A week ago I finally rolled into Embry Crossroads, which is sort of the second tier of towns in southern Sector 1. It’s here the mobs get tougher, the missions more challenging, and we’re introduced to Fallen Earth’s first pseudo-dungeon, the Junk Fortress. Unlike many modern MMOs, Fallen Earth doesn’t instance anything outside of the tutorial (that I’m aware of), so it’s entirely likely that you’ll bump into fellow adventurers while inside these complexes.
The Junk Fortress is no small theme park funhouse; it’s actually a large, sprawling underground parking garage-turned-HQ for the Blade Dancers, a faction you end up fighting all across southern S1. Mobs are in high density, and if you’re at-level, you should definitely bring friends. Lots of quests from Embry lead into the Fortress, so if you wait to collect all of them, you can knock a bunch out at once.
However, I’m level 14 and equipped with a shotgun, so the “danger” aspect of the fortress was minimized. Most mobs went down with a shot or two, and bosses took four (at most). You think that would become boring, but, no, watching Blade Dancers fly across the room with their rag doll physics at work is endlessly entertaining. Plus, I kind of felt like an avenger cleaning house.
As I said, this place is HUGE. If you’re not careful, you can get really turned around in it, since it spans several floors that take you lower and lower into the earth. When you’re in a game that has no teleport/recall/hearth feature other than dying, it’s a concern to get too far away from your car (or in my case, a tamed prairie chicken).
What I love is that for your first foray into the place, you’re mostly asked to do tasks on the upper levels, and it’s pretty routine. Then you’re sent back in to kill Loki, the boss of the Blade Dancers, which requires you to head deep down into the lower levels — and this is where it all changes. Not only does it start looking more medieval with torches and dirt walls, but you begin to encounter new and tougher mobs: blight wolves and Shiva’s favored. It’s really dark down there, too, so using your flashlight is recommended unless you want to get totally freaked out when a giant wolf lunges out of the shadows at you.
I’m excited that Fallen Earth is going F2P in a couple weeks, because I’ve always thought this is a game that deserves a much larger audience. It’s not a perfect title — it’s still buggy in some areas (rubberbanding and mobs with disappearing heads are just two things I noticed today) — but the attention to detail, an expansive world, and a huge wealth of things to do makes it worthwhile.
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