Product Type: Activision Xbox 360 games
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This game is literally groundbreaking
Fracture (Xbox 360)
Member Name: mchitty
Fracture (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Terrain deformation fun at first, decent shooter gameplay
Disadvantages: Gets old fast, uninspired
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!
Summary: Tries to be different but doesn't quite pull it off
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