Fallen Earth: Really quite good!

OK, I got FE today as you may know. I've only played it for roughly 6 hours so this is by no means a difinitive review (unless you're Eurogamer?), more of an 'initial impressions' piece.

Lets start at the beginning- the options for character creation are fairly limited. There's lots of options you can change, from the usuals like hair style & eye colour to more unusual things like height and body hair. There are 2 different slots for facial hair (one for beards, one for a moustache iirc) 2 slots for piercings, and 2 for facial tattoo's and 2 for 'face paint'. You also get to choose the style and colour of the clothes you start out in. These are all great but I just felt there wasn't enough options in each category for my liking.

On first stepping foot in the game I couldn't help but be surprised by the quality of the graphics. What I had read about the game led me to believe that they were quite medicore, but even with them just under maxed they looked sharp and pleasing to the eye. Some of the animations on the other hand, looked slightly unnatural at best, but the majority are fairly well done (you wouldnt believe how many dance emotes there are!)

The game starts with an essentially single player tutorial which is a must do if it's your first toon in FE. Although it looks like a fairly generic MMO, with the typical UI layout, it most definately doesnt play the same way. If you dont do the tutorial you'll be pretty cluless when you get into the game. Please, if only to save the plyers nice enough to sit in the new player channel answering questions a headache, DO THE TUTORIAL.

the comabat is a breath of fresh air in the MMO genre, grinding mobs in a turn based system, for me, becomes monotonous very quickly. The FPS style real time combat keeps it chugging along and is actually a challenge- I had died several times before I reached level 3. Sure I was getting used to the mechanics still but it meant I had to really concentrate on what I was doing, always making sure I had the upper hand in the fight. Admittedley, levelling up takes a lot longer then in the usual MMO's. I played for the best part of a day and logged off as a level 4 character. Far from being in any way a negative thing, I thought this was great- it makes attaining that next level of so much sweeter! My only gripe with combat is that lag can make it hard to land a hit if your target is moving, and if you're on at primetime the lower framerate can make aiming tricky.

The crafting system bears similarities to the EVE way of doing things minus the need for blueprints to work from. You can research or buy trade skill books which will then allow you to craft various items in that category (eg the jackets 1 book will let you make various low level jackets) and then the materials must either be bought or harvested/scavenged. I've not done a huge amout of crafting yet so I'll leave it for now and post a more in depth review of it later.

The only part of the game I haven't tried out is PvP, which is a shame because if it turns out good it'll be one of the things im most excited about in this game.

Some minor problems are present as to be expected in any fresh MMO blood: some resource nodes still show after another player has looted them, performance isnt great, lag is a problem in populace hubs, lots of graphical and game world glitches. The most annoying thing Ive found so far is that when you find/craft an item for a quest it often doesn't update the quest tracker. One quest today involved me having to aquire 7 ragged cotton. I had 15 in my bags (it's also a pretty handy crafting ingredient) but the quest tracker only counted 1. You can work around this by abandoning the quest and visiting the NPC again but it has gotten quite irksome already.

Before this turns into a wall of text, ill leave it here for now and post up some additional thoughts after I've had a bit more time with the game.

Tl:dr version- it's got the usual new MMO problems, but is still an entertaining game with huge potential.