Today’s blog will be hosted by the ever-conversant Syp (of Bio Break infamy) while I take a little time off to enjoy my honeymoon.
When Professor Beej, who holds a doctorate in both love and Firefly, asked me to do a guest article so he could go get freaky on his honeymoon (remember, guys: safe word! May I suggest “Serenity”?), I briefly thought about just cut ‘n pasting sixteen pages of bad poetry I wrote my freshman year of college. Complete in the Enya font that was all the rage back in ’94.
But I guess we’re supposed to talk about “games” or somesuch, so I’ll behave myself and instead do a bit of collegiate compare-and-contrast between two post-apocalyptic games – one being the second sequel and a multiple “Game of the Year” award winner, and the other one being a MMO that I just can’t shut up about, because it’s so dang fun. That’s right, it’s time for a little Fallout vs. Fallen Earth cage match!
Depending who writes articles about Fallen Earth, you’ll either get people who say that “it’s just not fair to compare this title to the Fallout franchise, as they’re different beats” or folks who will go “Fallen Earth obviously owes a great debt to Fallout and borrows heavily from it.” You can’t really get more opposite without a bi-polar friend who’s recently gone off their meds. So which is it? Where do the two franchises converge and where do they differ? Let’s take a look.
Where The Two Converge:
- Names – They both have “Fall” in their titles, obviously alluding to the majesty of the autumn season and the great bevy of colors that come with the changing of leaves and radiation levels.
- Humor – For some, the end of the world is rooted in despair and fear, but both of these games use this setting as a platform for black humor, bizarre personalities, and outrageous advertising.
- Desert Setting – Fallouts 1 and 2 largely took place in the irradiated deserts of the American West, and likewise, Fallen Earth plops us right down in the middle of the Grand Canyon. Cowboy up, pardner!
- Scarcity of Resources – Even with gobs of pesky humans out of the way, resources are a bit scarce since Wal-Mart was nuked into oblivion. Both games have you scavenging for weapons, ammo, food and the last tube of hair gel on the planet.
- Adult Themes – These games are rated “M” for mature. Because family values and non-exploding mutants are a relic of the past, I guess!
- Mutants – Fallout has supermutants and Fallen Earth has Throwbacks and they both have giant mutated bugs, so now we know what we’re missing from our lives today.
Where The Two Diverge:
- Crafting – I don’t recall crafting much in Fallout, as I was too high on using a mini-nuke rocket launcher to pay attention. Fallen Earth is much more pragmatic – you have to eek out a living in this harsh world, and that means building from scavenged materials whatever you’re going to use.
- SP vs. MMO – Of course, a single-player game is going to handle a lot differently than a MMO, and in some ways, it’s just not fair to compare the combat (which is better, but far easier, in Fallout) or storyline between the two.
- Taglines – Which is better: “War. War never changes.” or “Welcome to the apocalypse.”? Sure, Fallen Earth’s makes me feel all warm and accepted inside, but… c’mon. You can’t beat Ron Pearlman’s classic line.
- Radiation – Fallout’s world ended in nuclear war, whereas Fallen Earth suffered mostly from a killer virus, as well as a limited nuclear exchange. However, FE features radiation less as a world element, which allows for more trees and life to flourish than Fallout’s barren wastes.
That’s just scratching the surface, but it’s enough to see that both schools of thought have enough to back up their claims. It’s like sports game franchises have a lot in common, but are their own unique beasts too. Just accept it without making a big deal, and enjoy them both!