Firefall was first shown to the public way back in 2010, but nearly four years later, it still hasn't officially released. The free-to-play MMO shooter has been in open beta for the past year—almost to the day—which in many cases is the same as being 'released' in all but name, but not in this case, according to Red 5 Studios CEO James Macauley. This month's launch won't just pull down the 'open beta' label, it's also Firefall's "biggest update ever."
On July 29th, Firefall will leave beta and introduce, among other things, "four times the world space," 75-80 new creatures and NPCs, 20-player Titan boss fights, the first story missions, and open world PvP.
Macauley showed me some release content when he visited PC Gamer a couple weeks ago, and I'm pretty sure Firefall contains a piece of every shooter and MMO ever made. It looks a bit like Borderlands (not quite as good), its class archetypes are a mix of MMO and Team Fortress 2-like staples (the engineer who calls in turrets, the tank who soaks up bullets), it has Tribes-like jetpacks and vehicles (no doubt a contribution from Firefall's lead designer, Scott Youngblood, who was also lead designer of Starsiege: Tribes), it has resource collection and crafting, it has 5-player story missions, 20-player boss fights, and dynamically spawned encounters—and most important to me, the launch adds PvP.