Fallen Earth: One man’s junk is another man’s fortress

Despite my lack of general chatter on the subject, I’ve been logging onto Fallen Earth at least once every day or so for a nice session of post-apocalyptic tourism and general crafting.  By taking my time and going through all of the intro towns, I’ve built up for myself a huge reservoir of crafting materials, money, skills and XP — so much so that I’m simply not hurting in any regards.  It feels good.

A week ago I finally rolled into Embry Crossroads, which is sort of the second tier of towns in southern Sector 1.  It’s here the mobs get tougher, the missions more challenging, and we’re introduced to Fallen Earth’s first pseudo-dungeon, the Junk Fortress.  Unlike many modern MMOs, Fallen Earth doesn’t instance anything outside of the tutorial (that I’m aware of), so it’s entirely likely that you’ll bump into fellow adventurers while inside these complexes.

The Junk Fortress is no small theme park funhouse; it’s actually a large, sprawling underground parking garage-turned-HQ for the Blade Dancers, a faction you end up fighting all across southern S1.  Mobs are in high density, and if you’re at-level, you should definitely bring friends.  Lots of quests from Embry lead into the Fortress, so if you wait to collect all of them, you can knock a bunch out at once.

However, I’m level 14 and equipped with a shotgun, so the “danger” aspect of the fortress was minimized.  Most mobs went down with a shot or two, and bosses took four (at most).  You think that would become boring, but, no, watching Blade Dancers fly across the room with their rag doll physics at work is endlessly entertaining.  Plus, I kind of felt like an avenger cleaning house.

As I said, this place is HUGE.  If you’re not careful, you can get really turned around in it, since it spans several floors that take you lower and lower into the earth.  When you’re in a game that has no teleport/recall/hearth feature other than dying, it’s a concern to get too far away from your car (or in my case, a tamed prairie chicken).

What I love is that for your first foray into the place, you’re mostly asked to do tasks on the upper levels, and it’s pretty routine.  Then you’re sent back in to kill Loki, the boss of the Blade Dancers, which requires you to head deep down into the lower levels — and this is where it all changes.  Not only does it start looking more medieval with torches and dirt walls, but you begin to encounter new and tougher mobs: blight wolves and Shiva’s favored.  It’s really dark down there, too, so using your flashlight is recommended unless you want to get totally freaked out when a giant wolf lunges out of the shadows at you.

I’m excited that Fallen Earth is going F2P in a couple weeks, because I’ve always thought this is a game that deserves a much larger audience.  It’s not a perfect title — it’s still buggy in some areas (rubberbanding and mobs with disappearing heads are just two things I noticed today) — but the attention to detail, an expansive world, and a huge wealth of things to do makes it worthwhile.

5 thoughts on “Fallen Earth: One man’s junk is another man’s fortress

  1. Rob Tillotson October 1, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    Ah, Junk Fortress, good times 🙂 Fallen Earth “dungeons” are great fun as long as you bring a LOT of ammo (and probably have some more in your crafting queue)…

    Actually Fallen Earth does have instances other than the tutorial, but they are used sparingly (for quest phasing rather than private dungeons) and connected to the world by relatively seamless transitions, the only indication that you’re in one being a small popup window with a reset button in it. I wish more games handled instancing that way, especially given that most of them have phasing/layering tech that should make it possible to do…

  2. Saaz October 1, 2011 / 9:40 pm

    As Rob said, yes there are a few instances, but they’re rare. I really like the added chaos and temporary informal groups that can arise in the non-instanced dungeons like Junk Fortress. And the joy of passing another player running in the opposite direction, and knowing that there won’t be any mobs for a little ways, because he just killed them…

    I went through Junk Fortress before achievements were added, so I’ve been thinking I’ll probably go back at some point just to tick off the achievements. I look forward to strolling through Junk Fortress (and Kingman Prison) at level 45+ and blowing everything away.

  3. Drew October 3, 2011 / 8:29 am

    I totally agree: the game deserves – and should thrive on – a bigger playerbase, particularly with the upcoming changes to the economy. There will be a number of complainers from the F2P movement for the bugs that still exist in the game, but it’s in much better shape than it was at launch from that perspective. I hope they give it a fair shake by focusing more on the vastness of the world and freedom of the character progression rather than the flaws of a small studio MMO. The world itself is just a great place to explore with an excellent storyline.

  4. snickeringcorpses October 4, 2011 / 8:13 am

    I’m certainly looking forward to checking it out once it goes f2p. I know one of the guys who was on the writing team, but have no idea what areas he wrote for. I’ll have to remember to ask him once I have the opportunity to get into the game.

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