Fracture is an action game from Lucasarts proving that they do make more than the occasional Star Wars game!
The story is set in the future and the USA has been split into two factions the Atlantic Alliance and the Pacificans they both end up at war and it is upto Jet Brody, one of the most bland protagonists around to save the day! The concept of the story was quite interesting as it is set it what could happen in reality, with global warming, DNA alterations and cybernetics all being present.
The games main innovation comes in the form of a gun that lets you deform the terrain, you can either raise or lower it to get over and under obstacles as well as allowing you to create some instant cover from enemy gunfire. It is visually very striking and fun to use too.
When in combat you will be equipped with the standard tools from the armoury of the future expect assault rifles, shotguns, pistols and like you have been using in every shooter since Doom. They are reasonable fun to mess around with and there are some cool things like vortex grenades which creates a tornado that tears apart the environments and enemies when its thrown into the mix.
My main frustration with this game is how cheap the enemies can sometimes be hitting you with pinpoint accuracy the second you pop out of cover making some fights really tedious as you slowly whittle down the hoards.
Graphically the game is sound and everything has good detail to it, modifying the terrain is no doubt the best looking thing on show though and is very cool to see though the novelty does wear off the more you play.
Fracture is a fun 8 hour shooter that is reasonably fun while it lasts. The game isn't mind blowing but it's definitely worth at least a rent.
Terraforming sounds good rite? well yes. It is something that most games havent explored so when this game came along it did sound quite appealing.
When i played this game a did find it a little disappointing. I feel that it is a great idea in theory however in this case in practice it just did not work.
The idea of making your own hill or trench to use as cover just didnt cut it. The hills/ trenches you make are just insufficient and offer little protection and a little too time consuming. Also there is a forcing element behind it as well. For example when running down a corridor there his a mound blocking the way and you have to use the terraforming ability to get through. Its very simple and just an inconvinence. Basically its just a fancy door but you just think, 'why not have a door.'
They do make a puzzle element out of this idea though making you have to raise/ depress things in a cirtain to get a cirtain object to proceed which is good but not spectacular.
The most annoying thing about this game though is that the story line is just the same old patriotic yank rubbish that is just a complete put off
It had so much potential but it just feels like every other mid-budget game
I have ranted about George Lucas before, but that is not going to stop me - the man is a pie fingerer. That's right! He always has his fingers in many pies. In fact, I have heard rumours that he has special pastry made for his pies so that he has easy access for his money swollen digits. With fingers entrenched Lucas likes to close his grasp destroying the pie and all the good that once was. CRUSH - go the Star Wars pies; watch as millions of 30-somethings lose their dreams. SPLAT - the memory of decent Indiana Jones films to be replaced with a 2008 farce. But wait. Sat in the corner of the Lucas patisserie sits one untouched delicacy - a computer game pie. Lucasarts has always been free of their monikers influence until - SPLERG! Lucas closes the computer game studio he owns, stilting the memories of games such as 'Monkey Island', 'Day of the Tentacle' and 'Grim Fandango' to name just a few. Could one of the last two games released by Lucasart give hope, when all hope seems lost?
'Fracture' is a third person action game that sees you play a fighter in a future civil war in America. The East and West coast are attacking one another over the touchy subject of genetic engineering. The East have decided to concentrate on manipulating their cells to empower them, the West by better technology. You are on the side of the West and must use a series of weapons designed for future warfare.
