Hands on the open beta
It's 200 years in the future, and humanity has discovered an invaluable and nearly unlimited power source called unobtaini--err, actually, Crystite, which inadvertently released a dangerous enemy force called the Melding. You're a hero of humanity and it is your duty to the defend world's human cities on an alien planet in a weaponized, mechanical suit known as a battleframe. Welcome to Firefall, a free-to-play shooter MMO that drops you into an open-world sandbox, giving you the freedom to do anything you want and battle enemies from the first or third-person perspective in action-oriented shooter gameplay.
Though Firefall is an MMO, there are no NPCs with question marks over their head handing out quests. Instead, the game offers a vast PVE-centric world complete with instanced group missions, daily missions, area-based quests, and emergent objectives that pop into your hud as you explore the environment. Resource gathering plays a critical role in creating gameplay variety and in building up your character. Thumper drills mine resources which can be used to upgrade your Battleframe, but using the device attracts the local, hostile wildlife, creating a wave-based combat challenge. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the towns which can be taken over and claimed by enemy forces. Invasions challenge players server wide to assist in the town's defense and failure means you'll lose access to that town until players win it back.
The developers haven't skimped out on the PVP gameplay. Along with game modes like team deathmatch, sabotage, a capture and hold style match called Harvester, a new addition for the open beta called Jetball, and several other match types in the pipeline, Firefall looks to have a lot to offer competitive players as well.
Check out the following slides for more information and images, and experience Firefall's open beta for yourself on July 9 by visiting the official site.