Some Joke About MUDS: Fallen Earth

By Jim Rossignol on February 23rd, 2010 at 6:26 pm.


Ooh, I hadn’t realised this went up: I reviewed Fallen Earth over on Eurogamer. I cause controversy by being fairly upbeat about it, but I think that’s because it’s not a review of the broken game we got at launch, but rather of the game as it is now. And that means there’s plenty of protest about it in the comments. Fallen Earth is rapidly improving, and shouldn’t really be judged on the state it was in at release. It has problems, granted, but I’ve enjoyed this more than many other things I’ve played recently. There’s a ten-day trial available if you want to make your own judgment.

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37 Comments »

  1. Serious J says:

    Weird timing, I signed up for the trial about 20 minutes before this was posted. It looks decent, and I’m craving for some post apocalyptic fun. I snagged one of the 15 day trials from The Escapist, though. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/contests/register/fallenearthtrialkey

  2. Flimgoblin says:

    I signed up late last year, quite near launch. Didn’t expect to play beyond the 30 days when I bought it but found it compelling enough to pay for a few months. The “build stuff out of rubbish lying around” hooked me from the start, and the fact you could progress by pretty much just doing that if you wanted.

    Seems to be quite a big roleplaying community (there’s even a net radio station: http://www.postapocradio.com who were mad enough to let me DJ for a bit, don’t hold that against them though)

    Arrival of second child has somewhat butchered my free time, else I’d probably still be subscribed.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Jeepers I gotta get my head out of gaming… For a second I thought “Second Child” was a game or a mod or something…

    • Flimgoblin says:

      It’s more like a third party overlay (ala Steam’s community stuff) providing interesting mini-games.

      “Burp child” whilst trying to gun down the three creepers charging at you, or cross that bridge in L4D2.

      Does terrible things to the audio quality if you don’t complete the minigames properly.

  3. Heliocentric says:

    I’d rather save my opinions for more important things. Like whether Becky in finance is easy (i don’t work in building with a finance office, and there is no Becky), so thank you for the opinionisaitoning.

  4. jj says:

    The ‘Gaol’ guy in the article’s comment section is really pissed that you liked that game.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      Best comment on there:
      “Just wish Gaol would stop sitting on the fence. “

    • Skurmedel says:

      He’s always pissed about MMO reviews, he’s been pissed since he signed up for Age of Conan and got disappointed or something. He is one of Eurogamers many token angry men.

  5. Paul says:

    I’ve enjoyed Fallen Earth a lot tbh – one of the best MMOs I’ve played imho – an unexpected gem.

  6. scottossington says:

    I think this is an awesome game and have been playing it for a month or so. The combat is a bit meh, but the crafting is great. You have to make all of your own armor. I agree with the review when it says the economy is kind of lacking as everyone can make everything if your skill is high enough. That being said they are certainly doing their best to improve the game and the graphics are actually much improved then what they were at launch.

  7. Smokingkipper says:

    Oooo this looks interesting, thanks for the link. I am off to try it out.

    • dejoh says:

      Tried it out recently. Not bad if you like 1990 artwork and gameplay. Guess I’m hooked on all the latest games with flash and eye-candy. Still, I can see some folks with little expectations enjoying this attempt of a post civilation world. Just lower your standards a notch or two.

    • destx says:

      “Not bad if you like 1990 artwork and gameplay.”

      Which is odd, considering the relatively high system requirements.

    • Smokingkipper says:

      Well, I got rather excited playing Mortal Online last night, and there is not even any enemy AI in there yet!

      Consider my standard sufficiently low.

  8. CMaster says:

    Have they done anything about the fact that if you want to be a gun based character rather than melee, you have to spend about 3x as much time gathering materials to make ammo than you do actually shooting things? Because the “everything has to be really hard work” thing rather put me off the game, and also meant that noone could ever pay tradeskillers to do work for them.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      Can help if you use crossbows/zip guns later into the game rather than going with the first firearm you can get your hands on.
      (though guns = bangs = fun! and I totally ignored my own advice)

      But yeah ammo is a bit of a pain, making friends with crafters/joining a clan is probably the way to go there though.

    • CMaster says:

      @Filmgoblin
      But then how to repay the crafters? Crafting your own ammo isn’t too problematic – in fact, completed in the queue is one of the best ways to carry ammo. But the actual running of instances and hunting isn’t at all profitable.

      And yeah, me and my friend used to use Zips a lot – but they really aren’t viable past level 20 or so. Of course, at that point you get mutations which were silly overpowered – but the injectors cost an absolute fortune, and mutagenics was a horribly broken tradeskill.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      I found doing missions to be my best source of money, clear them out in a town till I hit a decent amount of money for my level, then burn it all on levelling up my crafting “ooh advanced improved kneecap mounted sporks? must research!”.

      Though I did have some melee skill (crazy gimped spec) for a fallback when I was feeling too cheap to shoot my chips at people.

