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[Review] Firefall: The Beginning of Something Great

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,632MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Now that our Review in Progress series has wrapped up, it's time to reveal our official Firefall review. How did the game fare? Read on to find out!

Firefall has been in beta since 2011, and indeed Red 5 is still very adamant about the fact that the “release” version of their game is a ways off, preferring to call its current status open beta.  But worry not: if you pick up the free to play MMO, you won’t face character wipes down the road. There’s also a live micro-transaction store (using a currency cutely referred to as Red Beans), and because of these two things we’re calling Firefall “as good as live” and sticking a score on the thing.  Some may disagree with this decision, but as has been discussed many times before, once an MMO is taking money and not wiping progress we believe that it should be treated as a live service.  There’s a very long and well-wrought lore to the world of Firefall, but rather than recap it all here I’ll just point you to the wiki.  In short, you’re a mercenary helping to push back the mysterious melding and defend the world from the invading Chosen menace.  Go forth, shoot things, and grow stronger.  That’s the idea.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Firefall: The Beginning of Something Great.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    considering for what they have developed so far- thats a very nice score!

    lets hope they get steam to push out more great content!!

    as far as value, I make it a priority to buy(YES BUY) red beans once a month, because i feel so guilty of all the great free stuff this game offers -and the service is top notch with devs , that i want to give something back that brings alot of fun to my game play!

    if iam gonna pay a sub for a game - this would be one of them. but f2p feels just right!

     



     

  • Spot on review. 

    I love the game and can't wait for it to improve, its getting better at every turn.

    I also hear hints of a big milestone patch very soon.

  • Dornin34Dornin34 timbuktoo, KYPosts: 14Member
    That was a kind review, but the truth is this game is a train wreck right now. It plays more like an alpha. The servers are just bad. All kinds of errors and just generally unplayable lately. They should have left this game in closed testing for at least another 6 months to work the ever growing technical issues. To say the content is limited is a gross understatement. They have some great ideas with this game but it seems like that care more about making the game an e-sport rather than making it a good MMO. 
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,548Member Uncommon

    Opinions vary but this review was far too generous.

    innovation 9? Value 10?

    Please.

    Aesthetics IMO are 7, longevity 6 I agree, gameplay is 7 at best.

    I feel that the review was overly generous, maybe because Grummz posted articles here so there is a bit of bias, again maybe I am completely wrong here but that is what it feels like to me.

    overall I'd give it about 6.7, again my opinion.

     

  • SkylightFortressSkylightFortress Amarillo, TXPosts: 34Member
    I don't like the graphic style of this game, and for that I don't think I will play it. 
  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon

    i think the review is just about right.

     

    it's in need of *more* of everything but what IS there is awesome.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • psiicpsiic Tampa, FLPosts: 943Member Uncommon

    Gimme a break.. just logged out 2 minutes ago in total frustration. 

    I've been playing Firefall for the last 2 years and they game has shown ZERO forward progress in all that time. 

    When they first sold us the founders packs, they gave us the excuse the game would always be in beta because they would always be improving it. 

    Well 2 years later and they have done nothing except work on new ways and new items to get more of our money.  The cash shop is about one of the only things that works right in the whole bloody game.

    Now do not get me wrong, I play the game and like I said have played it for 2 years, but NEVER expect this game to be anything more than exactly what it is now.

    Braindead, Mindless, Repetitive, Zerging... all wrapped up in 2 years of BS promises and a craptastic server farm incapable of carrying more than about 300 players at any given time.

    They can hype it all they want and pay for the best reviews money can buy, but when push comes to shove the game is a total POS with the only redeeming factor being sometimes all you really want is some

    Braindead, Mindless, Repetitive, Zerging...  

     

  • NephaeriusNephaerius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,539Member Uncommon
    This review is really overly nice especially compared to the more accurate reviews we've begen treated to lately. Really can't help but think it's due to the fact that one of the devs provides content to this site.

    Steam: Neph

  • RupskulRupskul Washington, DCPosts: 71Member

    That's about a perfect review.  Figuring everything out is one of the hardest parts of the game.  I played for a week or two before I realized what the mouse wheel did!  Maybe I missed it in the tutorial, but I just roamed around shooting things until I happened to scroll it on accident and realize there was something behind it.  Crafting is super immersive, but, again, difficult to figure out.  And I kind of like that. 

    It does get a bit boring when there aren't a lot of people on.  But when there is and if you get into a group, the fun comes in fast and furious.  Just find a tornado, get into a party, and roll with it.  Good stuff. 

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by psiic

    I've been playing Firefall for the last 2 years and they game has shown ZERO forward progress in all that time.  

    I wouldn't call it "zero" progress, but it has been very slow.  

    It is no secret that the game is not very well managed, and they are in financial trouble because of it.  The development team wanted an e-sport game, but it turned out to have too many technical issues.  Right now, they are reaching a point of desperation.  It is on the line between total failure, and just barely staying in business.

