Yes, that's right. I celebrated my triumphant return to Fallen Earth like every good cowboy. I rooted around in some discarded trash until I found myself a pair of authentic (and only slightly soiled) chaps. Look at that folks. I like to think of it as “framing.”
I spent a good two hours in the wasteland yesterday and had a great time. Fallen Earth offers something unique amongst the swath of MMOs out there right now. Actually, it offers a lot of somethings, trash looting being only one of them.
Everything in the game just feels so authentic. Granted, who knows how life would play out if a killer virus actually did hit, but there's something very down to earth about the game. It's homey, in its own desolate way. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the game is that you honestly feel like just about anything is possible – in a realistic sense. You're not going to fly if you jump off a cliff (for too long anyways) but there's always that chance of “hey, maybe I'll find something new, maybe a piece of old scrap, and I'll be able to put something together with it.” You use what you have around you, right down into recipes that need appropriate materials (say, fasteners, scrap metal, and leather, to make a crossbow). I love that. Logical loot, logical creation.
It also takes an interesting approach to the “stream of rewards” game play most often seen in AAA MMOs. Usually, games reward you with the new and shiny to keep you going. I find it very interesting that Fallen Earth does exactly the opposite and achieves the same thing. You're always upgrading, maybe from a rusty pipe to a rusty wrench or gold club, but your gear always retains that rustic feel you'd expect in this setting. Hell, even the best vehicle looks like something you'd find at the back of the junk yard. And players clamor for it.
I won't extol every virtue the game offers. I find myself particularly struck coming, literally, from WoW to FE. The difference is stark but it seems to make this play through all the more appealing.
I'll say this much though, Fallen Earth is best when played for big chunks at a time. I kept my mind on moving forward, and progressing, and before I knew it, two hours were gone from under me. WoW is wont to do the same (nod to George R.R. Martin) but in a totally separate way. It has me thinking about immersion, what makes that magic happen and why. Topic for the podcast? A blog post? Just maybe.
My wife made my day, after telling her about my chaps. A classic response from a non-gamer: Honey, trust me. You don't want to wear chaps, especially from the garbage. The person who threw them away probably had some weird cowboy fetish.
It's good to be a nomad :-D