Fallen Earth

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Overview

Fallen Earth Overview

Fallen Earth places its players in a barren desert that once used to be the American Grand Canyon. This MMO is based on themes of survival and desperation. Fallen Earth is rich with quests, combat, enemies, and trading. Survival is a product of all aspects of the game, and players must be able to outfit themselves with the proper equipment, train themselves how to use that equipment, and meet the right people in order to succeed. Fallen Earth has different ways of handling each of these topics, and some of them are handled much more gracefully than others.

Crafting: Crafting plays an enormous role in Fallen Earth. Finding effective equipment on your own is quite rare, and purchasing it from others is expensive. This places an important emphasis on being able to be self sufficient and create the goods that you need. Not only does this give Fallen Earth its unique flavor, but it also bolsters the game’s strong theme of surviving after the end of modern civilization.

Combat: Fallen Earth mixes together the crosshairs of an FPS with the attribute and skill system of an RPG. This makes it necessary for players to aim their attacks at enemies in addition to acquiring the proper skills and attributes to make them effective. Enemies are not ‘targeted’ in Fallen Earth; when fighting multiple enemies it is up to the player to aim at the target of their choice. While this system makes an attempt to keep things interesting, it also delivers a clunky and sometimes annoying feel to the action.

Factions: Starting out in Fallen Earth, characters are neutral with all the available factions. Players can choose to remain neutral, or they may join up with one of the games six factions. Factions provide benefits to skills, abilities, and equipment. While having allies is always a plus, every faction has an opposing group that they are unfriendly with. This means when new friends are acquired, so are new enemies. The available factions are:  Children of the Apocalypse, Light Bearers, Tech, Traveler, Vista, and Enforcers.

Fallen Earth Screenshots

Fallen Earth Featured Video

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Full Review

Fallen Earth Review

By, Guillaume Barbeau

You’ve seen this theme before; America put to waste under an earth-sundering cataclysm, with cities razed, and man brought down to his basest instincts in the need for survival. It’s been explored in books, movies, and many other games, but rarely so in the format of MMORPGs. Fallen Earth relieves this by creating one of the biggest MMORPGs to date, with far more ground area to explore than you most likely could in your first months of play. The theme is hit-or-miss, and post-apocalyptic fans will feel right at home almost as soon as they step in, as the game looks somewhat similar to Fallout 3, with a color palette rarely straying away from dirt brown and urban gray. The question is, will it manage to attract new interest with this recent move to free-to-play, and if so, will this new crowd be able to look over Fallen Earth’s few shortcomings?

Home, Sweet Home

Let’s get something out of the way right away; this is an “independent” game that looks the part; if you are used to the smooth looks of modern games, or just have a tendency to enjoy things with all graphic sliders at max, this will take a bit of adjustment as Fallen Earth looks a bit… Square. The story so far is rather simple and easy to follow; you’re a clone, the earth has suffered through a number of calamities, and you must set out to save your own skin. It’s nothing crazy so far, but it’s good enough for MMO quality. The world is divided by sectors, each covering a range of player levels, and each with their own PvP zones, towns, and environments. There is also an active night and day cycle, though it often tends to feel like the nights are very, very long.

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The game starts you out at character creation screen, where you’ll be given a very reasonable amount of options for your new character. With the ability to customize hair, tattoos and even starter clothes, you’re bound to find something that clicks for you. This would be a nice selection if it was a full-price game, and for free, I’ll say that this is a very neat feature. Moving on – you’re sent to a tutorial area that gives you a crash course to the basics of Fallen Earth, and while it might do for a simpler game, this is not that game. You’re bombarded with windows and quest screens before being led through a tutorial that simultaneously has you struggling with the confusing interface, while trying to figure out the combat mechanisms. At one point, you’re left wondering “Is this a first person shooter or an ability-based RPG?” and well, the answer will be a bit of both. Thus, the early learning curve is great, and the tutorial is of little help, though it still pays to go through it so you can get the very basics right.

Welcome To The Thunderdome

Once you’re through the tutorial, you’re brought to a room that lets you choose your future; fighting, crafting or support, and each sends you to a respective town with a focus on said future, though all three of those are included in each. It might seem simple then, but once there you’ll realize just how much there is to do. With your choice set, you’re at last released into the world of Fallen Earth with nothing but an old mare, a fire axe and a paintball gun(No, really). The towns here are chock-full of stuff to do, and there are more quests than you are likely to complete in your first run through. You can level through a variety of different ways, first and foremost being quests, followed by fighting and crafting. Crafting is a crucial part of Fallen Earth gameplay, and simply cannot be avoided if you intend on progressing at a normal speed.

