When creating your character, you'll be able to pick your gender of either male or female and three different classes (and only three.) You can choose warriors, which are pretty straight forward attackers for close range fighting, scouts, whichcan use bows and daggers for a balance of weak close and long ranged attacks, and sorcerers,whichcan cast magic and status effects on enemies with moderate attack range. There are also five body types, seven face and hair styles with five color variations.
After you create your character, you must pick between one of five kings to pledge your allegianceto. While each king/country has a different background and story to tell, this doesn't pose a major differences between each during combat, so it doesn't matter too much which king you roll with. After your character is created, you'll go through a tutorial that will take you around 10 to 20 minutes to complete. It does a decent job of getting you familiar with the controls and all aspects of the game play.
Even if you have the visuals set to maximum, FEZ's graphics will look awfully dated. The textures on just about everything look very bland and lifeless. Faces on character models aren't animated, so they have nothing but lifeless stares. Besides theplayer models, nothing in the game world seems to cast a proper shadow despite the fact that there are day and night cycles . Additionally, the animations for attacking do not flow naturally and look rather robotic.
FEZ's musical score feels nice and original. FEZ's soundtrack was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, same audio composer for such Square-Enix titles as Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. With that, I feel as if music in FEZ was not created for FEZ. Rather, I feel as if the music was created for another Final Fantasy game. While FEZ's presentation may be a bit off, it shouldn't matter if it doesn't have the looks as long as it has the moves, right?
FEZ's game play certainly does make some moves, but stumbles a bit here and there. The controls for FEZ are your typical combination of keyboard and mouse. You move around using the WASD keys while looking/aiming with the mouse. You can also jump with spacebar and sidestep with Q and E. You're completely invincible to physical attack while jumping and sidestepping, but you can't attack during those actions, so only use it when the situation calls for it. Performing attacks and skills takes a bit of getting used to. Typically with MMORPGs, skills are performed by pressing hotkeys (F1-12,) but in FEZ, attacks and skills are selected using your mouse's scroll wheel and performed with your left mouse button.
On maps that are controlled by your nation, you can battle some monsters here and there for gold, items and EXP. It's nice that there is some basic Player vs. Environment content available, but doing only PvE in FEZ won't get you anywhere. FEZ is all about the hectic Player vs. Player battles for up to 100 players on teams of two.
On the battlefield, there's lots of mayhem going on, so strategy is key. Running in and trying to rambo your way through enemy lines is an easy way to get yourself killed, so you'll have to stick with your teammates and plan ahead. Every class in FEZ has their role to play: Scouts can perform status effect attacks like disarming, move in and out of enemy lines undetected and pin enemies down with their bows. Sorcerers can also use status effect magic while attacking large groups of enemies for crowd control. And warriors serve as both tankers and brute force while crippling enemy morale.
Fantasy Earth Zero was certainly not my cup of tea, but it can certainly be yours if you have the right mindset. The execution of skill based action and visuals were off, but everything else about FEZ is fairly decent. For any MMORPG gamer that's a PvP nut looking for a little change of pace, you may want to give Fantasy Earth Zero some consideration.