The main selling point of 'Fracture' is the land deformation physics. Lucasarts sold the game on the ability for the character to raise or lower the earth around him. This is used in a series of puzzles, but also as a means of defence and attack. Need some cover; throw a land grenade and the floor pops up to protect you. Throw a different type of grenade and a giant spike forms out of the ground and kills the enemy. In essence the game is made or broken by how good this mechanic is. Unfortunately, it's merely ok. The puzzles are not hard enough and the fighting is little more than frantic throwing and shooting - not really a new type of gameplay. In fact the physics have a minimal impact and the game ends up being a decent, but bland, 3rd person shooter. (3 out of 5)
Probably one of the most neglected areas of the computer game industry is the story and character development. The most you can say for Lucasarts in 'Fracture's case is at least they tried. The war over genetic modifications is interesting enough, but it's probably only an excuse to have people shooting each other. The main character is very bland, and the token attempt at introducing a love interest falls flat. (3 out of 5)
In the modern era the average length of a game seems to be around 10 hours. Once more 'Fracture' is distinctly average in that it is about 10 hours long. I think this is about right as the weak concept of raising the floor would not have lasted much longer. The achievements on the 360 version of the game may give some people added value as you will probably need at least two playthrus to get the 'kill all X number of people with X gun'. With the online mode being a bit quiet there is little more than 10 hours in this game for most people. (3out of 5)
'Fracture' has a solid online system that sees you play traditional games such as Deathmatch using the 'Fracture' game engine. Essentially, the set up is same as the single player game, but you are in a confined maps and fighting humans. When I went online, soon after the games release, it was already looking dead and I assume now that no one is playing. This is too bad as it not awful, especially the fact that online kills count towards the achievements for using different guns. (2 out of 5)
I actually think that the graphics are of a high standard, probably due to the limited level design on offer. It's a technical feat that they managed to get the physic engine to work with no tearing or glitching. Perhaps the act of floor deformation may not look as sexy as people may have hoped, but it does pose interesting possibilities for the future. You feel that with 'Fracture' we are a step closer to completely destructible scenery. (4 out of 5)
This is perhaps the one area that I feel let down most, not because the level design is completely awful, but because so much potential was wasted. With the ability to manipulate the ground the possibility for intelligent puzzles is huge. However, Lucasart forgo this in favour of making the physics engine just another weapon in a generic 3rd person fighter. Too many times in the game you are shuffled along a corridor only to meet a dead end. You solve this quandary the same way you did the last 10 times by shooting the floor and revealing the inevitable underground tunnel - pathetic. (2 out of 5)
With the power of Skywalker Ranch behind them Lucasarts went all out with the music in 'Fracture'. The score is incredibly 'Star Wars' like and many times you think you are listening to tracks that could have been used in 'Star Wars: Force Unleashed'. In fact, I would not be surprised if they were tracks dismissed from that game! The vocal talent is not on the same level, but is still professional enough. The problem is that the voices don't retract from the blandness of the characters. Luckily, the music makes up for it. (3 out of 5)
'Fracture' sits firmly in the bracket 'also ran'. The initial idea of having a powerful physics engine that would allow texture manipulation was an exciting one. Therefore, it adds to the sense of bitter disappointment that the game ends up being nothing more than a run and gun game. This run and gun element is in fact ok and if you go into the game not expecting much you will probably appreciate the experience. However, the game does not stand out from the crowd and for that reason I would be unwilling to pay more than £20 for it. (3 out of 5)
Maker: Lucasarts RRP £50
Amazon uk £17.99
Every now and then a first/third person shooter game comes along that changes everything. A game that adds a new element of gameplay that is fantastic, innovative, and becomes a standard feature of the genre.
Some may describe these games as 'groundbreaking'. Fracture is also 'groundbreaking' - unfortunately, and unusually, this is in a far more literal sense!! But more about that later.
In essence, Fracture is a standard shooter game. You play a dull, sci-fi soldier wearing an oversized metal armour suit, armed to the teeth with the usual arsenal of cliched futuristic weapons, rocket launchers, grenade toasters, plasma beanbags (or whatever... you get the idea).
To all intents and purposes, the game is okay. The enemy AI is okay. I mean, the graphics are reasonable. The technology here is good, unfortunately, the environments themselves are not particularly well designed and tend to look a bit ugly. The standard futuristic fare is all over the place, but without the clean finish of Halo or the gritty and anarchic beauty of Gears of War.
The big gimmick here, the 'groundbreaking' feature is that your futuristic super soldier robot man has the ability to make holes in the ground, and to make hills too. This has its purposes strategically - creating cover in tricky situations - as well as for puzzles (although once you've worked out what to expect, they're barely puzzles) and for general fun. I won't deny that when you first start the game, it's great to just go around deforming and generally messing up the lay of the land.
