Given that Battlefield 3 and Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 and all your hopes and dreams are hitting right this very second, it's easy to get caught up in the moment. There are, however, other games coming in the future. And not just any future, but the kind with jetpacks - which is, of course, the best kind. My proof? Well, this incredible new Firefall trailer, for one. Sure, it's mostly standard 'splodey death from above (and every other conceivable direction), but it's making both my long-dormant WoW and Tribes addictions flare up something fierce. So long, Life!
Red 5 Studios
A few weeks ago we introduced Mark Kern's "Circle of Suck." But we also talked to the Red 5 dev about the difficulties of creating a free to play MMO. Turns out it's pretty damn difficult.
"I think there are horrible ways to implement free-to-play" said Mark.
"You’ve got to understand that for a lot of these large publishers, it’s very hard for them to comprehend how free-to-play would work and to take the risk of doing free-to-play with an AAA game."
The Red 5 developer says that too much greed can break the model: "They’re under the mentality that everybody must pay; no-one gets a free ride. And so you get these warped models like, 'buy the box, pay a subscription, we’ll give you in-game advertising and you have to buy microtransactions or sell power all at the same time.' That doesn’t really work."
In an interview with Shacknews, Red 5 CEO Mark Kern has revealed that Firefall will feature MMO style pets available in game. "When's the last time you heard about a shooter with pets?" said Kern. "Not only can you get a pet, but we're thinking that there's actually an item you can buy in the store to load your gun with special ammunition so you actually shoot the other guy's pet. Shooting someone's pet will 'despawn' it for a little while.
It's not clear exactly what advantages this petsecution will grant you, but it'll certainly annoy the the owner. The first special pet will be available to unlock tomorrow as part of Firefall's ongoing beta, in a promotion called 'the crystallite challenge' and will be based on a character from a Penny Arcade strip called 'The Merch'. Using a character created as a parody of aggressive merchandising to promote your micro-transaction based game is a daring move but Kern seems upbeat, saying "The Merch is awesome because he's all about merchandising and he fits with our item-based theme."
Firefall is slated for release in December. If you're interested, check out our Firefall preview.
Firefall looks more exciting every time a new video is released. The latest trailer on IGN shows how players' gargantuan jetpacks can spawn glowing wings of energy that let them soar over the MMO's vast redstone landscapes. It's easy to forget Firefall will be free to play when you watch a team launch themselves off a cliff and dive bomb a battlefield. Find out more about Firefall in our preview.
The devs have also recorded a new diary on Firefall's sound design. Many of the sounds they create have unusual origins. Check out the video below for footage of a man breaking a hammer over a pumpkin.
A new dev diary introduces writer Orson Scott Card as a collaborator on massively multiplayer shooter, Firefall. The science fiction author is most famous for the novel, Ender's Game, but has turned his hand to game writing recently with Xbox Live Arcade title, Shadow Complex. While it was hard to detect any sort of plot in that game, Firefall is set in a new vision of Earth which has been invaded by a mysterious race known as The Chosen, and is beset by a deadly energy cloud called The Melding. Players must travel between protected cities and battle the Chosen in awesome upgradeable jetpacks. Find out more in our Firefall preview, and watch this trailer for more footage of Firefall in action. It's due out later this year.
The ex-team lead for World of Warcraft and the lead designer for Tribes, among other bright sparks, are behind this jetpack-fuelled third person, first person shooter. This Firefall trailer does funny things to Rich. He starts jumping up and down whenever we play this trailer. It shows a gruff desert dude and his friend heading out to a "crystite" deposit, calling down a big mining thing from orbit, and defending it from bug things. It switches from first person to third person on the fly, and there are rocket launchers, and a big dropship that they fly around. It looks better than the zoo.