Saturday, October 30, 2021

We Fall And Then We Rise - The Unlikely Return Of Fallen Earth

A few days ago I read that Little Orbit were planning on bringing back the much-missed post-apocalyptic quasi-western mmorpg, Fallen Earth. Before I'd had time to assimilate that, they'd announced it wouldn't be in months or weeks or even days. It would be now.

I always really liked Fallen Earth. I was very sad to see it go. When I heard it was coming back I was determined to make some time at least to take a look. I hadn't made any plans on how that might happen other than that I'd probably wait for it to reappear on Steam, if only to make the whole process easier on the re-installing and re-registering front.

This morning I glanced down my blog roll and saw someone was already playing it. I checked the Steam page to see if anything had change. It hadn't. The game remains in limbo there, with a "Mixed" rating and a message from Valve that reads "At the request of the publisher, Fallen Earth Free2Play is no longer available for sale on Steam..."

I checked the Gamers First website. There's a big, orange "Play Free Now" button just begging to be pressed. I pressed it and of course it asked me to register or if I had an account already I could sign in. I did have an account already and I had the details. 

They didn't work. I reset the password. I thought I'd save myself the trouble of thinking up a new one by making my new password the same as my old one. I mean, logically, the old one hadn't been recognized, so the system checking it couldn't possibly know I'd used it before, right? I mean, if it did, then it would have worked.

Of course it rejected it on the grounds I couldn't re-use my current password. Which is a Catch 22 and a paradox, isn't it? Not the first time that's happened to me, either.



I just cut four long paragraphs where I explained in excruciating detail exactly how I nearly downloaded and installed the game and precisely why in the end I didn't need to. I wrote it before lunch then I came back and re-read it and almost fell asleep. So boring. The bit about passwords is edge of the seat stuff by comparison.

Cutting to the chase, in what felt like an indecently short time after deciding to do it, I was at character creation, making a new character. I did wonder as I was logging in whether my old characters would be there but no, it's a fresh start.

I have a post in mind about character creation and choice in Fallen Earth but I'm going to let it brew for a while. I'll just say I was very happy with the results.

I was also impressed with the tutorial. I'm not absolutely sure I've never played through it before. It seemed mostly unfamiliar but there were one or two moments when I did wonder if maybe I'd gone through it for a blog post or something.

It's very different from and much better than the tutorial I remember quite clearly from the launch era, back when you not only had to buy the game but also pay a subscription, something I did for about three months.

That tutorial made the almost unforgiveable mistake of letting you spend half an hour as an extremely powerful, fully-geared, high level character before finally dumping you into the real game, stripped of all your armor, weapons, skills and levels, a hobo in rags barely fit go two rounds with a chicken. I strongly dislike tutorials that play that trick.

The current one is much better. It reminds me of the original DCUO tutorial or indeed the original Allods one. Any tutorial, really, where an urgent voice in your head tells you what to do as everything around you falls apart and explodes. I quite enjoy those.

It took me maybe twenty minutes to get through that part and then it was out into the world. Fallen Earth is a very strange game, graphically, in that it manages at one and the same time to look primitive yet still breathtaking. It looked old-fashioned even when it was new but, rather like Lord of the Rings Online, the whole thing somehow manages to give the impression of being convincing rather than  outdated, weathered and authentic rather than tired and cheap.

It is, in fact, one of my favorite games for how it looks. It has an indefinable charisma. I guess it's all down to a combination of great design and good lighting but whatever it is, it really works.

With time pressing, I finished the first couple of quests, took some screenshots and logged out. Before I left I also made a chat window with none of the global or other public channels. I'd forgotten just how appallingly awful public discourse in Fallen Earth can be.

I don't know why but it's always been that way. It got even worse when the game went Free to Play but I remember it being very bad even before that. Something about the post-apocalyptic setting seems to attract the kind of people who not only know an astonishing number of colorfully obscene expressions but are determined everyone else should learn them too.

There is a bad word filter but it doesn't work. I went to put mine on and found it already was. I can't imagine what it could be set to filter out given what it was letting through. I tried to switch it off and on again to see if that made a difference but all that happened was I got a system message telling me "You are not allowed to run commands."

I'm guessing we'll just have to put up with both the bad behavior and the bugs, both of which were always a big part of the Fallen Earth experience. Gamers First have made it clear this is an as-is experience not a bona fide relaunch. That's fine with me. I'm happy just to have the chance to ride my horse through the desert sunsets once again.

When I get a horse, that is. 

Note to self. Next job: get a horse.


  1. Fallen Earth was one of those games I played a bit in beta, said I would play it when it went live, then pretty much forgot about it until it shut down. Glad to see it is back. Not sure if I will ever live up to my plan to play it however.

    1. It's a good game in a number of ways but I'm not sure it's worth starting now if you haven't already tried it. It requires quite a commitment to get very far, too, which it's probably not going to happen from any more people this time round than any of the previous times.

      I hope Little Orbit do eventually revamp it for a contemorary audience but I suspect that won't happen and even if it does there's always going to be something more vogueish to grab the attention. It's an odd niche, the post-apocalyptic western. Not sure there's a lot of room for growth there.


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