Fallen Earth - First Impressions

Posted Mon, Oct 05, 2009 by Martuk

A super virus has wiped out a large chunk of the world’s population, seeding distrust across the nations of the world and leading to nuclear strikes that kill even more. People are dead and the world is in chaos. If you want to survive you'll need to toughen up, choose your allies, and most importantly, start packing a lot of heat. This is the setting for Fallen Earth. There are no orcs, elves, or goblins. Just the evil nature of man and some seriously deformed creatures born out of radiation exposure and genetic manipulation. Welcome to the apocalypse.

Character creation provides you with a number of different options.

As with all MMOGs, the first thing you will encounter in the game is the character creation system. Character creation in Fallen Earth isn’t as detailed as some other games, but that’s not to say you don’t have plenty of options to choose from. You can choose from a number of hair styles, some resembling fashions sported by villains from the Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Road Warrior movies. You can also choose tattoos and piercings for your character. While there aren’t a huge number of tattoos available, you can ink up several body parts. If you want a more tribal look, face paint is also available. The creation system offers more types of customizations than you will find in a lot of other games even if the extra detail options like slide bars aren’t all there.

Once your character is created, you will enter the world and get dropped right into a hornet’s nest. The man in charge of the facility you are now in, that is incidentally built deep within the Hoover Dam, is somewhat of a lunatic. The voice of a mysterious woman will begin to communicate with you through the electronic collar fastened around your neck and guide you through the area. You will learn from her that you are one of many clones that have been created within this facility for nefarious purposes. Without ruining too much of the story, you’ll end up having to fight your way out. To make matters worse, some of the local factions have decided the madman running the facility needs to suffer a sudden case of death, so they have attacked it, sticking you between an invading force and the defending forces within the facility. The mysterious voice will give you one goal. There are no “kill 20 rats” (that comes later) or “speak with your trainer” quests, just one goal and that is to get out of the damn dam before all hell breaks loose. Along the way you will have to fight and obtain an item or two, but all tasks are constantly leading you along the path to escape and in the way are plenty of people and creatures that would like nothing more than to see your insides decorating the facility walls.

This bomb loaded ATV is the first vehicle you will have the opportunity to ride.

You begin your tutorial adventure at level 40, but don’t let it fool you as you can still die. The tutorial mode is pretty simple and allows for easy learning without a high threat of getting your spine monkey stomped by some mutant. You’ll work your way through several encounters that will train you in combat and looting, but at the end you will find that the resident madman has strapped a bomb to an ATV. It will be up to you to get that bomb out of the facility before everyone is killed. I hate to ruin this for you, so spoiler incoming:

No matter how fast you ride, that bomb is still going to blow you all to hell. After the “last ride,” as I like to call it, all that will be left of you is a smoldering pile of ash and some burnt sneakers. This is where the real game begins. The lady that was guiding you managed to use that collar you were wearing to download your mind into another clone, but something went wrong with the old machine she used and now, four years after your death, you return as a piddly little level 1. On top of that, you’re dying, and thus you begin your quest for survival and that’s just the beginning of the game.

End spoiler.

Bury the hatchet is a literal term in Fallen Earth.

The gameplay is a good mix of part shooter, part RPG. In some ways the game is similar to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadows of Chernobyl with how they’ve merged shooter with RPG mechanics. You can choose to play in first or third person view and combat can be with ranged or melee weapons. As you level up you can invest gained skill points in a number of areas to improve your character such as your use of rifles, pistols, melee weapons, or upgrade your crafting skills and mutations. You are pretty free to enhance your character any way you want, which leaves a number of possible builds.

Another neat little additive is the ability to go prone or crouch to try and be a sneaky little killer. Jumping is a bit awkward as when you land your character stops for a second before being able to move again. This can be a pain in combat and just plain aggravating while running and jumping an object.

Combat is a little different and takes some getting used to. When you join a battle, you need to enter aiming mode to attack. This can be confusing in the beginning, so to save you some time the default is the tab key. Once in aiming mode, you can attack with your mouse. Your primary attack is your left mouse button and your secondary is your right mouse button. You can carry different weapons on your character as several slots are provided. You can then alternate between those weapons without having to constantly switch them around from your inventory.

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