Fracture Reviews

  • AnotherSocietyAnotherSociety314,868
    09 Aug 2009
    23 4 3
    Fracture - (Absolute Ground Breaking Stuff)
    (Written by AnotherSociety and x Joelene x)

    I was not sure what to make of this game when I first played the demo but I knew there was something I liked about it so I purchased the full game on the day it was released. The story line is based on a good idea and the eventual outcome is pretty decent although lacking much needed detail. Without giving away too much basically the world climate change has altered the lives of millions and that’s why the government developed terrain deformation technology to counteract the rise in sea levels.
    So the world was split in two ‘The Pacificans’ who alter human DNA to withstand the changes in the world and the Atlantic Alliance who developed cybernetics to try and keep humankind in balance with nature.
    Pacificans: Bad
    Atlantic Alliance: Good

    The range weapons in this game will keep you entertained right through the entire story. The ‘Black Widow’ shoots sticky bombs which you must detonate by pressing X then sit back and watch the fire display. You have the ‘Scorpion’ sniper Rifle (not related to the weak Submachine gun of the same name) which causes serious damage. The Machine guns are great at the start but enemies get a lot tougher early on and are then only useful to get you out of a tight spot. There are four different grenade types; Spike, Subsonic, Tectonic and Vortex, all of which are deadly in their own right. They all explode like grenades with the exception of the ‘Spike’ that can grow a large pillar out of the terrain which is very useful for lifting things up, plastering your foes to the ceiling, or as a self made elevator. The ‘Vortex’ is by far the best but I will leave you to see that one for yourself though!!! The ‘TDV’ Vehicle really seals the deal though, you will never get stuck with this beast, this mode of transport not only gets you from A to B but can also rise and lower terrain (could be useful for those potholes).
    As you play through the game you unlock certain Augmentations for your body which are needed as the story progresses. From bionic arms to the ability to jump higher these are a welcome addition which adds to the feel of the game.

    The controls and movement are sharp and quick but I found using the Y button to sprint breaks the flow of the game; I would have defiantly preferred to use the left thumb stick and to use Y to crouch. I couldn’t find anything in the options to change the controls but it would have helped make the game more enjoyable. I found when you zoom in with some of the weapons if you are too close to cover you end up shooting it instead of the enemy. It can be hard to tell this is happening when you are zoomed and you may end up with a very alive enemy and low ammo

    I must say Lucas Arts have made a nice job of this game, the graphics clear and vibrant and the destructible elements worked well. The surroundings were well thought out and there was a lot of variety, each level was new and interesting too look at which is a change from many games of this type. The ‘Entrencher’ in this game, which raises and lowers the ground, works well and its effects are graphically amazing. When I first used the ‘Vortex’ grenade in single player I assumed it would create some kind of lag but the game runs smooth throughout.

    The online game play runs along the same lines as the single player and seems pretty good online although I only played four or five games so far. There are a variety of game types to choose from including Capture the Flag, Free for All, King Maker and many more. There appeared to be no lag online, which is unusual for a lot of new games, even with all the terrain deformation going on it seemed very steady. Although with not a lot of players online it could end up like ‘TimeShift’ and undiscovered treasure.

    Graphics 8.2
    Single Player Campaign 8.7
    Multiplayer 7.5
    Sound 7.8
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Fr0zenNovaOne of the best onlines i have ever played, to bad it's dead now
    Posted by Fr0zenNova on 15 Dec 10 at 04:10
    Scorpio3o4I dont understand why some game reviews don't cover acheivments, since this is,you know, an acheivement site. You would think this would be mandatory for a review on this site.
    Posted by Scorpio3o4 on 01 Jun 12 at 14:24
    olde fortran 77This is a pretty accurate review, but I really think the mechanics of this game are very poor. I waste ammo when I'm in cover because it looks like I have a clear shot but when I fire it turns out my cover is in the way. The enemies are ridiculously twitchy the way they cavort about and the game obviously uses your reticule to tell a target when to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. The terrain deformation gets pretty tiresome after a while, especially when the enemy is spamming you with grenades and you can't get a shot because the ground around you is moving up and down. I've even occasionally found myself trapped inside an object when there is way too much "td" going on.
    The variety of weapons was a lot of fun until I played on hardcore and found some of them to almost useless.
    I thought there was too much vehicle driving in Act 2, but that's very much a personal preference.
    Posted by olde fortran 77 on 22 Dec 12 at 17:19
  • Edward HyenaEdward Hyena467,879
    12 Dec 2013 12 Dec 2013
    12 3 5
    Fracture is a third person shooter released in 2008. The main hook of this game is Terrain Deformation, or 'TD' for short. Just about every weapon, and even every type of grenade, has the capability to deform the environment in some way. Think back to the original promise of Red Faction, and you will get the idea.

    The game starts you with the Entrencher, an infinite ammo (with a cooldown) weapon that lets you raise or lower terrain to create small hills or valleys. The maximum height or depth is maybe 1.5x the height of a character. The expectation is that you will be able to use this tool throughout the entire game to create cover, throw enemies into hazards, or solve puzzles.

    The game also has a unique set of weapons, although most of them map onto your standard fare. There's the submachine guns, the shotgun, the single-shot rifle, the sniper rifle, and the rocket launcher. In addition to this are a couple of weapons which burrow underground and explode near targets, or a sticky grenade launcher. The most unique weapons are the freeze gun, which is pretty much the only way to make melee useful, and the Lodestone, which does not actually damage an enemy in itself, but creates a point of gravity and everything within a few meters is drawn in. If that point happens to be in a hazard, or an enemy happens to be followed in by explosive barrels or heavy crates, well, that's their problem.

    The story revolves around global climate change, a civil war in the United States, and the fight between freedom and governmental regulations, along with genetic enhancements versus cybernetics. This all sounds like a fascinating backdrop for great storytelling.

    Unfortunately, most of these promises are never delivered on. Using the Entrencher to create cover works for quick "I need to recover my health" situations, but the cover never lasts. Just as all of your weapons deform the terrain, so do the enemy's. This leads to a situation where terrain is being raised and lowered, debris is flying everywhere, and the ground is constantly shaking. The graphics and framerate hold up surprisingly well under all of this mayhem, but somewhere in here you need to be able to aim and hit targets. The other problem with cover is that, well, if an enemy can't see you, it will start to lob grenades. They will lob a lot of grenades. This game is quite guilty of the "grenade rain" problem that plagues FPS games in this time frame. The grenades will rarely kill you, but they will leave you in cover for far too long as you try to recover health again and again, or you will pop up and be nailed by the pinpoint accuracy of an enemy that you may not even be able to see due to the fixed 3rd person perspective.

    There are other mechanical and AI flaws as well. AI will not see you unless you are in a certain distance, even if you can shoot them with one of your rifles. This is even true when they have the same rifle and could hit you. Close in, and well, the AI will either take cover far better than you can with the game's controls, or will run in erratic patterns that make them hard to track and shoot. Far more enemies had to be taken down once they stopped moving than while they were moving to and fro, unless they were running straight into a piece of terrain that they got caught on. And as for taking enemies down, only the weakest of enemies can be taken down with a headshot. Every other level of troop can take a lot of shots. A LOT. The term "bullet sponge" will come to mind frequently throughout the game. You could try to run to cover, but frequently you will find yourself either crouched or zoomed in, and trying to run will not take you out of this position. Worse, the camera angle becomes fixed when you run, leading to situations where you actually cannot see where you are going unless you were already looking at your destination. Strafing is almost out of the question.

    Checkpointing in this game is terrible. There are times where defeating a single enemy may trigger it, or you may chew through an entire squadron of 20-30 men before you get a checkpoint. Some of these overwhelming scenes may require you to spend 5 minutes picking through enemies one by one before you get killed and have to start over again. This quibble aside, the real problem is when you checkpoint in the middle of a battle. More than once a checkpoint saved in a spot where, if your weapon was not fired immediately after the load, you would be killed by the enemy that had saved in front of you.

    The story falls flat as well. Starting out with your character trying to arrest a rebel leader and showing some promise, the game quickly devolves into an extremely linear quest to turn on or off shields, raise or lower bridges, or run from point A to point B. There are very few cut scenes which advance the story, and even fewer of these cut scenes touch on the greater conflict that this game's universe is set in, despite grandiose statements during gameplay such as "We're trying to save the world," without even addressing why one side in this battle may be morally better or not. The cutscenes could be replaced by any sci-fi storyline you desire, and it probably wouldn't come across as incongrous. The other offense the story commits is that, outside the framing of trying to arrest the rebel leader, the entire game's plot feels like it would have been one or two missions in a more popular sci-fi shooter such as Gears of War or Halo.

    The game has one other mode, "Weapons Testing", which is a sandboxy playground with objects, platforms, and a collection of weapons that grows as you uncover the game's collectibles. This mode actually lets you try out any tactics you may want with an infinitely restockable arsenal and spots to stand in to summon enemies. However, there are no "infinite ammo" or "infinite health" options, so if a trick you're trying to pull off doesn't work, be prepared to be punished for it.

    Multiplayer is completely dead, with this review written in 2013 for a game published in 2008. However, there is a single mode which cannot be found in other games here called Excavation. In this mode, your goal is to tunnel down to the lowest height possible at certain control points to raise a spire of rock, and then defend this spire from enemy gunfire. It's an interesting concept, and the only one to actually use the TD mechanics of the game to any great effect.

    Achievements wise, this game has some pretty standard goals, such as 25 or 50 kills with every weapon, finishing the game on the hardest difficulty (good luck), and collectibles. There are a few interesting achievements for using the TD mechanics to get interesting kills, such as pushing an enemy into a shield or crashing them into a wall. The real flaw is the multiplayer achievements, which only involve getting wins and the extreme grind of 1500 games played. Even if multiplayer were still alive today this would be a goal that requires a larger amount of time than a mediocre shooter such as this deserves.

    In summary, this game had some neat ideas but every single one of them falls flat. The game's difficulty is ramped up by turning enemies into bullet sponges, making headshots ineffective, and using grenade rain. The story is bland and fails to meet any of the expectations of a game with such a unique backstory. There is very little to recommend here that cannot be found in other games.

    (The reviewer played this game in 2013, with a single playthrough on Hardcore setting and 4 hours spent exploring multiplayer and its mechanics.)
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    7 4 0
    Here we are again, looking at another game with an interesting concept that turned out to be much less than the public expected. Fracture is a third person shooter that takes place in a future America, where the country has been literally divided by terrain deformation.

    In typical shooter style, you play as a soldier tasked with stopping the destruction of your country. As a solider, you're equipped with a fairly standard loadout which includes a machine gun from both sides of the conflict, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, and rockets. That's what makes the game the same as almost every other, but what makes it different? Simply, the terrain deformation powers. LB and RB buttons are used to either raise or lower the terrain, which is helpful in creating quick cover, throwing off an attacking enemy, or manipulating the environment to progress. Apart from that the controls are pretty standard, the only real oddball being the Y button to run. Sound boring? That's because it most certainly is.

    In Fracture you fight the standard set of enemies. Guys with guns, small guys that are hard to kill, and big guys that are hard to kill. Rinse and repeat for multiple levels. In the terms of a third person shooter, Fracture brings nothing new to the table, it simply takes the working formula and adds in a near useless ability that makes the game slightly different. The most standout part of the game is the excellent musical score, you'll probably enjoy listening to the score on the main menu more than you would enjoy playing the game. Normally, I would stop here with a 2/5 and a harsh "not recommended", but we're not here to enjoy games, we're here to get achievements! So, what's the verdict on the achievements in Fracture?

    Just as boring as a casual playthrough. 100 collectibles scattered throughout the unnecessarily long campaign, because everyone loves those. Killing enemies with every available weapon a certain number of times, because that's so new and revolutionary. The main issue with the Fracture achievement list is the Hardcore difficulty mode, which can be downright infuriating at times. Imagine Army of Two gameplay with World at War grenade spam. The majority of the game is just hiding as your shields regenerate, which it sometimes doesn't do due to a glitch, and popping out to shoot at the too-long hordes of constantly respawning enemies. The last boss is also incredibly frustrating, but you do get a satisfactory feeling when Hardcore is complete...Until you realize you have multiplayer to do.

    The Fracture multiplayer achievement list is incredibly standard, winning 50 games in each game type and 100 games as each team. The real kicker here is the 1500 games played, which is easy but far from fun. 25 hours of running to a point, over and over and over again, 1500 times to be precise. As if the campaign wasn't boring enough, all the multiplayer modes will put you right to sleep. Another game with a nice sounding concept and a great amount of potential (especially after finding out LucasArts and Day 1 had a hand in its creation) that ultimately amounted to nothing special.