This isn’t exactly zombie news, but…
Over the past few months, I’ve been participating in the beta for Fallen Earth, an upcoming post apocalyptic MMO. Before I get to the good stuff, let me just get the bad stuff out of the way.
The graphics. And I don’t mean the style, but the performance. My PC isn’t exactly new or top of the line, but I beat out their required specs and I play a great number of games released in the last couple years very well. When I venture off by myself or in a small group, this game plays great. But when I get to town or any large gathering of people, the game turns into a slide show. Unplayable. Obviously, I could buy a new PC, but my PC should be enough to play if I turn all the effects off… it doesn’t help though. Even with minimal settings, low resolution and playing in a window, the game gets better, but never what I would call good in busy areas. To make matters more confusing, if I stand still in town, I can sit and watch everything run great, but the instant I try to move or turn, slide show.
That aside… Fallen Earth captures the post apocalyptic world perfectly. First off, the world is huge, so when you run off into the wilderness, you are literally running off into the wilderness. One day I just picked a direction and started running. Two hours later I was still running… I’d seen one other person and some critters, some salvage and ruins, but little else. The best part of this… I started to get worried. Am I lost? Where is everyone? I’m gonna die out here… This is what a world after Armageddon is supposed to feel like. In other MMOs I would complain about all the empty space, because those games are littered with NPCs and stuff and are supposed to be full of people, but Fallen Earth is supposed to feel empty, and it does, and it works.
The combat is a little different from your standard MMO. Ranged weapons require aiming, and melee weapons have standard swings but need you to be facing the target. There is no auto attack or auto aiming, you don’t automatically hit something just because you have it targeted and hit your attack button. This makes fighting moving targets more difficult, and it makes movement matter in combat. Speaking of movement… you know how in real life if you are running and then jump, you pause when you land? You know how strafing is slower than turning and running? Both are true in this game. So, if you are looking for typical First Person Shooter mechanics of jumping around like a coked up jackrabbit all while running sideways at full speed in a circle perfectly nailing your opponent all the while, you won’t find it. Personally, I love it.
Another aspect of the game that I really enjoyed is the crafting. Not because crafting is so awesomely fun to play, but because so much in the game can be crafted. If you are familiar with EVE Online, it works like that. People go out and scavenge from the wilderness, then craft items (and the crafting is all done “offline”, meaning you don’t sit at a bench and make stuff, you just set it to be made and it will be done in time).
In fact, the EVE comparison is important, because, to me at least, this game plays a lot like a ground based version of EVE. While I could never really get into flying around space in a ship mining materials and joining corporations, I could easily get lost in walking the Earth, surviving.
I’ll make another post later with some screen shots, but to close off this post I’ll just say that if they can get the graphics issues sorted out, or if I win the lottery and can buy a new PC, I’m definitely on board for this game. If I could take this game’s design and put in zombies, I think I’d have my perfect MMO.