Pros and cons of Fallen Earth

The Hive Leader asked me on Twitter, “How IS Fallen Earth? How’s the combat and such? I’ve heard mixed things. Gonna give it a shot and wanted to know your opinion.”

I thought this warranted a post instead of a quick reply, so here goes.  As a recommendation, Fallen Earth is… complicated.  It’s one of those games that has a great deal going for it while also having a lot of rough edges.  I find that this polarizes people rather quickly; if it clicks, it’ll click hard and if it offends, it’ll turn you off fast.

Now, I love the game and played it a lot in its first year, but since then it’s been an on-again, off-again affair with me.  I want to be as honest as I can in assessing it as a recommendation, so you could read my Why I Play Fallen Earth article on Massively from a year ago to get the basics, and then come back here for a pros and cons list.

Fallen Earth pros

  • Post-apocalyptic setting — This isn’t done much in the MMO space as of yet
  • There’s a great streak of humor that runs through the game
  • A good blend of theme park and sandbox elements
  • An absolutely terrific crafting system — You can make over 90% of the game’s items just through crafting alone
  • Being able to queue up crafting recipes and seeing them run whether you’re online or offline
  • It’s free-to-play with few restrictions
  • Mature themes and elements (if that’s your bag)
  • Plenty of contemporary cues
  • Huge world that encourages exploration
  • Nice assortment of mounts, from horses to cars
  • Skill-based character system that offers a lot of build flexibility
  • Some crazy mutated creatures (prairie chickens, giant ants)
  • Six factions with strong identities
  • Gorgeous sunrises/sunsets
  • Has a “wild west” feel to it
  • Really terrific help channel and dedicated folks (including GMs) who staff it
  • Probably the largest assortment of dance emotes ever in an MMO
  • Some semblance of housing with player towns and camps (but not true housing)
  • Combat is generally quick
  • Good assortment of weapons, from shotguns to golf clubs
  • Some pretty entertaining and interesting quests
  • Physics engine makes NPCs fly back and fall down in interesting ragdoll ways

Fallen Earth cons

  • Visuals are a mixed bag — sometimes it looks a little artificial
  • It really requires a huge time investment to level, explore the zones, and craft
  • Combat isn’t terribly engaging, especially at first
  • Animations are stiff, particularly jumping and fighting
  • Free-to-play does limit crafting queues and lengthens scavenging times
  • Little in the way of fast travel
  • Inventory management can be a pain, since you have to consider both weight and spaces (hint: get a horse that can carry a lot of stuff)
  • The cosmetic wardrobe system costs money to unlock
  • Interface isn’t the best-looking or most functional I’ve ever seen
  • Your mount stays put when you dismount, so you have to keep running back to it (which, for some folks, is immersive)
  • If you don’t go off the rails and explore, you might get bored with the quests
  • Clans (guilds) seem pretty insular and I don’t see many of them recruiting openly these days
  • It’s a smaller MMO that was “rescued” by GamersFirst, so you have to consider the size of the community and GamersFirst’s style of running MMOs
  • The fonts that are used in the game world annoy me and all look alike
  • Mobs in combat sometimes “float” around you as they move into position
  • It can be glitchy at times

6 thoughts on “Pros and cons of Fallen Earth

  1. The Hive Leader October 24, 2013 / 11:46 am

    Thanks for the article. Much appreciated. I did play for a few hours last night and found it enjoyable. I usually find I don’t have the required time commitments needed for sanbox mmos (apparently children want fatherly attention… Who knew?), but I did enjoy it. I enjoyed being able to pick how I fight (pistols, rifles, melee, single or dual wielding, etc). The crafting was immersive, with perhaps some lengthy wait times, but not over the top, and I love skill based progression, so I might stick with it for a bit. How is the grouping content handled? Thanks again! -THL

  2. Scott M. October 24, 2013 / 12:41 pm

    It’s been a while, but as I recall they did introduce Fast Travel via LifeNet hubs.

  3. Sarzan October 24, 2013 / 4:05 pm

    It was a pretty decent game, fairly rough around the edges here and there. Aside from the harsh grind around level 47 when the cap was raised to 50, I enjoyed my time there. What’s funny though, what I remember the most is hanging out I’m the Tech faction areas in the towns ‘listening’ to the NPC banter. Maybe I’ll reinstall the old girl and take the buggy to the major cities an ‘listen’ in again on the convos…

  4. Joseph Skyrim October 24, 2013 / 5:54 pm

    Personally, I disliked the being a “clone” bit. It just turned me off for some reason. Especially in the tutorial where the guy just goes – “hey, activate that bomb. Don’t worry, you’re a clone anyway.” And you couldn’t proceed without technically commiting suicide. It sort of lost me at that point :/

  5. Feliz October 24, 2013 / 11:05 pm

    I can see why you dislike having to run back and forth to your mount, since in the end, it just inconvenient. But as you said, I am one of the people who get a huge immersion kick out of it. Just imagine mount after mount line up in front of the auction houses or banks of Ogrimmar and Stormwind. They’ll need parking lots, stables and garages eventually. More fun can be had when finding your mount among 2 dozen lookalikes. Are you planning an ambush in PVP? Better hide your horses.
    Of course it’s fun for a while to hear newbies ask in the help channels where there horse is, but the answer: where you left it, gets old pretty quick.

  6. Trippin Ninja October 28, 2013 / 11:09 am

    This is one of those games that tops my list of games I want to get back into and get to level cap. I would like to push through the rest of the story and see what happens, I have enjoyed the writing so far. I was subbed for awhile after launch but ran out of steam in sector 2. The crafting is definitely a cool system and quite addictive. It does kind of get lonely though, of the many hours I have played I haven’t met a single person. Everyone just keeps to themselves for the most part. I did get some group time with a buddy which was fun, he got up close and personal while I sniped in the back. More of that would certainly help keep me around. I need to reinstall and give this another go since I’m not playing many titles at the moment.

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