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Videos: New Shooter ‘Firefall’ Has Space Marines in Mecha Backpacks

Posted on : 06-09-2010 | By : | In : Videos



At the PAX convention in Seattle, Red 5 Studios released a gameplay trailer of their upcoming free-to-play online team-based shooter, Firefall. Notably, the studio has staff who previously worked on World of Warcraft and Starsiege: Tribes, so it’s not just an online team-based shooter with an amazing gameplay trailer, it’s one by some of the people behind the world’s biggest online game and an online team-based shooter held by many to be a classic, respectively, so the sheer potential this game has is simply staggering.

More mecha related though are the player characters’ armor, which from all appearances seems to work like that of Tribes’, where a character’s role would be determined by the armor, weapons and equipment they had equipped, rather than by having specific classes. And again like Tribes, these are suits of powered armor that allow a limited form of flight through the use of jetpacks, replicating the kind of combat in the novel version of Starship Troopers. While the Starship Troopers movie, which had a radically different plot from the book, muddies this a bit, the original novel had a huge effect on both the mecha anime genre (more specifically, Real Robots) and the “space marine” trope that simply cannot be overstated–they wouldn’t exist in their present forms without it.

In the West, the “space marine” interpretation is obviously the most popular, while Japan adopted the mecha aspects of the novel’s powered armor as their own, but it has only been recently that we’ve started to see the two different genres, which share the same common ancestor, sharing ideas. Games like Lost Planet and Vanquish are starting to take elements from both sides and are creating something new and original, and Firefall seems to be a part of that trend, with even Gears of War getting a piece of robot action these days.

The Firefall armor, for instance, not only looks like the earlier Tribes’, but incorporates a number of features uncommon in the West but more common in Japan–the armor is in general more colorful rather than ultra-gritty gray and includes glowy verniers in addition to more standard thrusters, much like Japanese mecha of today, versus the “space marines” we see more often in the West which de-emphasize these mechanical aspects. The glowy verniers themselves seem to be inspired by Gundam 00’s GN Drives or perhaps some of Gurren Lagann‘s “spiral” imagery, and according to the little data we have available on Firefall, they might even share a few more similarities to them other than looks: they seem to be related to “repulsor technology” a bit like how GN particles (or UC Gundam’s Minovsky particles) could be used for shielding or improved movement. It seems like the powered armor can also use an ability similar to Armored Core: For Answer’s “Assault Armor” in the cinematic trailer (which also shows off deployable robot drones, and the most painful-looking asstacular female ‘armor’ seen to date). The gameplay trailer, with its ten minutes of awesome, follows:




Comments (2)

Lol…this game looks WAY too good so far to be projected as a F2P game. I think it would do more harm than good for them to market as a free title.

Can’t wait to get more info about this. I do hope that there can be a more personal method of obtaining resources like being a miner or so yourself. I’ve just always enjoyed games about going as deep as you can and that moment of bliss when you make it back with all you gathered. I’ve just never been crazy about defend this spot for so long a time type of moments.

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