Firefall adds pets, ability to 'despawn' enemy companions

Red 5 founder and CEO Mark Kern visited the Shacknews office last week, bringing with him a handful of reveals for the upcoming free-to-play shooter Firefall. Today's revelation is that Firefall will feature pets, a familiar addition for MMOs but something rare in the shooter genre.

"One new feature that we're really excited about is introducing the new 'Pet' system into Firefall." Kern revealed to Shacknews. "I mean, when's the last time you heard about a shooter with pets?" Red 5's idea for the feature doesn't end there, however. "We had to had to do little things to actually make it interesting," he admitted.


"Not only can you get a pet, but we're thinking that there's actually an item you can buy in the store to load your gun with special ammunition so you actually shoot the other guy's pet," Kern said, noting that executing this action would actually "despawn" your adversary's companion for a time.

Kern clarifies that players will "for sure" be able to kill pets, but they haven't figured out the best way to do it as of yet. "The item is one way," he said.

"The first one we're announcing is going to be on a Wednesday promotion called 'Crystite Challenge.' It's a way that players can do things like invite friends into the beta to earn Crystite and unlock a special pet," Kern detailed. The first special pet is part of a partnership with Penny Arcade that will feature the character "The Merch."

"The Merch is awesome because he's all about merchandising and he fits with our item-based theme." Firefall's Crystite Challenge begins on Wednesday, giving players a chance to earn The Merch pet. The pet itself will be usable when the game launches.

Though I tried to pry away details on Firefall's fifth Battleframe, Kern wouldn't budge. Firefall is expected to launch in December; however, users can register for an ongoing beta on the game's official website.

Stay tuned for a lengthy video interview with Kern where he details more on Firefall, including the game's army system and business model.