'Firefall' opens gates for Feb. 22 beta weekend

"Firefall" offers scenic panoramas and alien shoot-outs. (All rights reserved - Red 5 Studios)

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, Last Updated: 12:00 AM ET

Free, massively multiplayer first-person shooter Firefall is opening to all over the weekend of Feb. 22-25, and accompanying the Beta Weekend test is a trailer to extol the game's jetpack-fuelled attractions.

In the vein of formative online shooter series Tribes (by virtue of having its lead designer on board), related off-world mass combat jaunt Planetside and, from the sounds of things, the upcoming Destiny project from Halo creator Bungie, players find themselves on an alien planet.

Where Firefall differs from current iterations Tribes: Ascend and Planetside 2 is not by being free-to-play -- that's very much de rigeur these days, with optional paid-for upgrades available -- but in its cell-shaded art style and primary emphasis on co-operative, "player versus environment" missions, rather than more competitive gunfights against fellow explorers.

There are, of course, arena modes that allow for player versus player and team battles, but the game's storyline places it upon an alien planet, rich in both natural resources and hostile creatures.

Developed at Red 5 Studios in California, the game nonetheless has links to StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft by way of key staff members Mark Kern and Scott Youngblood, as well as significant backing from Chinese internet firm The9.

Firefall Gameplay Trailer - Verticality: youtu.be/IcrlHX4pTJ8
Official Firefall site: firefallthegame.com/betaweekends


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