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A screenshot such as this may be all that a developer needs to get a good number of gamers excited. This one in particular comes from Firefall, Red 5 Studios’ persistent world shooter MMO set to release late next year. A sophisticated look at this shot reveals the artful line of attention drawn by the gun sight pointed at the giant Titan looming in the distance. The excitement, however, may come just from the fact that there are guns and monsters in the game.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a billion, or a gazillion. Red 5 didn’t disappoint in this department. The initial trailer, even with its almost generic monsters and over-the-top artillery, wowed droves gamers at 2010′s Penny Arcade Expo. The subsequent gameplay video solidified Firefall as one of the highly anticipated titles of 2011. Which video do you think we posted after the jump?

How about both? First, here’s the gameplay. It’s a lengthy video, but it does hit on all the game’s key points. Here’s a breakdown if you’re pressed for time:

  • 1:10 – a resource gathering mission
  • 3:15 – fighting the mission ‘boss’
  • 4:45 – demonstration of the persistent open world
  • 8:20 – demonstration of battle frame customization
  • 8:40 – battle with The Chosen
  • 9:30 – battle with the Titan

If my vote for game of the year, Red Dead Redemption, serves as sign of the times, beyond screenshots and gameplay video, story is arguably just as important to get gamers hooked. The hype is firing on all cylinders now that Red5Studios has gotten into the holiday spirit with Twelve Days of FIREFALL. This is a story event on the game’s blog site where for twelve days Red5 will deliver bite sized stories situated around the event that is the Firefall. Gamers will get a sense of what earth was like just before the event, its achievements and its perils. More so, this will serve as the background to the game.

Here’s a little snippet from Day 2: Our crew remains trapped on the Deep Horizon, helpless to do anything but watch the destruction and chaos on the planet below. As you can imagine, much of our crew has fallen into a deep depression. Dr. Neal Profok, a personal friend and a valued member of our crew, flushed himself out of an airlock earlier this week. It wasn’t unexpected as his family had lived in Boston.

If you’re a story buff like I am, several questions just swirled into your head, like, if his suicide was expected, why didn’t they do anything to prevent Dr. Profok from killing himself? Oh, the intrigue, the milieu!

Fine, fine, here’s the trailer:

Giving gamers a grander sense of story before the game’s release isn’t new. By far, Firefall is not a trailblazer on the promotions front despite the stunning visuals and entertaining blog posts. Better promotions come when developers add interaction in the mix. Gaming is an interactive culture after all.

In previous news installments, we examined how developers are creating interactive mini-games to promote their titles, the likes of Dragon Age II, Back To The Future The Game and Bulletstorm. It seems developers can hit a home run in the promotions department when they create an event that brings story and mini-game together. The most stand out example of this is the hype that surrounded Heavy Rain.

You’re looking at the Twitter page of @perfectfolds, the supposed killer in the innovative and suspenseful title from Quantic Dream. More than just a page with creepy comments, it served as a stop along the Four Days Challenge. The challenge had gamers treasure hunting on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook trying to figure out who the killer was before the game’s release. There was even a moment when an in-game character contacted you via email.

The challenge was well thought out. Notice for instance on the Twitter page the key to room 152 and the photo negatives. These were critical clues you held onto throughout the four days (which in actuality lasted about four weeks if you didn’t hit the forums for cheats). It seems you can still register and play the challenge if you dare. Check it out if you’re at all curious.

Was there any memorable promotions that really got you hooked by how innovative or how kick ass it was? A simple commercial or poster? A video? A full blown campaign? Let us know and why by posting a comment below.

  1. This article felt kinda scattered to me. At first I thought it was a preview for Firefall, then it started talking about story, and then it ended up talking about supplemental social media games.

    As far as promotional campaigns go, I think Homefront is the most recent one that stands out to me. A while ago the devs released a propaganda booklet, and their trailer/gameplay videos are awesome. They definitely did their job in making me take notice of their game.

  2. avatar Natalia

    distortionCAST / the playability is good and the rest are good too so why it is wrong ? wrong is plnayig adventure games like Monkey Island very poor playability and graphics a wast of time.

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