Posted in Fallen Earth

Fallen Earth: It’s like riding a post-apocalyptic bike

With all of the Fallout hoopla going on as of late — side story, I bumped into a guy at a park wearing a Fallout tee and I was like “cool shirt!” and he was like “hey have you heard of the new game?” and I was like “yeah, we should be best friends forever!” and he was like “i think i hear my wife calling my name…” — I’ve gotten into this weird and unexpected post-apocalyptic gaming vibe this month. Not only am I going through Fallout 4, but I reinstalled Fallen Earth, which you might remember from back when I was an absolute raving mad Fallen Earth fan who wouldn’t shut up about this game.

It wasn’t just Fallout 76, however. I’ve been meaning to revisit this game for a while, but its “barely hanging on” status under GamersFirst’s management was an effective repellent. And then last month, another company acquired GF and all of its games and started to make talk about rebuilding Fallen Earth. It’s actually kind of exciting, especially if you’ve always been rooting for this dark horse of an MMO.

So I figured it was time to go back, if only to say howdy and see if the magic is still there. I rolled up a new character (I don’t even think I know what my old account info is at this point) and jumped right into Sector One.

If you’ve never played (or even heard) of Fallen Earth before, it’s pretty much the closest thing we’ve had to a Fallout MMORPG for a long time now. It came out back in 2008 or so and wasn’t exactly a smash hit — more of a deep sleeper hit. It was messy and a little complicated and not always the best-looking or -animated game, but after I pushed myself to get to learn it, I found that it was a pretty amazing sandbox that let me live out my wasteland scavenger fantasies quite well.

Exploring and fighting and questing is all part of it, to be sure, but what makes Fallen Earth different than most MMOs is that it is highly, highly dependent on gathering and crafting as a core gameplay loop. Yes, this is the modern survival game genre done a while back, but it hit that sweet spot of what most post-apocalyptic gamers were seeking. We wanted to make our way in this harsh land.

Plus, you know me. I don’t really craft that much at all — except when it came to this game. Then, I couldn’t get enough of it. Fallen Earth’s crafting was addicting for three reasons:

  1. You could craft MOST anything in the game without having to specialize
  2. You actually used what you made
  3. You crafted in real-time (whether online or not) no matter where you were in the game

Seeing the crafting timer count down while I was doing other activities always felt satisfying, and I got a rush of that right when I started this character and was told to make bandages and ammo. The memories!

As I said, Fallen Earth can be messy. It’s a big, big world that has all sorts of weird respawn rates and camps of bad guys where the corpses pile up faster than they can dissolve. Sometimes you just get this old school clutter like above, but after a while, it becomes part of the game’s atmosphere. You can’t always pull one mob at a time or spend forever looting bad guys in safety.

It’s been years since I’ve played — about five at least, according to the last time I was blogging about it — so I really thought I would have forgotten everything. But I guess my brain’s long-term storage is still functioning and ticking along, because I had one of those memory cascades during the first half-hour of play. I remembered the sounds, the weird UI, the way to do combat, the crafting, the AP system… pretty much all of it. Just flooded right on back and I was in the swing of things.

And of course, when you play Fallen Earth, you have to stop every once in a while to gaze at the skybox and feel small and insignificant. Moon!

Back when I first started playing Fallen Earth, it took a long time before you were able to make and use guns (I think the default ranged weapon back then was a pathetic crossbow). Now the game dumps a wide selection of weapons in your inventory and lets you start shootouts the second you are able to craft ammo.

If you play, I strongly recommend ranged over melee for two reasons. First, you can do headshots for extra damage and that just rocks. Second, enemy mobs can literally be blown away (or back a few yards) when you deliver the killing shot. It’s a lot of fun.

In my short session, I also stumbled upon the vaults and was reminded of the quirky and limiting inventory system. You have weight and slot restrictions, and if you decide to dump stuff into vaults, you have to know which type you’re using, as some only work across a single sector (a large zone) and not the whole game.

