Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fallen Earth Review

Fallen Earth is a new MMO from Fallen Earth, LLC and Icarus Entertainment. To date, it looks like this is the only thing the two of them have produced. Fallen Earth is billed as a MMOFPS (Massive Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter) and has been in development for 6 years.

It shows it. Had this game come out 6 years ago, it might have been worth something. As it is now, it's slow, looks bad, has crappy voice acting, and commits the only unforgivable sin in a game, it's boring.

Creativity: Serviceable
While this is the first Post Apocalyptic MMO I’ve played, it isn’t all that creative. They tried very hard to recreate the environment of the Fallout series, even using fonts that are near identical inside the game. While it is billed as a MMOFPS, the combat system plays much like Tabula Rasa. One nice touch was the fact that you can see all of your equipped weapons on our characters body, as opposed to just the currently active weapon like in most MMOs.

Character Models: Junky
The character models have some decent customization to them considering this is an MMO not made by Cryptic. There are a variety of faces, hair styles, tattoo and piercing options for both face and body, but almost all of them are ugly or laughably bad. Character animation is also poorly done, with everyone running and walking like an arthritic octogenarian. I did like the fact that I could put my character in some classic Run DMC Adidas.

Environment: Serviceable
The environments were there. They look appropriate for the game and matched the theme and setting. Nothing really bad here, but nothing outstanding either. One problem was the sound. There was no music when I played. The sound effects were almost non-existant, and the voice acting makes Age of Conan sound like it was done by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Clarity & Playability: Workhorse
This is the game’s strong suit. All the pertinent systems, like combat, movement, crafting, environment interactions, were presented clearly and are easy to use. The tutorial is well done and presents things in a clear and straight forward manner. The UI is streamlined and clean. I never needed to ask for help in the game, as all the information I needed was presented to me and it was easy to refer back to.

The controls really stop this category form being Exemplary. You have two modes, for lack of a better way to describe them. MMO mode and FPS mode. Controls in MMO mode were wonky. Alternating between almost unresponsive and overly sensitive. When you entered FPS mode (active aiming, which plays more like a 3rd person shooter than an FPS) the controls tightened up and became usable. The problem is that there was no point in using FPS style shooting. Even when you were on target you would still miss based on stats, and lining up a head shot did not do any additional damage or increase the odds of a critical. There was no point in using this for combat in the game. I did stay in FPS mode most of the time, just for more precision on the controls.

Accessibility & Community: Serviceable
The game ran well on lower end hardware. The in game chat was friendly and positive and lively, including a Dev being on answering questions and chatting. I did not get involved in grouping or PvP while I played.

Replayability & Longevity: Junky
The game is class-less, you get action points to develop your character, so you can play how you want and mix and match things. There are a variety of starting locations based on how you want to specialize your character. So there is replay value. But I honestly don't see why you would want to play in the first place, let alone, play again. The main problem with playing is combat. Enemies were incredibly stupid. I would pick a guy off from 20 feet with an unsilenced rifle and his partner standing shoulder to shoulder with him failed to notice. The only tactical movement and enemy would do was either charge straight towards me, or strafe from side to side like an old time shooting gallery at a county fair. There was no variety in tactics, but they did manage to not give everything a ranged attack, so you know, there is that.

In conclusion, I recommend that you avoid this game. It might be worth it as a Free to Play game, but I wouldn’t spend any money on it.

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