a while I just got weary of keeping up with them. I’ve started over three times in the game so far, and with the third one now bombing for me, I just don’t have it in me to keep caring. I don’t even feel like filing a bug report to deal with my advancement issues. It’s just easier to walk away.

But I know a lot of people still like the game, and I still read about how great the final product is. It probably is a decent game, and I’m not going to go out of my way to trash it. I think my experience is atypical, but in the world of gaming, F2P gaming especially, it’s ridiculously easy for people to find reasons not to play something they aren’t 100% invested in and just move on to something else. That’s what happened to me with Firefall; your mileage may vary. I hope you have a great time.

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2 Responses to 50 MMOs in 50 Days #19: Firefall

  1. zax19taken says:

    I play Firefall on and off, mainly because I enjoy the combat. It went through several big changes, the crafting was simplified and the levelling and classes changed a lot. What’s weird is that when there was very little power creep I had no incentive to craft better equipment, now it’s back to a big power creep so the enemies scale in power, you do to, in low level locations you get scaled down to a similar level and better items are a necessity. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Also the game is a huge memory hog and not very well optimised so there is that.

    • jasonwinter says:

      I know it went through several big changes, I just lost interest in keeping up. When your company keeps saying, “This is the best game ever! No wait, that sucked, THIS is the best game ever! No, wait, THAT sucked, now we’re the best game ever!” I just stop believing it.

      From what I’ve read, a lot of that was due to their clueless egomaniac of a president, who’s no longer there, but the fact that their first 20 minutes bugged out on me not once, but twice, just leads me to think they still don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t care enough to try again.

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