"Why you should be playing ..." is a freeform column from Massively.com intended to inform you about our favorite parts of our favorite games. We want you to know why we're playing them, so you can know what to play.
Fallen Earth is a staff favorite around the Massively.com offices, yet it's very rare that we really get into why we love it so much. So today I set out to end that little problem and tell you why I love Fallen Earth so much -- the first person combat.
Sure, it's not the first time that an FPS system has been used in an MMO. PlanetSide is an FPSMMO, Tabula Rasa ended up incorporating an (awesome) FPS view shortly before it kicked the bucket, and Neocron is built on FPS concepts, but that doesn't mean that an FPS perspective isn't a huge amount of fun in an MMO or any less original.
Detachment be damned!
One of my biggest problems with MMO combat is how absolutely detached it can be. Clicking your target, hitting your auto-attack button, and then splashing a few skills into the mix makes for interesting tactical decisions, but sometimes it doesn't feel like you're there. It feels like you're watching your character have an adventure, not like you're having the adventure.
The first person perspective very quickly eliminates that barrier between the on-screen character and behind-the-keyboard player. No longer are you detached and floating from behind, but you're right in the character's head, seeing things the way they see them. Now you're the one moving around, avoiding the monsters, and setting yourself up for the right attack at the right time. You're the one hefting the axe and bringing it down on some unsuspecting guy's back, not watching as your character on screen screws up the sneak attack against enemies who know your every move.
Touch someone from afar: Use your sights
When you add the first person perspective to gunplay, you almost always have the option of looking down the scope of your gun. While not everyone loves being a sniper, sometimes you just want to get some magnification on your next shot, so you can be sure it doesn't miss.
Fallen Earth utilizes these awesome modes as well, giving you the edge in being able to select your targets from a distance. Why jump into combat and get up close and personal when you can remove someone's head from the window of a run down building? Very few games let you have these gun-and-run options, where you can take out a few enemies and get away before they even knew what happened.
As I said above, FPS combat makes combat exciting. It's no longer a point-click-and-wait exercise of patience. Now it's a game of movement, aiming, and positioning as you use your skills (the ability to aim and move) along with your skills (the buttons on the hot bar) to keep yourself alive.
Above all, the combat fits with the theme of the apocalypse. Sitting and waiting for your character to beat the crap out of a rabid mutant just doesn't work when you compare it to pulling out a pistol and aiming at someone's leg. It's a setting that craves action, and the developers at Fallen Earth knew that all too well.