      Just don’t try and kill anything with grenades, they make heavy rifle ammo look supremely cheap.

  9. disperse says:

    After listening to several episodes of One Life Left I can no longer take a 7 / 10 score seriously.

  10. Flameberge says:

    I tried this quite recently, maybe 3 or so weeks ago on a 10 day trial. Contrary to how Jim opens his article, my problem was the fact the tutorial bored the heck out of me. I didn’t get through it to see the game proper. I wonder if I made a mistake now, Jim’s article especially has tempted me to get my hands on another trial to see what it’s like.

    Thinking about it a bit more, I think a lot of the people who quickly dismiss it as rubbish, probably me included,have the problem that when we hit that shiny launch button, we have expectations and hopes that – perhaps subconsciously – it’s actually Fallout: The MMO.

    And it isn’t.

    • Tyshalle says:

      It actually does feel like Fallout to me. Just not Fallout 3. It feels like the original Fallout games (the good ones), except with retarded amounts of mutants EVERYWHERE.

  11. dejoh says:

    High system requirments does not automaticly give you a game with quality artwork,color, and design. I think all the good Eastern Europeon game designers are gainfully employed on top notch projects, while whats left wotked on Fallout

  12. dejoh says:

    I mean Fallen Earth.

  13. Delboy says:

    Downloaded this the other week. Or should I say, downloaded the 500Mb install file. Which then itself downloaded the 2Gb game files. Which, when launched, downloaded another 1Gb of patch files. I’ve 20Gb broadband and the download speeds were 500kbits max – so all this took ages.

    Aaaaaanyway .. after all that I started the game, played it for approx. 15 minutes and then un-installed. The tutorial was boring and the GFX are v. poor. Uninstalled immediately (which is saying something – because it took so long to download!).

    Maybe this /is/ a 7/10 game once it gets going …. but since I wasn’t being paid to go any further that the 15 minutes I decided I wouldn’t bother ;-)

    Delboy

    • goodgimp says:

      If you’re the type to uninstall after 15 minutes, I daresay the MMO genre entirely is not for you.

      Fallen Earth is a great game. Graphics aren’t top notch but what do you expect from an indy game? Some things, like the landscapes, look fantastic.

      I’m no longer playing the game but I had a fun time while I was there.

    • Tyshalle says:

      To echo these sentiments a bit. Yes, this isn’t Crysis 2. Nor is it being developed by Blizzard or some other company that can dump 70 million dollars into their project. The initial tutorial does kind of suck, now that I think about it, when it comes to graphics. But once you leave the tutorial and actually get *above ground*, y’know, where 99% of the actual game takes place, the art direction is very, very good, and the graphics are not even remotely bad. They are slightly dated when compared to games like Mass Effect 2, but IMO they look better than Fallout 3. Further, the art feels significantly more “post apocalyptic” than Fallout 3 ever delivered. I’ve been very impressed with how this game makes me feel like I’m in the world. A feat very few games have been able to perform. Even the really good looking ones. The graphics have character, which counts a lot more to me than being top of the line. It also helps that I’m able to run this game on a two year old computer at max settings. I fall below the recommended settings, too.

  14. Alphabet says:

    I really enjoyed it, played for three weeks soon after launch, and for the first two I was completely hooked, the wild west with mutants and homemade weapons vibe really worked for me, and I enjoyed the combat and the sane and helpful player base. I think it was Dragon Age that got me out of it. But it was really, really addictive fun while it lasted. Delboy is perfectly right that it’s a pain to download, but that apart, I didn’t have any issues at all.

  15. Kits says:

    Downloaded to play the trial last week. The game’s rough…and the beginning was not great, but as I got closer to level 10 I was really enjoying it. Hit 10 within the first two or three days of my trial period though, and had to subscribe to carry on making any progress, which annoyed me a bit. Still playing though. At 17 now, and still having a lot of fun with it, despite its flaws.

  16. malkav11 says:

    The thing that continues to amuse me about this game is the idea of crafting a horse out of spare parts.

    I suspect I won’t bother. I’m not much of a crafter – I only dabbled with it in WoW, where it was an extremely easy, streamlined hobby. A game where it’s a crucial component of play is not a game for me.

  17. Kits says:

    Its more the dune buggies, bikes and quads that you craft out of parts. You train horses from untrained ones, so it’s not as silly as it sounds.

  18. neofit says:

    Nice review of the newbie experience. I found it very fun even at release, regardless of the lag and other technical issues (I suppose that having IT experience raises the acceptance threshold for technical problems :) ). It’s later on that the game became stale, after Sector 1. I am wondering whether the game is still a horse riding simulator nowadays? Because this what I have been doing for more than half my play time at levels 30+.

  19. bill says:

    There don’t seem to be any negative comments. Is that cos I’m not logged in to Eurogamer and they’ve all been downvoted/hidden?

