Earthrise Review — Impressions: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this review series, we covered some of the creative innovations and technical failings of Earthrise. Crafting plays a big role in this MMORPG, because the economy is player-based: there are no NPC vendors, and monsters primarily drop crafting materials. To obtain anything beyond the free gear given by NPCs, you need to trade for it, or make it yourself.


Earthrise (PC [Reviewed])
Developer: Masthead Studios
Publisher: Masthead Studios
Release Date: February 04, 2011
MSRP: $13.95

Earthrise’s crafting system is complex: difficult to learn, but a potential selling point for many players. However, as fun as crafting could be, collecting the materials is a time-intensive process, during which you could be killed, looted, and forced to start from scratch–not to mention locating the proper crafting station.

If complaints about lag are the most common comments in chat, questions about the locations of NPCs or cities are the runners-up. Earthrise provides no quest markers, encouraging players to explore on their own. In principle, this is a good idea: exploring the world of Enterra is an adventurous experience. But it is a time-consuming experience with no tangible reward–that hour spent heading to the next city puts you an hour behind in earning your next skill.

The game boasts dozens of skill options, which allow for tremendous replay value and diversity in character builds, but there is a distinct paucity of low-level options. You spend your first hours–or even days–without any skills at all.

Earthrise touts itself as a sandbox game, but its lack of content reduces your options to killing players, killing monsters, crafting, and exploring. There is no reward for exploring (other than being killed and looted), killing monsters is slow and repetitive, and crafting only becomes a viable option when you’re either high-level or have friends to protect you.

To describe Earthrise in one word: niche. An MMORPG in the niche sci-fi genre, tailored for the hardcore gamer niche, and ideal for the clan niche.

Earthrise feels like a game designed with a huge playerbase in mind, with armies of clans waging wars over cities, crafting stations, and resources. It’s amazing when a playerbase takes over the politics of the game, runs the economy, and adds a level of depth and dynamicity that can’t be programmed in. But you need to draw in a huge playerbase before this can happen.

Many will say that most MMORPGs have bad launches, that you have to tough it out until the issues are resolved. Have we grown so complacent as gamers that we should accept this?

Verdict? If you’re a casual gamer, Earthrise isn’t for you. If you’re hardcore, wait a few months for the bugs to be ironed out and for an economy to be established. If the stars align, Earthrise may be a hit by then.

Pros:

  • Art direction
  • Crafting system
  • Skill system

 

Cons:

  • Lack of content
  • Slow progress
  • Server performance and bugs
  • Repetitive gameplay

 

Score: 65/100

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6 Comments on Earthrise Review — Impressions: Part 3

Radar11x

On February 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I wish they would give a trial of some kind

ERCrawler

On February 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thank you for a honest review

Mako

On February 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Very good job Miozzi, good to know that some journalists havent sold out yet, unlike the sell outs at MMORPG.com. Very honest review and right on the spot without a blemish. I gave it also a 5 out of 10. Gave has alot of potential but at this rate they wont be able to cover all the costs to keep their nose above the water. Too bad really.

Kim

On February 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

An excellent review. I had alot of questions answered. I think alot of these games would make it alot further if they were properly promoted. But of course, promotion requires funds that most developers don’t have.

CJ Miozzi

On February 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Thanks folks. A trial would really help cut down on the amount of rage revolving around this game.

I wanted to love Earthrise. But it broke my heart. This game had great potential.

Macho

On February 22, 2011 at 5:25 am

This game is the worst launch since SWG. The devs can’t even begin to examine the glaringly obvious pvp imbalances because the game is so rife with other, much more basic problems.

All of the areas in the game have issues where they sometimes work “ok”, and sometimes have such terrible latency that they become unplayable. Pvp where you shoot 3-10 seconds after you pull the trigger is not fun.

Many players were turned off as they unable to get their login codes to work until dev staff manually activated their accounts days after they bought the game.

Stamina reduces quickly when you sprint, but you can bunnyhop endlessly without stamina or accuracy loss. A major and ametur flaw in an open world mmo-shooter.

Economy and progression system has been heavily imbalanced by players exploiting massive but uniquely located packs of slow moving npcs that pay out both huge advancement and monetary rewards.