I was hoping to get a fair way into it, as I purchased it at about 6pm (when I got home), but at 5Gb downloading at 250kpbs it took until 11pm before I got in. (I’m used to 1MBps download speeds from Steam, but obviously, not everyone can afford super-fast delivery servers)
As such I only got to try the tutorial mission, so I obviously havn’t gotten into the meat of the game yet, but the signs are promising.
One thing I always disliked about Fallout 3 was the lack of colour, and yes, it’s a post apocalyptic wasteland, Grey is the colour du jouré and yes, it adds to the oppressive nature of the landscape, but if I’m going to be spending any length of time in this world then a little something to catch my eye would be nice. Even the computer screens in Fallout were a grotty green, adding nothing but a vomit coloured smear to a dull world.
Not so in Fallen Earth. There is technology here. Albeit limited. The interesting juxtaposition of bright blue computer screens in an otherwise bleak wilderness is comforting and adds some much needed extra depth to the colour pallete. I’ve yet to see much of the outside world, but what I’ve seen so far is shaping up fine.
The combat is a bit sticky, groups of enemies clustered together are a bit annoying, as the names above their heads have no backgrounds to them, and blend together into an unreadable mush, which is more than a bit annoying, especially if one of them is a friendly (white name) jumbled in the mess of red, at first glance it’s hard to tell who to shoot and who not to.It will likely get worse when one enemy is a healer, or a boss, and you can’t pick them out in the throng.
Fighting is a nice blend of RPG and FPS, with the usual pockets-of-infinite-depth of both genres kept seperate. Your weapons appear on your bod, slung over your shoulder in the case of melee and large guns, or on your leg for pistols, and thus you can carry 4 weapons (2 shoulders, 2 legs). Weapons are more STALKER than Fallout, and so is targeting and moving. Infact, the whole game smells more like Chernobyl than the Capitol Wasteland. It’s a little bit clunky, and feels slightly unwieldy. The targeting Reticle is rather large, and yes, I know it gets smaller when you aim better, but the starting rifle had a targeting reticle I’d expect on a shotgun, yet still seemed to have no problem aiming and shooting accurately.
The character creation is simple, you get a choice of faces, hair styles and colour, facial hair, shoes and shirt (which you’ll discard quite quickly), compared to say, Champions Online and its millions of body sliders, It’s rudementary at best. I’m not complaining. The choices are on par with other MMOs, I just feel a little spoiled by CO 🙂
Character progressions seems to me to be a mish-mash of MMO levelling and traditional RPG. With each level giving you stats points to spend in skills, and the tutorial popups are helpful, useful and easilly accessable and readable on the move (unlike Champions, who require you to stand infront of an NPC with the window taking up the whole screen)
There are 6 starting towns, which may give alot of fresh content for multiple characters, depending on whether or not I have to do more than one to level up (I’m still only level 2, so I have no idea yet) each based around one of three roles, Support, Crafting or Offense. I chose Crafting, as I’m always a sucker for a good crafting system, which I’ll be trying later.
So far I’ve been quite taken by the concept of this MMO, the way they’re handling factions is refreshing and neat, and I’ve never really tried a low-pop MMO, so perhaps the sense of community will be greater.