Anyone else playing Fallen Earth or heading back? I saw some interest on Massively OP as of late and figured that I might not be the only one.

8 thoughts on “Fallen Earth: It’s like riding a post-apocalyptic bike

  1. Heh! I would have put money on you going back to Fallen Earth after the recent publicity it’s been getting. I very nearly reinstalled it yesterday and I may well do so yet. I also still have my old log in details so I wouldn’t have to start from scratch.

    It’s a really good MMO. I did actually subscribe to it for a short while but it was before I started blogging. I think I may have written about it though because I’ve played FE a few times since it went F2P. I got bogged down in the 20s, when leveling seemed to slow down a lot and I seem to remember I was running out of inventory space. I had things stored all over the place and I spent most of my time traveling from place to place trying to find stuff I’d stashed.

    I hope the new owners manage to get it polished up and give it a bit of promotion. It was a bit before its time, trend-wise, and it may end up being a bit behind the trends if it gets going again, sadly. If it had been released three to five years ago it might have been a lot bette received than it was but it definitely deserves to stick around. A lot of people who haven’t tried it would probably get some fun out of it if they aren;t too fussy about what it looks like (It is getting on in years…).

  2. Hmm, Fallen Earth. I’ve been there during the closed beta. A few years ago i cleaned up my E-Mail account, deleting over 700 mails about bug reports i did there. 🙂

    Outside of that, for me personally the game had one big flaw: it effectively told me to log off instead of playing. I went for ranged combat and i was deep into crafting. But crafting times really were a problem. Usually i filled up my crafting queue with ammo before logging out, so i would have enough when i logged in again. Unfortunately even dedicating all crafting time to ammo was barely enough to keep up. I remember days, where i logged in and somebody asked me for help to do the prison mission. A bit over an hour later we completed his task in the prison, but barely made it out, as we were out of ammo.

    Of course, i was packed with enough loot to make a pile of new ammo, but thanks to production times i wouldn’t have ammo any more for the rest of the evening. And that’s before even thinking of the times when somebody wanted a quad constructed, which blocked my crafting queue for days.

    Of course, that was like 10 years ago. I don’t know of things are the same still. As you play it again, how does crafting work by now? Does it still run several hours long timers for even ammo?

  3. Did not know this was still running. When I played it was a really bad mac cider port. Game looked interesting but it crawled like a bug. Maybe i will try a new install to have another look. I definately support older classic games.

  4. As an original content designer that worked on this game, it makes me smile that this game is still around after so long.

  5. I’ve been addicted to FE for 5 years now and have almost 4K hours in it. It always makes my heart warm to see people come back or try out the game and actually like it a lot. I am very glad you’ve come back and I encourage anyone and everyone to try the game out themselves! The one thing that FE needs more of right now is supporting players to motivate the new owners to keep pushing on (and maybe more roleplayers ;P). Anyways, if ya see me in-game, give me a hello or a little wave, I’m prolly the most friendly person you’ll meet! I might even help you do some missions or make you some starter gear. I can’t help but spoil the new kids on the block 😀

  6. A few years back I was looking for a new MMO to play with my wife. We downloaded, installed, signed up, and played a dozen or so. At first, I looked at Fallen Earth and thought ‘meh, probably give it an hour.’ From there, we played 4-5 times a week, for 1-4 hours, for a year. I don’t think we even got halfway through the game. It was amazing. I’m one of those people who definitely appreciates content over graphics, and this game was not disappointing. Some people prefer more get-up-and-go survival games, but me? The pace of this game is great. And there’s just something about riding your horse across the barren wasteland FOR LITERALLY HOURS to get to somewhere new that really makes it feel like you’re alone, out for yourself, and anything can happen.
    Alas, life happened, and it moved to the backburner. But now, with the news, and really, just the nostalgia of the game, I’ll definitely be jumping back in the literal saddle and riding off into the sunset of the Grand Canyon again.

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