The fun fizzles out though, and the process gets frustrating, because it just feels silly. The plotline has all the depth and finesse of a puddle, and the game is sorely lacking in the emotional hooks and memorable impressive moments of modern classics in the genre, for example Gears of War, or Bioshock. The levels are dull and a little bit repetitive. And at the end of the day, I much prefer the terrain deforming fun available in Worms (!) which was released over 10 years ago, where it really is integral to the gameplay, rather than a naff looking tacked on gimmick that is ultimately unsatisfying.
Overall, this is a generic but competent action shooter with a special gimmick. It may be worth a try if you really like the sound of raising or lowering terrain whilst blasting aliens - if not though, there are much better games out there!
Fracture's hero, Jet Brody, loves nothing more then to soil himself in the middle of the battle. And by "soil himself" I mean "whip out his trusty terrain-deforming gun and shift some dirt" .
With a single zap(or multiple in succession), he can raise or lower the ground to his liking, creating enormous peaks or sizable troughs, thus changing the landscape of the battleground (hopefully) to his favour.
Its a ground breaking idea, literally if not conceptually, ad one that isimplementted with quite some success. The player can create impromptu mountains with which they can shield themselves from an incoming onslaught, create vantage points to pick off far away enemies, or launch the enemies into the air with a well placed shot beneath their feet.
Unfortunately, it would appear that the only other thing jotted down on Fracture's brainstorming list was a series of doodles of the publishers clutching bags of money, because the rest of Fracture is painfully ordinary and uneventful. Take the art direction, for example: although it looks nice enough (and a lot of work has gone into establishing the backstory of the world), it...well..., lets be honest, it could be any of up to 50 third person shooters releashed over the last five years. I couldent pick it out of a crowd of one.
The lack of inspritation stretches into the character design and the level design (which seems to have been severely hampered by the earth-bending mechanics). Its an interesting premise, but though a lack of vision, it has dug its own grave.
I think that Fracture has a very short storyline which isn't very deep. The developers had a great promise and they could expand and grow this series to make it very good and we would want to return every year.
The graphics aren't very good and the game experiences lots of slowdown. I also found the controls very hard to learn.
The story is very good and strong. I think it is one of the best I have played.
If you add that to the problems with the controls and the bad gameplay it isn't one of the best games on the console. This brings back the thought that gaming companies have to be aware of when they are releasing games and what is coming out around the same time. At this time of year comes the winter games rush. With the likes of Mirror's Edge, NBA, Call of Duty: World At War and Saint's Row 2 just released this game will not stand out in the rush and will just disappear.
With this in mind, I think it is fair to give Fracture, 3 stars as it has a good promise that could create a good game but it has rubbish gameplay. The game is also hard to control but it has a great story.
Like most shooters these days, it involves a dystopian future for mankind where the world is on the edge of destruction. To deal with the ever-changing climate of the 22nd century, the West Coast (the Pacificans) began altering their citizens' DNA while the East Coast (the Atlantic Alliance) decides to ban is genetic engineering and go with cyber-enhancements instead. All in all, the West gets mad about this ban and decides to threaten to take over the world. Because of this, the East sends you, Jet Brody, to arrest the Pacificans general responsible for the uprising. You spend the rest of the game trying to track him down, in this reasonably average third-person shooter, with the only difference being Jet's ability to raise and lower terrain.
This ability however, fun as it sounds, is not done very well. Although the game hints at some interesting applications for this ability in the tutorial, the reality is you'll have to raise the ground the get to a ledge and lower it to gt under some walls - very simple. There are some puzzles that make you have to use this ability but they're very easy and killing soldiers by using this special power isn't really exciting because the game usually points out when you should. The only time you'll use the ground-moving power is when you have you make a hill to take cover from enemy fire. It's a shame because this could have been a really good point of the game but it wasn't taken far enough.
As you play through the game, shooting wave after wave of enemies, you'll clear and area, save, then do it all again. The A.I. isn't really that smart, but they make up for that by the sheer number of them. Even on the 'normal' difficulty - Fracture is quite hard because at any one time you could have enemies blasting at you from all sides whilst you try and find a corner. There is fun to be had though, such as headshots resulting in yellow goo being sprayed everywhere and sticking explosives on enemies and waiting for the right time to detonate.
Like the rest of the game, Fracture's multiplayer doesn't really go beyond the average line. Solo and team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, we've seen it all before...except for one called 'Excavation' which is a real treat.
Fracture plays like most futuristic shooters o it's no surprise that it looks and sounds the same as well. The game is full of the same shiny enemies surrounded by familiar green and brown colours...and not much else. Some aspects of the visuals such as the ground and other textures aren't that much to look at but they're not all bad. Explosions are good and the snow that falls in later levels looks very nice and is certainly impressive. Audio is no change but as all the sounds could have came out of any other shooter games but there is a catchy theme, that makes the gameplay intense without being over-bearing.
Overall, Fracture is a satisfactory game - it has to nice features but it's a shame they weren't developed more. There's not really much wrong with the game but theres not rally much different and interesting with it either.
Fracture is the latest offering behind the giants at Lucas Arts. This is the 1st game for the 360 on this original IP.
Fracture is a fantastic new idea third person shooter with special terrain changing technology. Players will be given the opportunity to create small hills and holes in the ground which will be used to aid you throughout the game. This sounds quite boring i know, but it looks absolutely amazing and is a great original idea.
This feature is not just used to make your character able to get to higher places, but also allows you to use this to create cover and crash enemies and surrounding buildings. A very fun feature indeed!
You are also armed with a variety of weapons, from the casual assault riffles to new sci fi weapons such as the vortex grenade.
GAME STORY :
The story is set in the year 2161, and global warming has caused flooding on a planetary scale. The United States has used new terrain deformation technology to save the East and West Coasts, but the Midwest has flooded and separates the two areas.
The West Coast has declared its independence as the nation of Pacifica, and has developed radical genetic engineering technology. The East Coast, fighting as the Alliance, has its own cybernetic technology and is fighting to bring the rebels under control
The graphics are amazing and very crisp, no slow down and there are some jaw dropping moments throughout.
Yet again Lucas arts have pulled out all the stops with an amazing piece of gaming art.
Great sci fi sounding special effects throughout, realistic voice acting and some great background music.
I really like this game, and found it to be a breath of fresh air, very original 3rd person shooter, and kept me playing for a good 12 hours.
Lots of replay value for unlocking all the achievements also.
There is also a multiplayer feature which allows you to have terrain changing battles with your friends.
Fracture can be purchased on Amazon and all other outlets from £39.99
Aside from increase in Knife Crime, scientists creating a machine to destroy the world and the government increasing the price in everything, Global Warming is the biggest worry on many people's antenna at the minute. As we don't recycle, overuse electricity and put gases in the air by driving too much, the world is becoming closer and closer to being a world we can no longer live on when our grandkids and great grand kids are alive. So maybe it grabs more attention when people use this as source material for their newest piece of media. Books, films and games have grim descriptions of the future after global warming has destroyed the world. So it's no surprise then when Fracture shows how ugly the world is going to be when we finally have pushed the world too far. The newest game from Lucasarts and Day 1 studios (the masterminds behind MechAssault on the original Xbox), does this project stand out among the crowd or does it fall below the standard of epics like Gears of War and Dark Sector.
Fracture takes the modern day crisis of Global warming to use for its storyline. The year is 2161, and it seems that global warming has split the USA into two countries, and divided their people too. One side, the evil Pacificans, decided to alter DNA to survive the climate change, while the other side, The Atlantic Alliance, used cybernetics. The government decide to ban DNA modification, causing a hostile attack from the Pacificans. You play as Jet Brody, who must use his advanced technology to survive and destroy the Pacificans. It's an okay plot, if a bit ridiculous. The characters aren't exactly memorable, and some of the moments in the game are laughable.
Fracture controls like your standard shooter in most respects. The game uses the same over-the-shoulder view as games like Gears of War and Dark Sector. The controls had to be adjusted a bit to include the terrain changing abilities. The bumpers are used to lower and rise to terrain, meaning typical control mapping is out of the window. The triggers are used to show and throw grenades, so if you have played Gears of War too much, you may throw many accidental grenades when you want to aim down the sights. That feature is oddly mapped to the right analog stick, which is an odd place to put an important feature. The face buttons are used to reload, sprint, switch weapon and jump. You can choose your grenade with the D-pad. There is some funky mapping, but the control scheme works and is very responsive.
Fracture's level design is quite typical really. The game is split up into missions, each of which simply asks you to travel through the level and complete any other objectives along the way. The game usually forces you through a series of gunfights throughout the whole game, with about twenty minutes for a driving section which I don't think we should talk about because of how bad it is. Let's just say that it feels like a driving section forced into an action game. Alone in the Dark did it, Mass Effect did it, hell even Gears of War did it, though aside from the first game, the driving sections weren't too bad. The point is that Fracture plays out like a lot of typical third-person shooters though one nifty trick is that the game only has load times at the beginning of levels-the rest of the game is seamless until you turn off your 360 and load the game up again.
There are some things that not only separate Fracture from other shooters, but some older elements done well. The big gimmick of Fracture is the terrain deformation, the big touted feature of Fracture. Like a map editor from a game like Far Cry, you can use a special ability to lower and raise the ground into a mound or a ditch. It is a great feature, as you can constantly raise the ground to use as cover, as well as lower it to drop enemies in and trap them, and of course shoot up the ground to send enemies flying. Unfortunately, the feature could have been better integrated into the game. Rather than letting you use the feature constantly, the game instead forces you to use dirt mounds only. It's understandable, as it's a bit weird having you raise the ground under something like concrete or metal, but it looks awfully funny when you're in an industrial area, only to see a huge area of dirt in the middle.
The terrain deformation is also poorly used at times. As you're traversing the game's missions, sometimes there's a little blockage so what do you do? Lower the ground to go under the blockage! There's a ledge that's a little bit too high up for your jump so what now? Raise the ground so you can literally touch the ledge. There's also a terrible puzzle sequence in the first or second act where you must raise the ground, then use a special grenades to create a huge spike. If you were a slight inch away from the ledge, you'd fall thanks to Jet Brody's lack of being able to grab ledges. Top this off with annoying, respawning enemies on the ground and you have a frustrating experience. Most of the puzzles are much less complicated than this, but this lone puzzle took me half an hour to finish which is very, very lame.
Thankfully, Fracture has great weapons to back up its terrain-deforming chaos. There are a decent amount of weapons, including multiple assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and more. There are some stand-out weapons, including the Rhino which uses the ground to create a ball which crushes enemies instantly, though it can bounce back and kill you. There's also the awesome weapons which freeze enemies, after which you can run up to them tap the melee button and kill them instantly. It's incredibly satisfying, unfortunately the game doesn't let you take much chance of the more unique weapons of Fracture as not only do they rarely make an appearance, and can be easily missed, but their ammo is in short supply meaning you'll have to stick with the standard assault rifles and shotguns which is a shame.
And that's the biggest issue of Fracture-the game doesn't show off what it does best. The terrain deformation is a great feature, but it's more used in puzzles rather than dramatically impacting combat. The better weapons, like the Rhino and freezer gun, aren't used enough in the game to impact the game much either. The game is repetitive, with a lot of the gunfights feeling very similar unless you as the player add your own interventions into the game by experimenting with the weapons and terrain deformation, which is the game's strongest point. This is especially true when you test drive the game's weapon testing feature, which lets you spawn objects, enemies and weapons by collecting special items in levels which unlock achievements and more features to test out in the editor, making it compelling to find all 100 of the data items.
The more crippling issues of Fracture come with the game's enemy A.I. and the game's difficulty. The enemies of Fracture are flat-out dumb, sometimes standing there with almost no reaction to your gunfire. They unfortunately make up for their stupidity with sheer numbers. On the normal and hard settings, as the screen becomes cramped with gunfire and explosions as well as deformed terrain, the game becomes clustered and you can't tell where the gunfire is coming from. More often than not you'll die and not realise what hit you. There are also a couple of moments where you die from the frustrating enemies that jump around or speed from location to location as you can't get a shot at them. There are even moments where you just die for no reason whatsoever.
The game has a nice multiplayer mode which is unique thanks to the terrain deformation. These levels focus more on the cool weapons and the terrain deformation as some maps are literally miles of dirt for your deformation pleasure. The modes are quite typical with standard deathmatch and team deathmatch as well as capture the flag. There are modes called break-in where you must fight your way to the other team's bunker and excavation where teams must find location on the map, lower the ground enough until a spike in the ground is raised and defend the location from the other team destroying it. These modes might not be original, but Fracture's key strengths are highlighted here which is awesome.
The game is rated 12+ for fantasy violence. There is very little offensive here, because the game has no blood aside from the little green gloop from enemies heads. It doesn't really offend, and there is little mature content to speak of.
Graphically, Fracture looks very nice. The environments are well detailed, with quite a lot of destructible objects and obviously they are quite interactive with the terrain deformation feature. They can be a bit bland at times though thanks to the typical dark colour palette most games use nowadays to seem grittier, though the enemies are quite vibrant in terms of colour with high yellows and greens. Speaking of which, most of the enemies look like they were taken from Dark Sector, especially when you get a headshot on them and gloop squirts out. The cut scenes look a bit bad with some stodgy animation and lip synch, but the frame rate never chops up except when the game auto saves then the game pauses for a brief second.
The sound in Fracture is good. Aside from the lacklustre voice work with the cheesy dialogue, the game has great sound. The orchestral music score, which sounds like something from a George Lucas film like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and it's quite epic when necessary which adds some atmosphere to the action. It could have been used a bit more throughout the game, but when you hear it, it's a pleasure for your ears. The sound effects are pretty decent, with loud gunfire and powerful weapons and explosions, but when you kill the enemy they make a sound effect near identical to the sounds you heard when you were killing Helgast in the PS2 shooter Killzone, and there are some other sound effects that sound stolen from other videogames.
-(The Replay Value)-
Fracture's single player campaign is over quite quickly, especially considering how shorter games are these days. The game will be over in around six or seven hours, which is short to say the least. You will probably replay the campaign at least once, either to find all 100 data collectables or to try your luck on the hardcore setting. Once you're done with the campaign, the great 12 player multiplayer awaits. There are also 50 achievements for your convenience, though I found I unlocked most of them on my first play through. There are achievements for playing through the 3 acts of Fracture, getting a certain number of kills with the game's weapons, completing multiplayer matches and achieving special kills, for example, squashing someone into the ceiling with a spike.
Lucasarts and Day 1 studios have created a very good product that, while not a must buy in the holiday season, is worth a rental. The sad thing about Fracture is the things it does well, like its Terrain deformation and awesome orchestral score are underused whereas elements like the repetitive shooting and frustrating difficulty are placed at the front and shown off more often than the good stuff. And that's where Fracture really shoots itself in the foot, making itself a pretty decent experience like Frontlines: Fuel of War or Lucasarts other recent game The Force Unleashed rather than an excellent experience like Battlefield: Bad Company or Grand Theft Auto IV. So it's not Game of the Year material, but it's far from disappointing.
-(The Extra Info)-
This was published by Lucasarts and developed by Day 1 Studios.
This was released on October 10th, 2008 and is also on the PS3.
This is available from Game.co.uk for £39.99
Reshape the battlefield -- and the fate -- of a broken nation in Fracture. The new IP from LucasArts and Day 1 Studios is "groundbreaking" in more ways than one. As Jet Brody, a demolitions expert in Atlantic Alliance, you use explosives and terrain-deforming weaponry to change the face of battle between a divided America.