    I see Firefall going the same way Earthrise did.  It won't be long before they have to abandon their work.  If they are lucky, someone will buy the IP and renew the project, but the failure will remain in our memories.

  • snoockysnoocky maarnPosts: 595Member Uncommon
    Beautiful visuals? Really? Did I miss something?

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • faxnadufaxnadu HelsinkiPosts: 940Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Opinions vary but this review was far too generous.

    innovation 9? Value 10?

    Please.

    Aesthetics IMO are 7, longevity 6 I agree, gameplay is 7 at best.

    I feel that the review was overly generous, maybe because Grummz posted articles here so there is a bit of bias, again maybe I am completely wrong here but that is what it feels like to me.

    overall I'd give it about 6.7, again my opinion.

     

    im with you on this, i dont know where those overwhelming scores comes from.

  • snoockysnoocky maarnPosts: 595Member Uncommon
    Beautiful visuals? Really? Did I miss something?

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you Mr. Bill Murphy, your 2013 Light Heavyweight World Generosity Champion. ( The crowd goes nuts as Murphy accepts his award, oh wait he just gave his award to a fan, I tell you it just never stops)




    Multiplayer is fun, its nothing new, could use alot of help with polish and content and purpose. Rockniss score = 5.37
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Opinions vary but this review was far too generous.

    innovation 9? Value 10?

    Please.

    Aesthetics IMO are 7, longevity 6 I agree, gameplay is 7 at best.

    I feel that the review was overly generous, maybe because Grummz posted articles here so there is a bit of bias, again maybe I am completely wrong here but that is what it feels like to me.

    overall I'd give it about 6.7, again my opinion.

     

    Completely agree, what is so innovative about this game, very little!  The value is a bit ludicrous too.  

    It is a fun game, but it has a ways to go to get those scores.  Lately game reviews on this site seem to be pandering to the advertising budget instead of actually giving a fair review.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    i think this game is a terrific value and has a lot to offer even now. this score is probably about right, but my optimism wants to set it higher.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • Lazarus71Lazarus71 Celina, OHPosts: 1,025Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by aspekx

    i think this game is a terrific value and has a lot to offer even now. this score is probably about right, but my optimism wants to set it higher.

    I agree, I have been playing the game since early closed beta and have seen nothing but improvement and have high hopes for the future of the title.

    No signature, I don't have a pen

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,367MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Completely agree, what is so innovative about this game, very little!  The value is a bit ludicrous too.  

    It is a fun game, but it has a ways to go to get those scores.  Lately game reviews on this site seem to be pandering to the advertising budget instead of actually giving a fair review.

    Normally, I'd not respond to this kind of comment... but come on.  Go look at our recent scores. To think that ANYONE would pay for the terrible ratings of games we've reviewed lately is just ludicrous.  

    Firefall's whopping 7.7 is about one of the highest the site's seen all year, and while I think it's a fair score and reflects my experience with the game, it's likely not exactly what Mr. Kern was hoping for.  Of the several dozen titles we've reviewed this year alone, only two have scored a flat 8 and none have scored higher than that.  Our review average, compared to other sites, is actually below the industry average. Just look at Metacritic if you don't believe me. Our average score over the past 80 reviews we've published is a 67/100... in other words a D grade for the industry.

    I deal with publishers, developers, and PR folks all the time who think we're "too harsh", but it seems we're not harsh enough for some.

    But yeah, I'll go back to rolling in my pay-off cash while naked and giggling now.

    /snark

  • TheHavokTheHavok San Jose, CAPosts: 2,398Member Uncommon

    I really like firefall.  I've had a ton of fun and I was pretty obsessed with the game for a two week period.  With that being said, I find it difficult to log in now.  There just simply isn't enough content to keep me entertained.  I've already reached tier 3 in my mammoth and bastion.  I've repeated the same stuff over, and over, and over again. 

    I appreciate what Red 5 and Mark Kern have done - really I do.  So much so that I dropped $100 on the game because I want to see them succeed.  But I just need more stuff to do to stay happy and logged in.



     

  • wowclonezwowclonez Scripps Ranch, CAPosts: 74Member
    Sounds fair, thanks.
  • GrakulenGrakulen Staff Writer St. Charles, MOPosts: 460MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    It is a fun game, but it has a ways to go to get those scores.  Lately game reviews on this site seem to be pandering to the advertising budget instead of actually giving a fair review.

    Do you really believe that? I mean we gave Neverwinter a 7 and right now I see a Neverwinter ad on the site. We panned Scarlett Blade with a 4.7 when it had ads all over the site. Do you really believe that we get paid for Cs Ds and Fs? This was a C. I'd be embarrassed by that score if I received it as a student or developer. I drop links to our Metacritic aggregate on twitter all the time. Like Bill said, we are low. If people are paying us off they aren't getting their moneys worth and Bill owes me some checks!

