NYCC 2014: Previewing Firefly Online

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By Joshua Kaye

One of the best shows that I’ve had the chance watch, Firefly, was truly a treat to watch. The fact it was cancelled after just one season is something that still upsets me to this day and I still believe Fox is just the worst network to exist for committing such an awful crime by canceling the series. I’m not bitter. Maybe I’m a little bitter. But all will be well in the universe soon enough. Set up for a Spring 2015 release, Firefly Online will allow fans of the show to revisit the ‘verse and follow the characters and stories we love.

The panel included CEO of Quantum Mechanix Interactive Andy Gore, technical director John O’Neill, casting/voice director Andrea Romano, and musical composer David Joseph Wesley. Andrea spoke a lot about having the chance to get to bring back all of the original cast members to go on and voice their previous characters which is something I’m really looking forward to. The one cast member she spoke most about was Morena Baccarin, to which Andrea introduced a video interview with Morena about Firefly and the chance to revisit her character of Inara.

One of the best parts about this game being put together is that there will be a video interview with each cast member! The interview with Morena was a lot of fun to watch but the fact that we’ll get to see Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and everyone else talk about their experiences is something I can’t wait to see. Speaking of Alan, Andy and Andrea confirmed that he’ll be voicing several different characters due to his versatility with voice acting. Andy went on to say that one of Alan’s characters is terrifying which got me to thinking… Could we see the return of Adelai Niska? Sure, Michael Fairman was brilliant in the show, but it’s possible they may not have been able to bring him back.

After a while, they finally began focusing on the gameplay of Firefly Online. As a massive Firefly fan, this was something I was insanely interested in seeing. Everything in this panel has been fun and well done so far but all that truly mattered was how well the game played. The results? Mediocre if you ask me. For a multiplatform game (desktops and phones), it’s probably a well done game with good quality and I’m sure looking at it on a smaller screen I’ll like it more. Seeing it on a large screen though it just felt off.

One thing I could see people having an issue with is camera angles. It’s not a first person game so it’s primarily an overhead view. You can control the angle and set it at different heights but for the most part you really can’t see what’s in front of you. When it comes to combat, again it’s iffy. Each side gets a turn to attack and you do actually have to control where you’re shooting. Friendly fire is possible and if done enough there could be in game consequences.

As for the graphics, they got it right. Flying freely in space is absolutely gorgeous and it just feels like there’s no end to how far you can go. When on the ground, the people are realistic enough and the towns truly capture the spirit of Firefly. The music was also authentic and in the spirit of Greg Edmonson original score which is a huge positive. Edmonson’s score is memorable in so many ways and truly has a life of its own when heard on the small screen. The game doesn’t disappoint in that regard and fans of the show will absolutely be pleased.

One aspect of the game that wasn’t completely finished was the codex. Similar to the Mass Effect trilogy, each planet and system has its own story to tell. It’s that attention to detail that I loved in the ME universe and it’s that attention to detail that I’m excited to witness in Firefly Online. All in all, there is definitely potential for Firefly Online to be the Firefly game we’ve all hoped to play. But I still will have my concerns until I can get the chance to play it for myself.

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