As for my own personal impressions, I would say anyone who listens to our podcast knows where this is going. I love the game, and I won't hide that, but I can still hold an analytical and experienced eye to what we have now versus what we had at launch, which is the point of this article.
As a die-hard fan of anything post-apocalyptic, the game already gets points with me for that. The environments and atmosphere are what initially drew me to this game, but I've been hooked in by something entirely different: choice of style. You can play this game any way you want, and I love that. You can be a medic with a shotgun and heavy armor if you want. You don't have to be restricted by robes and a big stick just because you like to buff and heal.
Throughout beta, I rushed through much of the game to grab screenshots and find out what they had to offer on the surface. Now that it has launched, I've been playing more slowly, reading quest text and discovering why my character is a clone in the Grand Canyon Province. It's a wonderful storyline and I'm quite enjoying myself. The sense of humor is unmatched, if you catch the pop culture references and dry jokes, which I love.
I'm currently only level 17 on my main, but I'm trying to get the most out of Sector 1 before I venture into Sector 2 and start getting into the Factional content. Sector 1 is supposed to give me an idea of how each of the six factions are defined, so I don't consider it something to rush through. Even by playing it slowly, I still have yet to visit every city and do every questline in S1. The world is vast and open, and that really adds so much to a game that takes place after the apocalypse.
Plus, most of what I liked at the beginning are things I still enjoy. The open leveling system, the offline crafting system, the deep involvement of the six factions in the storyline, heck, even the combat -- these are all things that brought me in and hooked me for good. The fact that none of this has changed in a month is a very good thing. Despite talks of new content already, their major patches have revolved around current bug fixes and easing new players in with an improved tutorial. These should rightfully be the first improvements, in my opinion.
While I could literally spend 5,000 more words talking about my likes for the game, there are certainly dislikes as well.
As someone who's pretty finicky about quests in the first place, you can imagine how unhappy I am about doing them over and over again each time there's a server reset. It seems the resets have stopped with recent improvements and updates, but that was a point of frustration for those first few weeks. To me, this is something that should have been taken care of at beta, not after people are paying for the game.
During beta, I was a bit turned off by the art style and graphics quality. Many people joke about it being outdated, but this is not the real aesthetic problem for me any more. My current nit-picky concern only revolves around the fact that the character animation is lacking. It's not enough to stop me from playing the game, but it certainly detracts from any type of immersion factor. In a game where the horse animation is some of the best I've ever seen in any game outside of one specifically made about horses -- not to mention the hysterically-accurate dance emotes -- you would think the character run and jump animations might be a bit bigger concern.
Other than that, I could nitpick even more, but there has not been anything in the game to keep me away -- especially after the most recent update.
Fallen Earth is a refreshing game. People have demanded something different from the typical fantasy-based "WoW Clone" for years, and here it is. After Star Wars Galaxies presented their NGE, it left a gaping hole in the MMOverse for those players who enjoyed that pre-NGE gameplay. Fallen Earth fills that gap, and adds so much more. It is ironic to me when people say they want something different, but when it's here, they complain that it doesn't have all the features they're used to in their other game.
That said, no one should have to put up with bugs, glitches and client issues that steal game time away. Now that the Fallen Earth team has proven to us that they're dedicated to listening to our concerns and smashing those initial technical bugs, it gives us hope that this game will be around for a long time, and continually improve on the technical side.