    The only negative comment I saw talked about the beta. I wonder how good business sense it is for MMOs to have free betas? Like that guy, you just end up putting a lot of people off because your product isn’t finished yet – and they spread the word.

  20. Tyshalle says:

    Personally I *LIKE* that ammo is ridiculously hard to come by. It makes the game feel actually post-apocalyptic rather than just yet another cookie cutter MMO trying to be all things to all players. I signed up for the 10-day trial via this post’s recommendation, hit the level 10 cap, and immediately signed up. This is the first MMO I’ve subscribed to in like five years. That’s how much I like this game.

    There are some aspects to this that feel very traditional in terms of the same kind of MMO crap you can find anywhere. It seems to me that the only MMO that really seems to be taking advantage of the full potential of what being an MMO is is EVE, and all other games are just these sterilized single player with multiplayer option games, that don’t really do justice to either. But anyway, I don’t feel like I’m grinding with this game. Even though I absolutely am, without a doubt. It just doesn’t feel like it. It’s completely unnecessary to grind out like you would in EverQuest. You really don’t need to kill things just to boost your skills. Doing missions is entirely enough to level you quickly, gear up, and gain some money to help you out wherever you need it to. And on top of that, these missions ensure that you travel, and see the game. Every city has a couple dozen missions you can do, and just around the time that you start to get bored of the city the missions wind up running dry anyway, and then you’re off to travel to a new city.

    This game feels original, even if it’s not. Someone mentioned the 1990 artwork and game mechanics, but the game mechanics feel good to me. There’s some clunkiness to it which I think will be worked out in time, but for the most part it took me like one play session to get used to the controls and I haven’t had a problem since. I haven’t even bothered to remap the keys. They feel very intuitive and well designed once you get used to them. And the art seems extremely good to me, by MMO standards. And the engine is entirely solid too. I’m able to play this game with everything maxed out on a two year old computer, without any issues except some very mild lag when I’m in highly populated cities.

    But yeah, what really pulled me into this game is how it feels like it’s doing justice to the post-apocalyptic genre, rather than just trying to be another blank face in a sea of boring ass cookie cutter MMO’s. I like that you always feel poor in this game, and are constantly scrounging to get by, rather than exiting every single level with the best possible gear. I like that ammo is hard to come by, expensive, and especially in the early levels, rare. I like that fuel for horses costs like 1/8th the price of gasoline.

    I think that this game is very niche, and that might be the problem a lot of people have with it. It seems to be after a specific type of audience, very much like EVE is. I get the feeling that it KNOWS it’s not going to please everyone, and I like that it’s not trying to. There’s enough originality and substance to this game to make me overlook its flaws, most of which are the result of a lack of polish that seems to only come with very wealthy development companies. I love this game and am able to overlook its flaws for the same reason I imagine so many people can with STALKER. Despite the flaws, there’s just something special about it.

  21. Saraya says:

    Tyshalle,

    I have to give rebuttal to the line “I get the feeling that it KNOWS it’s not going to please everyone, and I like that it’s not trying to.”

    That might have been true in the game’s original concept designs and/or even up until not long after the game went live, however as of the last several patches, it’s become more cookie-cutter day by day, as they try to implement systems that help people feel even more comfortable – i.e. pvp arenas, fast travel, respec options, stat/skill changes to accommodate more hybrid ‘builds.’ More or less as the game has got up and running, and some initial kinks worked out, they’ve used the ‘different’ factor to rope people in, and then started adding carebear features, to increase it’s demographics.

    The ultimate problem with FE, is that it talks a big talk about being different, when in reality it’s not. It’s another MMO built off the same common /modern MMO templates. It just twists a few things around here and there, and takes things like magic, and calls it ‘mutagenics.’

    Admittedly, it is one of the best that’s been available for a long time. But the salt in the wound is that it tries to be different when it’s not. And now it’s becoming even less niche than it was before.

    The only time we will actually see a change in the patterns and trends of MMOs , is when someone brings a truly niche product to the market, and sticks with it – basically giving the finger to all the nanny-state socialites and their transgendered friends who live in their virtual world seeking adoration and adulation from internet strangers. They will make a game that’s so enjoyable to play for simply the gameplay itself, that noone cares about all the a-typical b.s. MMO gamers usually worry about.

    It won’t be massively popular, maybe not even a little popular, but it will plant a seed, and those ideas will be picked up by someone else in the future, who will have the time and the money and the resources to turn those ideas into something even better. And as this evolves, over time, the ways and trends of MMO development will change. And consequently so will MMOs. Warcraft and it’s brethren will be distant memories, or if not, at least only played by the extreme socialites who are still hanging on, not willing to let go.

    Fallen Earth is worth playing, but it’s still a modern MMO through and through, and after the initial awe wears off, you’re stuck with another game you could have just enjoyed as singleplayer.

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