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Tuesday | October 23, 2018
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Fallen Earth (PC)

Fallen Earth (PC)

If you are a Fallout fan and enjoy a post apocalyptic gaming environment with a great storyline then Fallen Earth might just be the title to relieve those end of year holiday blues. Twisted mutants roam the desolate landscape and sinister splinter groups worship computer AI characters.

The game is rather different to anything else on the MMOG market right now. The American Southwest is the last known area of civilisation since nuclear war and natural disasters have torn apart the world. You have to fight against mutated monsters and lawless warriors who fight to destroy everything in sight – mayhem is rife. You take part in the game as a clone, able to be reborn in a LifeNet pod after you die. After a quick tutorial which teaches you the game and combat basics you find yourself in a remote desert city with only minimal equipment to make it through. Fallen Earth is a really tough game, you spend the first few hours trying to get to grips with everything and trying to get help from other players and working out how to make enough money to succeed. This really is an aspect of the game which many people will find daunting – the very high difficulty level and learning curve.

As you progress into the desert you find more resource nodes waiting to be taken and you have to collect items such as copper, lead, coal. There are also food items to be found, such as mushrooms and grain. As well as locating items and food you can also buy them, for a hefty cost. This leads into one of the games strong points, crafting. You can create blades and shivs to use in combat and if you are more skilled even pistols and crossbows. There is also the option to create armor, jackets and boots and even ammunition if you so desire.

The economy system in Fallen Earth is complex and detailed and although crafting is relatively straightforward (if you have the items necessary) – it is a game which will reward the more patient among you. When you consider that crafting on occasion can take days to complete then you begin to realise just how much time this game will devour. Crafting doesn’t force you to adhere with a particular class throughout which is a nice option. This also carries over into the combat classifications as well because you can mix and match them, spending the advancement points you earn in any way you see fit. The combat is not one of the games strongest points because it feels clumsy and lacks dynamic. When using melee weapons for instance the battles are a combination of ropey animations and poor combat effects. Ranged weapons are not intuitive and are sadly inaccurate at the best of times, making the whole experience rather unrewarding. Unfortunately even using special abilities and mutations doesn’t inject a lot of excitement into the proceedings and the overall experience is rather dull and generic.

Another point worth mentioning is the rather poor Artificial Intelligence – occasionally enemies will run in unusual ways and generally act in very unrealistic manner. Sometimes when you kill your foes the physics are flawed and they will bounce or jump into the air, as if shot with a rocket from close distance. Other glitches raise their ugly head with floor surfaces disappearing and characters even falling through the ground. I even found that my current active mission ‘vanished’ a few times when playing which makes me believe that this game was in dire need of more play testing and bug fixes.

These bug issues are further compounded by the fact that the engine performance can suffer at times especially in crowded environments. Frame rates dip considerably and combat can even be made difficult by ‘lagging’. To be fair the developers have fixed some of the more annoying issues but there are still plenty of bugs ruining the overall presentation and polish.

It isn’t all bad however as the missions are generally well implemented and nicely constructed even if they fail into the usual categories we can expect in a game like this. The writing is one of the games strongest points however as the developers have really tried to push the boundaries in many ways. For instance there is a mission when you find a pitiful man trying to clone his beloved, dead wife – just so he can try and relive happier times. The dialogue throughout really enhances the overall experience because it is significantly more mature by design, which really makes you feel as if the developers are not insulting their audience.

The game can be played through with a single character if you wish, however there are some missions where you need to join with a few friends for team based scenarios such as infiltrating a prison or destroying a particularly large creature or monster. Sadly Fallen Earth does not offer grouping tools that many will have taken for granted in other games. You can’t for instance search for open groups or look through various clans that might be recruiting for new members. You end up in the regular chat channel hoping that something appears which will interest you.

The missions in the game are wide spread and you spend a lot of time traveling which makes purchasing some form of transportation (such as a horse) a wise investment. The graphics of the environment are relatively varied with barren sections interspersed with luscious fertile grasslands. Unfortunately the distances to travel are so great that it can take 10-15 minutes even on horse, to reach your destination. Sadly however the overall graphical presentation is lacking in detail and it looks rather dated when compared with similar games released recently. The textures are mundane, lighting is poor and many glitches on the models ruin the overall presentation. A game like this really thrives on an active, detailed and well sculpted world but it misses the mark by a considerable margin.

The audio side is stronger however because the selection of instruments and overall musical direction really sets the atmosphere in the specific locations.

Fallen Earth is a game which could have been so much more if the bugs had been squashed and the pace was faster because the tedium of traveling huge distances on such a regular basis is enough to drive even the most patient of gamers insane. Later, the game picks up a little and the mission content is truly excellent but the shoddy combat and general unfriendly interface system goes some way to ruin the fun.


At the heart an excellent overall structure but its ruined by bugs and an immensely slow pace.
Many bugs ruin the overall presentation, texture detail and lighting is poor.
An excellent score and some great effects set the ambience.
It is a little hard to recommend with all the bugs and issues.

If you still like the idea of playing this after reading this review then you will likely get something from it.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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