It’s rare to find a game released as a F2P game from release and not be filled with ‘money sponge’ content that you’re almost required to purchase in order to advance. Even Hellgate London on it’s re-release as a F2P contained a pass you must purchase for 5 dollars in order to advance to act II and beyond; not much to pay but still a bit of a stretch of the word ‘free’.
When I do come across a promising one I always look forward to it’s release. The most recent discovery I made was Firefall expected to be released this December. I thought at first that this would for sure be a subscription based MMO shooter since the quality of it seemed too good to be a F2P (considering the history F2P shooters have.)
Their goal is to release a game that is not only geared towards fan requests, but is truly free with cash shop items being purely aesthetic much like what Eve Online did with their cash shop. This is the kind of cash shop I endorse as it does not hinder or dampen the gameplay in any way. A developer willing to do that is a developer that cares more about their game than they do making money.
Firefall appears to be a match based MMO with persistent character leveling featuring gameplay akin to Team Fortress mixed with Tribes. There are different classes and roles, jetpacks, a variety of futuristic weaponry and with the UE3 engine undertow the graphics are impressive as I have come to expect from the engine. The game can also be played in third person or first person depending on which one suits your needs.
While the gameplay does look impressive at first glance, I’ll have to play it myself to really evaluate it. It is extremely fleshed out so far, giving the player many different options when it comes to combat rather than only a handful of basic maneuvers with games like Crimecraft or APB. Luckily there will be a demo at Pax Prime this year so I’ll be able to get my hands on it then. Regardless, I always like seeing a team of developers making a game for the gamers, not the shareholders. This is the direction I want F2P games to head in as being F2P enables developers freedom from the restraint of sales.