Exclusive Review: Firefall’s Open Beta

Recently gone into open beta after a quite long closed beta period, Firefall is an interesting project developed by Red 5 Studios. The game combines the fast-paced action of First-Person and Third-Person-Shooter MMOs with a persistent MMORPG-like open world and a complete PvP section which will be launched as an eSport with regular tournaments and cash prizes.

Moreover, developers have assured that there won't be any character wipes, so you can start playing without worrying about losing your beloved character. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Then follow us to discover together if the game is worth your time.

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As in many MMO games, the first thing to do in Firefall is to create your character. Sadly, you'll realize soon enough that they could have spent some more time in the development of this aspect of the game. Compared to the character creation systems of other modern games, Firefall's one feels quite old and bland, offering just a few preset faces, hairstyles, hair and eyes colors. There are also some cosmetic accessoires such as glasses, masks and more, but only a couple of them are free, the rest has to be bought with the premium currency.

Once in the game, you will be able to change your character's appearance through some terminals which work exactly like the character creator, offering some more premium options and the basic ones for free. The character creation system could certainly be better, but remember that Firefall is mainly a shooter, and you will probably be too busy filling your enemies with bullets to admire your avatar's pretty face -  so maybe we can forgive this, can't we?

Having finished the character creation, you will be welcomed by a quick tutorial session, explaining the basic controls like moving, shooting and flying (yes, the game has jetpacks! Yay!) and introducing you to one of the main Firefall features: the Battleframes.

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In Firefall, your character is not bound to any particular class; the role you want to cover is only determined by which Battleframe you are currently wearing. Advanced hi-tech exoskeletons, Battleframes can be equipped with different weapons and gadgets, giving you access to different skills and weapons. It's important to notice that you can freely change between them at any moment by accessing a Battleframe Station, which are usually found in cities and outposts.

Each Battleframe has to be upgraded independently through another device named the Battleframe garage, using XP and crystals obtained by killing enemies and participating in activities such as dynamic missions and events. While crystals are items stored in your inventory that can be used in many ways, experience points are bound to the particular Battleframe you were using while gaining them. Thus, you can't use XP you've earned with the Recon Battleframe, for example, to upgrade the Assault.

There are 5 different Battleframe types at the moment: Assault, Recon, Dreadnaught, Biotech, and Engineer. Each one comes in 3 variations: a standard one available for free from the beginning and two others that have to be unlocked through gameplay or premium currency. Each Battleframe has its very own skillset and playstyle and can moreover be customized with paints, patterns and decals, but again, if you don't want to use real money, you can only choose from a very limited selection.

We think this original progression system is very interesting and intriguing, as players are not forced to create alts in order to try different roles, weapons and playstyles; they can really get attached to their character that can be anything by just switching to the desired Battleframe at any moment.

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Once decided which Battleframe to use first, it's time to start your adventure in the world of New Eden, a futuristic Earth struggling against the invasion of an alien race: The Chosen. If you are an avid MMORPG player, the first thing you'll notice is that there isn't any shiny exclamation mark on NPCs' heads, resulting in ending up wondering: "And now? What can I do? Where I'm supposed to go?"

The answer is simple: Apart from some guided basic tutorial missions the only purpose of which is to show how to collect resources and change and upgrade Battleframes, there are no quests in Firefall - or at least, not in the usual way you used to know. Featuring an open sandbox world, Firefall does not the usual quest rail that takes your hand to lead you through content. You have to explore the world, discover new zones, look for dynamic events which are happening on the map and choose to participate or not.

There are different kinds of events, such as Chosen invasions, ARES missions, data recovery, protection of resource collectors and more. They are open to anyone and will reward you with XP, tokens (which can be used to buy equipment), and resources. In order to view the events occurring in a zone, you first have to unlock that particular zone by reaching its SIN tower to synch with it. SIN towers are often surrounded by settlements or a cities which can also be taken from the Chosen during dynamic events. Players have to fight in order to protect or to take them back.

Moreover, cities like the starting city Copacabana have Power Levels that can be upgraded by players through putting Crystite Resonators into a device called Receptacle. This way, every single player can contribute to upgrade the city and unlock new vendors, new materials and bonuses for everyone.

While this free and more player-driven approach is rich of features, different and absolutely interesting, new or casual players, who have not read much about the game on forums and wikis, could be confused by the lack of directions as there is almost no explanation or guide for all these features. They could therefore jump to the wrong conclusion of "there is almost nothing to do in this game", when Firefall has, in fact, some really nice features to offer.

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The control system is basically the classic TPS/FPS of WASD + mouse, where the right click performs a secondary fire or an iron-sight/zoom depending on the weapon and the spacebar is used to jump and fly with your jet-pack. Pretty straightforward, highly responsive and effective. Once unlocked, you'll also have access to a secondary weapon and your Battleframe's four skills, which will appear on your numeric bar like in a classic MMORPG.

