Face of Mankind Preview: One Thing Leads to Another
Jason Gallienne (Jrgsubzero), OnRPG Journalist
Face of Mankind, this game lives up to its name. Between the political scandals, the shady operations, drug dealing, and wars over resources this game has a real-life feel to it. With danger around every corner will you be able to make your way in this world?
No Carebears Allowed
Let me get this out of the way right now. This is not a game for the weak of heart. Sure, they may have added a nice little zone for new players to frolic in while they get a grasp on the game, but after that it's watch your back time. You'll have to fend off gankers and enemies while you try to make your living. There are no safe zones (not counting the cloning facility where you spawn upon death) unless you go deep into your factions base behind high security barriers, but even those can be hacked. Get to know your faction, stick in groups, or prepare to die a lot.
Save at faction base
Heart Of The Matter
Now let's get to talking about the game. It's a sci-fi first/third person shooter with RPG elements, or a "Massively Multiplayer Online Action RPG in a single persistent universe" as they call it. There are 8 factions fighting for dominance either by military or the economy. Each faction has its own perks and uniform as well as back-story. Please visitthe Faction Pagefor detailed information on this subject.
The RPG element comes from the crafting, mining, and gear system. Mining is done from terminals found in each of the cities/colonies. All you have to do it boot it up, tell it what you want to mine, and you're off. You don't have to attend to it while it does this so you're free to do other things. Producing weapons/armor/med kits/etc is done almost the same way. Locate the production terminal, buy the production manual, make sure you have the crafting materials stored in that bases storage, and tell it how many you want to make.
In-World RPG Elements
Sounds thrilling right? So let's chat combat. After you either purchase or craft your own armor and firearms you're ready to fight. Combat is similar to your normal shooters, if you put your crosshairs over it you're probably going to hurt it. The recoil can be frustrating for inexperienced players though. In most factions you'll experience combat by either defending your base or trying to take out others. In the mercenary faction you can take hit man contracts given by other factions.
Politics InA Video Game?
Now for one of the more interesting points of this game, which is that it's mostly run by the players themselves. The factions are led by players, all the items are made by players, if you go on a killing spree player-run police will come and send you to jail, and those are just a few examples. Killing someone in another faction could have dire consequences not only for you but for your entire faction. The phrase 'one thing leads to another ' really describes the essence of this game when it comes to your actions. You can get marked as a rogue and get stripped of your faction privileges. Also, for each person you kill you get penalty points, get enough points and you'll become a Most Wanted. Players that belong to the LED can and will arrest you if you become a pest but more often than not the people you've killed will take care of you personally.
Most Wanted player
Here's an example. Let's say you kill someone. A high ranking person in your faction will usually ask why and if you don't have a good reason you'll get a warning. Keep it up and you'll get fined for some of your credits. Continue and you'll get expelled from the faction all together. Now, all factions are run differently so punishments depend on the person running said faction. Don't get me wrong though, nothing is keeping you from being a one-man terror. Just expect a lot of hostility and cops trying to arrest you.
To Pay or Not To Pay
This game has an option to subscribe to the game for $10 a month. Now, before you stand up and rage about this in a skill dependant game let me link you to the perks. Check the forum discussion about this. As you can see, there isn't much of a advantage, if any, when it comes to combat. The benefits offer more in the ways of convenience than power. Unless you plan on taking control of one the factions in a high-ranking position or crafting all your own items then you won't need pay a cent.
Dedication And Constant Updates
This game died a while ago and has been brought back by the same company. Since then there has been updates, tweaks, and additions about every week. I am very impressed with how they listen to their players and keep pumping out updates on a regular basis. They seem very determined to make sure the game clicks well this time which is a great thing! Face of Mankind still attracts only a niche audience but the game is showing huge amounts of potential thanks to the dedication of the staff.
This game may not be perfect but it's worth a try. It's such a unique experience to be in a world where there isn't a NPC to be found. If you're into role-playing this game might be for you due to its player-driven economy and politics. The game might be confusing to start off in but don't let that deter you from giving this game a valid play-through. So my verdict would have to be a 7/10.
- Unique experience.
- Developers seem to actually care about the game
- Graphics are dated.
- Confusing to learn but new tutorials are being put in place.
- A very niche game.