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Payoffs aside 7.7 is to high. I think expectations were much greater than reality. F2p does not mean a game automatically gets a 10, I simply disagree with the innovation, but I guess this game was in beta like ten years ago so maybe we should keep that in mind. Coincidentally I would have score Neverwinter much higher if it wasnt for the cash shop probably around a 9.
  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member

    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Completely agree, what is so innovative about this game, very little!  The value is a bit ludicrous too.  

    It is a fun game, but it has a ways to go to get those scores.  Lately game reviews on this site seem to be pandering to the advertising budget instead of actually giving a fair review.

    Normally, I'd not respond to this kind of comment... but come on.  Go look at our recent scores. To think that ANYONE would pay for the terrible ratings of games we've reviewed lately is just ludicrous.  

    Firefall's whopping 7.7 is about one of the highest the site's seen all year, and while I think it's a fair score and reflects my experience with the game, it's likely not exactly what Mr. Kern was hoping for.  Of the several dozen titles we've reviewed this year alone, only two have scored a flat 8 and none have scored higher than that.  Our review average, compared to other sites, is actually below the industry average. Just look at Metacritic if you don't believe me. Our average score over the past 80 reviews we've published is a 67/100... in other words a D grade for the industry.

    I deal with publishers, developers, and PR folks all the time who think we're "too harsh", but it seems we're not harsh enough for some.

    But yeah, I'll go back to rolling in my pay-off cash while naked and giggling now.

    /snark

     

    Odd place to ask this Bill, so forgive me for that, but have you considered doing a "1 year later" re-review for GW2?

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • shellersheller Tucson, AZPosts: 14Member
    A fair review, but I wish you guys had waited for the next milestone patch on the 20th. Being that it's only six days away I find that this review could have been delayed to give players a more accurate understanding of what's in the game.
  • Rockinw311Rockinw311 St. Louis, MOPosts: 12Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Grakulen

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    It is a fun game, but it has a ways to go to get those scores.  Lately game reviews on this site seem to be pandering to the advertising budget instead of actually giving a fair review.

    Do you really believe that? I mean we gave Neverwinter a 7 and right now I see a Neverwinter ad on the site. We panned Scarlett Blade with a 4.7 when it had ads all over the site. Do you really believe that we get paid for Cs Ds and Fs? This was a C. I'd be embarrassed by that score if I received it as a student or developer. I drop links to our Metacritic aggregate on twitter all the time. Like Bill said, we are low. If people are paying us off they aren't getting their moneys worth and Bill owes me some checks!

    I believe a good part of the issue is with the rating system itself, and people's (including this site's own) perceptions about what scores represent. For example, both you and Bill are referencing a traditional 'school' A-F grading scale. On that type of scale, a 7.7 means something very different than what others may expect for that same score on a different scale.

     

    Even on the traditional 'school' grading scale, what classifies as an 'F' can vary by a fairly significant amount (given the already narrow band of what falls under an A through D). In some schools that I've attended, anything below a 70 was an F. However, in the majority of schools I've attended, anything below a 60 was considered an F.

     

    What I, and I believe at least SOME others, would traditionally expect for a rating scale is more along the lines of a traditional bell curve. For example, if something is straight 'middle of the pack', or 'average', then it would be a 5 (out of 10). Given the concept of the bell curve, and the very expectation that most things are average, 5 would tend to be the starting point, and where most scores would fall. Scores would be higher or lower from there based on how they relate to every other one out there.

     

    From there, variations from that center '5' score have 2 paths. Under the first path, the curve is fairly evenly distributed, where you'd have roughly the same number of 6s as you do 10s, or 3s, or etc.. Under the other path, the further you get away from the center towards either extreme (i.e. a 1 or a 10), the more rare it becomes for something to receive one of those scores. So under the 2nd path, a score of a 10 would be something that almost NEVER happens, as it represents that something is essentially the best that's out there, and better than everything else in the industry.

     

    So as you can see, the lack of clarity for what the rating system itself represents is a pretty big issue. If people are expecting the 'non-school' rating systems and are constantly seeing 6s, 7s or 8s (and within those reviews, category ratings as high as 10s), and even your examples of 'really bad' (yes, paraphrasing here) games like Scarlett Blade are getting 'middle of the pack' scores of 4.7, it's not a far stretch at all, under a system like that, that people could assume your ratings are influenced by advertising budgets

     

    That said, if what you and Bill are saying is that your ratings are using the 'school based' model, making that explanation more upfront, so that people have no misconception about what a 7.7 or 4.7 means, would go a LONG way (including differentiating which of the 2 different 'school based' models you're using).

     

    To make it even clearer though, if both you and Bill are referencing an A through F rating scale, why even use numbers to begin with, as it just creates all of the confusion and misconceptions noted above???

     
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