It doesn’t take long for players in Fallen Earth to get a sense of just how dark and dangerous the game world actually is when their first weapon is found lodged in the head of some hapless soul who didn’t know when to duck. The corpse works a lot like any harvesting node… You walk up to it, click and you get the item. This just happens in this case to represent dislodging an axe from someone’s skull.
Once you’ve got your weapon, it’s all about learning to wield that sucker. In order to attack, you need to go into “aim mode”, basically you go from a panned out view of your character to a zoomed in view, either first person or third, with an aiming reticule.
In order to hit whatever it is you’re swinging at, you have to a) make sure your reticule is lined up and b) make sure your target is within range. The physical combat, it turns out, is actually FPS style meaning that you actually have to hit in order to… hit. No dice rolls to determine success or failure. The RPG elements come in when the game determines damage. Damage is most affected by elements like your attack skill, their armor modifiers and other typical RPG trappings.
“Basically,” we were told, “it’s a hit determination via FPS, damage figured out via RPG mechanics. We’re really going for a hybrid of both.”
Fallen Earth is a classless game, meaning that it’s built on skills, stats, mutations, tradeskills and more. Advancement happens via something called “Advancement Points” (APs), earned through XP and the like, that can be applied to skills, stats, special abilities and more. Every tenth of a level you advance, you get two APs.
The game is designed to provide enough APs to allow players to create a fairly diverse character maxing out a number of different abilities. This keeps anyone from being “pistol guy” and allows characters to branch out, flying in the face of typical class roles that tend to be far more restrictive.
This freedom of choice in character role is indicative of the fact that the game, we were told, is trying to move away from some typical MMO trappings like boss fights which, as Hammock points out, can get pretty boring in an FPS setting. Just continually shooting at a twelve story tall bad guy can be just plain boring.
You can see and hear Lee describing the game’s combat system by watching the video below:
In part two of our look at Fallen Earth with Lead Game Designer Lee Hammock we learn about the starting tutorial, combat, skills, weapons, equipment, and looting corpses.
You can check out more on Fallen Earth by reading these related articles: