It took me two days, just two days to get fed up of Fallen Earth. I’m not the sort of person to run around cheering when new MMORPG’S get announced (Guild Wars 2 not withstanding). They are just not my cup of tea. However I have played a number I have enjoyed, before drifting off to the next shiny RPG/RTS that grabbed my eye, but it took me two days of Fallen Earth to get bored of it. It is not the most awful MMORPG I’ve ever played, in fact with some more development and polish I can see it being a very good game. Sadly, it’s just not there yet.
I found out about Fallen Earth through the massive Free-to-Play push they’ve been running on steam, and after a quick perusal of the game itself I downloaded it and got cracking. The Character creation system is fine, just fine. Not bad, not good, just fine. It lets you tweak different settings and colours and all the other minutia you’d expect from an MMORPG but nothing really stands out so I went about making my generic looking fella to explore the post-apocalyptic world of Fallen Earth.
It was around this point that things went wrong. The “Tutorial” explained a bare minimum. I mean like “shoot, walk, look, interact” (and for some strange reason drive) other than this it seemed more concerned with setting up factions for you to mess around with. This is the games first major problem; nothing is explained to the player. Sure there is an in game tips menu, but frankly it’s not all that useful. I mostly figured out how to play by asking other players and experimentation. I get that not everyone wants to have their first hour of game play played for them, I really do, but in a game this complex, you really do need some form of grounding. Otherwise you end up with the rather amusing situation that Fallen Earth does with people navigating horses by side stepping obstacles instead of moving around them in a smooth manner.
The second point I immediately noticed was the control system seems to have been designed with a dart board and a handful of keys, buttons seem randomly assigned. This system leads to much groping across the keyboard to find the correct button. One noticeable example of this is that the Y key is assigned as Interact. I’m not sure about my fellow players but I like to rest my hand on the home keys, and Y is not well placed for easy access from here. This wouldn’t seem like a problem if you only had to use Y rarely, but an awful lot of the game requires you to use the Y key a lot!
It’s not just large keyboard issues like this that bugged me. Having the crafting menu assigned to L while C sits idly by my hand seems counter intuitive as well. While may dedicated fans will point out that it is possible to rebind keys I was so confused by the game as a whole I didn’t want to go rewiring anything in case I somehow disabled an important feature the game hadn’t mentioned until yet.
The game has several other problems, none of which come across as deal breakers but are incredibly annoying none the less. The game has very little in way of direction. After the tutorial you are mostly just left to wander around the starting areas as no one points out where you are to go in order to advance the main plot line, or if they do it’s mentioned very quickly and not alluded to in your quest log.
The enemy AI Is pants, there is no other way to say it. The enemies, regardless of weapon or level, will charge in a straight line at you, which allows you to fire a clip and down an enemy before they even get half-way to you. Upgrade is placed VERY awkwardly though admittedly it is a free to play game so this may be deliberate.