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The leveling system works with experience points, which in turn awards points called Advancement Points(APs), which are awarded progressively as you accomplish tasks, crafting or fighting, and advance through levels. APs can be invested into attributes, including things like strength, intelligence, coordination, skills such as escape artist and precision(which boost certain actions), or mutations (which are sort of like skill trees). Stats are explained by hovering over them, but their importance is seldom detailed, and it takes a bit of asking around before realizing some important things. As an example, it’s usually a better idea to specialize rather than pick a bit of everything. The open-endedness of this system is both a blessing and a curse; it will reward players who put a bit of research into it, and punish casuals who might just stumble through the whole thing. This is further complicated by varying costs of these attributes, and players are often left wondering which stat is important, and which is less so. Thankfully, the community is generally very helpful and knowledgeable if you’re bothered to ask.

Dog Food’s What For Dinner

You’ll be doing three things very often; fighting, crafting and running around huge spats of land. Fighting is more complicated than it looks; you have to switch between a passive and aggressive mode using tab, then switch between melee and ranged using ctrl + 1 or 2. Once you have your favorite toy equipped, you have to aim, then whack away. If you want to use a ranged ability, you have to activate it, and THEN shoot. Complicated, but you know what? It’s actually fun once you get used to the idea of switching back and forth between passive and aggressive constantly. It’s different, that’s for sure. Mobs are hard enough to make the entire thing satisfying, but not so tough you can’t make a few mistakes. Most combat is ranged, but if you’re determined, you can get away with bashing things with a club instead.

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Crafting is another bag of beans, and like combat, it pretty much can’t be avoided. You’ll need the skill books for it, which you can acquire through quests and merchants. The map is loaded with nodes of resources that can be harvested through Geology, Nature, Scavenging, etc. Following that, you open up your crafting menu, select your item, and start crafting. This uses a timer system – each recipe has a certain crafting time, say, 15 minutes, and you don’t need to just sit on your butt while it crafts. You can close the tab, and go do other things meanwhile. Once again, this is both a blessing and a curse, as it can take a very long time to craft things you need for a quest you want done right away. On the other hand, you’re free to stay active meanwhile. Professions are many, and include such classics as armor crafting, science, or even good ol’ cooking! To say the least, there is a LOT of items that can be made, including many consumables ranging from bandages, to acid you can throw in someone’s face. As for running around? Well, let me tell you that with the amount of mounts available, travel can be a blast, mostly that there are indeed mounts such as jeeps that can let you bring up to 3 buddies with you. Fallen Earth is huge however, and driving around can take a very long while, so be prepared for that (there is fast travel, just not early on).

Like The Road, Just Less Depressing

Considering PvP areas cover a fairly big part of zones, you’re very likely to encounter it. There are two ways you can participate; either by joining in Blood Sports matches, which is basically arena matches in a variety of the usual games (Capture the Area, Death match, etc.), or by joining one of the many factions to have a go at one of the many towns that can be captured, or simply duke it out in a PvP zone. There is a wheel system for the factions, with each having two allies, two enemies, and one arch-enemy. Once your faction is picked, you cannot jump from one side of the wheel to the other. Rather, you have to make your way progressively from arch enemy, to enemy, to ally, and finally to the faction. This is a fairly original system that encourages progressive transition, and is without a doubt the highlight of the PvP. Factions each have towns, skills and weapons they specialize in, encouraging a degree of movement from one faction to the other as you level. The PvP can be fairly tough for new players, so get ready for a few humiliating deaths before things get going for you.

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The money store, as of the writing of this, includes a handful of items at more or less reasonable prices, and three different monthly subscriptions (Survivalist, Wastelander, and Commander), each giving increasingly significant bonus, and with increasing prices going from 10$ to 30$ a month. The bonus to these is more of a progression bonus than a stat upgrade, augmenting things like AP acquisition, crafting speed, store discounts etc. Amongst other purchasable goodies are included respec kits, name changes, extra character slots, new mounts and some neat in-game gear. It’s also worth noting the bugs – they are many, and though the reviewer did not experience many of them, he encountered a particularly annoying one that had him reinstall and reformat to get the damn thing working.

Final Verdict: Good

If you enjoy post-apocalyptic games and MMOs, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot by not trying this one out. For anyone else, if you can look past the learning curve, the slightly awkward graphics and the few bugs, then you’ll find that Fallen Earth has a lot to offer to its new players, and quickly rewards efforts with interesting goodies and abilities. It has come a very long way since the days of being full-priced and subscription-based, and it shows. That’s not to say that there isn’t work to be done; Fallen Earth, though approachable, is not yet at the level where it’s an entirely smooth ride. Give it a chance though, and you’ll soon realize how addictive this little gem can be.

Screenshots

Fallen Earth Screenshots

Videos

Fallen Earth Videos

Fallen Earth Gameplay Video

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Fallen Earth PvP Video

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Fallen Earth Character Creation Video

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Links

Fallen Earth Links

Fallen Earth Official Site

Fallen Earth Wikia [Great Resource!]

System Requirements

Fallen Earth System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 4 2.5 GHz
RAM: 1 GB
HDD: 12 GB Free
Graphics Card: 128 mb, PixelShader 2.0 compatible

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or better
RAM: 2 GB or more
HDD: 18 GB Free
Graphics Card: 128 mb, PixelShader 2.0 compatible or better

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