Moreover, we've really appreciated the opportunity to switch between first and third person by just clicking the mouse wheel which allows to choose your favorite point of view to make the fans of both FPS and TPS happy.

During our PvE adventures, we've tried several kinds of world events. They are usually fun and the mobs differ quite a lot in both aspect and difficulty, ranging from little insect-like monsters to attacking hordes the Chosen. Extremely fast-paced,the game feels and plays much like a good old-school shooter such as Quake or Unreal Tournament, which leads us to the PvP aspect of the game.

You can access the PvP queue through a terminal in the big cities or your personal menu, selecting one or more modes you want to queue for. There are the classic shooter modes such as Team Deathmatch, Sabotage (capture points mode), and Harvester (a capture & hold style mode) as well as a pretty unique one called Jetball, a futuristic sport that Red 5 apparently wants to push as one of the main eSport features of this game.

We've tried some Team Deathmatch and Sabotage matches and have to say that we were absolutely impressed. If the PvE in this game is fast-paced and fun, the PvP is frantic and highly addictive. Thanks to the game's extremely good and precise controls, we had a lot of fun killing and being killed by other players, trying to score a cool headshot while flying with our jetpack or trying to outmaneuver them by wisely using our Battleframe skills, for example the Recon's decoy & stealth ability to trick our enemies to ambush them or to retreat. It's also noticible that in PvP all your Battleframe skills are temporary unlocked in order to play a fair match even against veteran players. Good job, Red 5!

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Another important aspect is the gathering and crafting system that plays a major role in the whole Firefall experience. Basically almost every item, armor, Battleframe upgrade and vehicle is craftable. Even if you can buy some basic gear, after a while, the crafting will be the best opportunity to obtain new items and equipment. But first, you need to find and extract the resources from the terrain with a special hammer that scans the soil and a Thumper that can be summoned to extract the them.

However, the process will take some time during which you have to defend the Thumper from the monsters it attracts that will try to destroy it. You can dismiss it when you want, but the longer it stays, the more resources will be collected, until the maximum capacity is reached. Every player can help defending another player's Thumper to be rewarded with XP and resources as well.

As different areas contain different resources, it's up to the player to choose carefully where to drill in order to obtain the specific resources needed. This is one of the main activities that you will be doing in the game and we think it is an interesting variation to the classic gathering systems offered by many other MMORPGs. Though, it may become a little repetitive and "grindy" over time, but in our opinion it's a nice innovation that deserves at least our thumbs up for the effort to spice things up.


The MMO features a pretty unique visual style which uses a light cell-shading effect to obtain a soft cartoonish style. The result is not bad at all, creating something original and enjoyable without requiring too much hardware power. Regarding models and texture, the characters are quite unimpressive and could have gotten some love. The Battleframes, at the same time, are quite interesting and nice in both design and rendering.

However, the real star in this game, in our opinion, is the game world. New Eden is absolutely gorgeous and amazing; its open world nature makes your jaw drop just by climbing a fairly higher place to have a look around. Miles and miles of amazingly crafted jungle, rocks, falls and mountains with buildings and facilities scattered here and there. And you can freely go everywhere you can see without a single loading screen.

To have a jetpack at your disposal is also a great thing, allowing developers to build their world with a whole new vertical dimension, which is usually absent or poorly developed in the majority of MMO games. However, even if having such freedom of movement is amazing, the game is unfortunately a bit empty in this sense. We've tried to explore here and there but haven't found anything interesting besides the sense of adventure and discovery itself. It's a shame when you think that with minimum effort, the developers could make a great use of this freedom by adding, for example, hidden collectables, treasures or bosses around so that players would be rewarded while exploring the secrets of such a beautiful world.


Firefall is an amazing open world MMO FPS/TPS which provides its players with a lot of freedom. Fast-paced and absolutely fun, the game has a lot of potential, but right now is still suffering from some flaws that prevent it to truly shine; there are some bugs here and there, and the lack of directions at the beginning could drive away new or casual players who don't want to read pages and pages just to learn what they can do in-game and how.

However, if you stay long enough to scratch the not so "new player-friendly" surface, you'll find a game that offers a lot of fun in both PvE and PvP. Our currently biggest concern is that the world event types are limited and so the game could end up feeling a bit repetitive for the average player. But it's hard to tell right now, and we are sure that in this case, Red 5 will come up with something. Ultimately, if you like to shoot, explore and use a Jetpack, the game is definitively worth checking out.


Graphics: 7
Gameplay: 9
Sound: 7

Overall: 8

The goood: beautiful open world | fast-paced and fun gameplay | players have a lot of freedom | Fun and addicting PvP

The bad: There are still some bugs | lack of directions | it could feel repetitive after a while

2 Comentarios de Exclusive Review: Firefall’s Open Beta

  1. ian young

    The game is just to laggy…

  2. Zediatus

    uhh no it dosent… i have played since closed beta and i have never lagged 😛 and i dont have a good computer either but if u lagg u either got a really shit computer or a bad internet connection

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