I'm closing the book on Fallen Earth without having written anything about it. I played it for a while and it's just utterly failed to hook me. And that's kind of surprising because I'm kind of a sucker for the setting. Post-apocalyptia? Yes please! When you get going in it, it's basically Fallout: New Vegas, the MMO. That alone should have been enough to hold my attention. But the whole game has a liberal patina of "good enough" that makes me feel like it's in a maintenance mode of scraping in a few more bucks before the funding is pulled. Created in 2009, the game is really showing its age at this point. The concept is nifty and there's definitely a good MMO that could be made in this kind of post-apocalyptic setting, but this one isn't it.
As you guys know, I follow Mat Westhrope's writing over at gameskinny.com and today he had an interesting piece about another space dog-fighter simulation coming out, Elite: Dangerous. Go take a look but my thinking is that this is going to be one of the games crushed by Valkyrie and Star Citizen. Gotta say that strafing run against the much bigger target brought back some nice memories of Wing Commander and Freespace, though... For now, it doesn't yet earn a place on the Upcoming MMO list.
My feelings about Elder Scrolls Online have been running hot and cold as we've been learning more about the game. I have no more interest in getting involved in a 100% theme park game than I ever have. However, I gotta say that this video really has me a little bit excited. Sometimes I ask people "Is it the spaceships you love about EVE, or is it the fights? If you had to pick one, which one?" Zoomed out, as many of us play EVE Online, the spaceships sometimes get a little hard to remember. I myself have a hard time answering this question sometimes and if ESO can pull off what this video shows...
...then Jester's Trek might be taking me back to Cyrodil for a while. ;-)
Finally, my current minor addiction is a beta game called Warframe. The hook is "Space! Ninjas!" In reality, it's just another basically OK PvE shooter. The "ninjas" almost immediately break out assault rifles. On the positive end, it's got really good level design and a lot of the back-end stuff is cleverly done. The AI is... OK. Global Agenda still holds the gold standard so far as I'm concerned for really well-done AI. Warframe's AIs will use cover and will occasionally use cooperative attacks in an intelligent manner. But most of the time, they continue the long tradition of "stand-still-shoot-in-player-direction" school of PvE AI.
Not so good? The early game is really homogenous and repetitive. The great level design livens things up a little, but it's still capture/escort/defend. Only this time, most of the early game space ninjas are using the exact same sword, pistol, assault rifle, and tactics. There's not even a nod in the direction of rogue-tank-healer. Everyone pretty much uses the same stuff the same way with only minor variations. The UI is wonky where it isn't terrible and the reticle is a pale brown that is often lost in the background. Finally, it's got a real problem in terms of early game player scaling and growth. It doesn't take very many hours playing the game to far outstrip players who can't keep up with your play time.
I may or may not stick with it. Space ninjas is a great hook but so far it's utterly failing to live up to the high concept. Short version, I'm still looking for a good long-term minor addiction. ESO is looking like it may win by default...