Fallen Earth gets a facelift… and maybe more?

When I logged into my email yesterday, I was surprised to find a press release from Icarus Studios waiting for me. Aside from feeling uncharacteristically like press, the details the release talked about surprised me. Here, I’ll let them tell you what’s going on:

Fallen Earth, LLC today announced the inclusion of several wilderness graphics enhancements, specifically to the elements of scrub—including grass and shrubs—terrain and fog. Sharpening and blending textures, colors and lighting, the new and improved details enhance the look and feel of the Fallen Earth post-apocalyptic environment and heighten player immersion.

If you’ve played the game at all, you know how much this type of change would help the game– sector one especially. On the last episode of Massively Speaking, Lee Hammock pretty much nailed it, frankly and openly;the “scrub” was pretty much a few flat textures stood on their side. After logging in today and downloading the patch… wow.

See for yourself.

Little better eh?

Now, about the fog. I’m honestly a little in-between about that. I usually don’t like fog in games, because it’s too reminiscent of just turning down your view distance in the video settings. This seems more natural though, check it out:

It’s more of a “fade out” than “full stop,” if you know what I mean.

Now, what the release didn’t mention is how these changes impacted performance. I love the game, but, even before this patch, it didn’t perform anywhere near where you would expect it to for the level of graphics. If adding these things meant killing my frame rate, I wasn’t going to be happy.

*Trumpets Begin*

I have no drop in frame rate. Hell, my frame rate is better than it used to be! From what I can tell, I’m getting an extra 5-10 FPS out in the wild. That, my friends, is awesome.

It’s changes like this, coming so quick and doing so much that really enamor me with Icarus Studios. Their small size makes them more versatile than any other company I can name, and it’s all to the players benefit.

This may not be all, either. On that same episode of Massively Speaking, Hammock also talked about their plans for a pet system. Apparently, they’ve been bringing test pets into the game and seeing how the work they did pre-release works in the live environment.

It’s still all up in the air, but I was excited hearing him talk about it. They’re looking at making pet training its own trade skill. Pets might have their own AI and be useable in different situations. Depending how that goes, the system could be used for NPCs, so you could have a miner or bodyguard running around with you. You really have to give it a listen, it’s exciting stuff.

Anyways, if you haven’t checked out the game in a while, give it a try again. At the rate things are moving, within a year, Fallen Earth could be in a totally different place. I like seeing progress you can mark and this is the game for it.

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