Fracture Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Fracture box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Day 1 Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: LucasArts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 7, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 (12 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Thankfully, the game is full of automatic save points, so frustrating, ambush-like hotspots can be reloaded for a second and third try without too much retracing of your steps. Interestingly, what's more enjoyable than combat is the data chip collection side objective. Strewn throughout every section of the levels are data chips that, when collected, will unlock the superfluous weapon range on the main menu. Collecting these little chips is quite fun because getting to them is a challenge. This portion of the game tends to put the Entrencher abilities to the test and feels oddly similar to Portal - a dumbed-down version of Portal.

Fracture screenshot

The single-player campaign is short and rather unrewarding. Graciously, the online multiplayer is more satisfying, though still not perfect. The multiplayer component of Fracture accommodates up to twelve players at once. The game modes are a smattering of tried-and-true favorites such as Deathmatch (Free for All), Team Deathmatch (Team FFA), two types of Capture the Flag, and King of the Hill (Kingmaker). Break-in and Excavation are unique modes that have your team infiltrate and control your opponents' base for points or excavate, raise, and protect spikes, respectively. Multiplayer play is smooth, enjoyable, and frantic. However, it is, like the single-player campaign, held back by chaotic battlefields and the large, regenerating health meter. In other words, multiplayer action is more of a test to see who can survive the mayhem rather than who can skillfully eliminate their opponents.

Like other futuristic shooters out there, Fracture is a hodgepodge of carbon composite armors and flashy particle effects. Jet Brody and his crew look like Marcus Fenix knock offs, and the Pacificans look like something out of Haze. The animations are quite smooth, and, overall, the game looks quite good, though decidedly drab - except for the pretty, realistic, and incessant explosions that plague gameplay. On the sonic front, the background music has an epic sound that could easily find a home as a minor theme in an Indiana Jones or Star Wars flick; no surprises there. The voice acting is standard, but often doesn't convey the emotion of the onscreen action. For example, one of the opening cutscenes depicts Brody being airlifted to a Pacifican base. Before the aircraft can reach its destination, it is shot down. The tempo and intensity of the pilot's voice never increases and, in fact, the craft crashes before the monotone "hold on" line can even be delivered.

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I've played worse games than Fracture, but it's certainly not one I'd ever recommend. As it turns out, the core concept of terrain deformation is more of a gimmick than a fully fleshed out feature, and the rest of the shooter mechanics are painfully subpar. If you're still intrigued by Fracture after reading this article, do yourself a favor and give it a rent.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The visuals are full of interesting particle effects and explosions. However, enemies are difficult to distinguish, and all the onscreen action can be overwhelming.
3.3
Control
While functional for the most part, using the terrain deformation abilities felt clunky. To top it off, the shooter controls are imprecise.
3.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The background music is of high quality, but the voice over work doesn't capture any of the emotion.
3.2
Play Value
The campaign is short, but multiplayer does add a fair amount of replayability. Unfortunately, none of it is particularly fun.
3.3
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Truly next-generation gameplay: Groundbreaking terrain deformation allows players to reshape the battlefield on the fly with futuristic weaponry of the year 2161, allowing for unprecedented power, freedom, and control.
  • Players assume the role of Jet Brody, a demolitions expert in the mighty Atlantic Alliance army and the next great action hero.
  • Plausible future conflict: As stem cell research continues to proliferate and spirals out of control, ideological differences over genetic enhancement place the player at the threshold of an epic battle of tomorrow between genetics vs. cybernetics as two powerful armies, with vastly differing tactics and advantages, square off. The battlefield will change forever.
  • Reshape the battlefield with terrain shattering weapons: Experience a dynamic battlefield that is unique every time you play. Use never-before-seen weapons to fracture, crater, freeze or elevate the earth.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 720p (Standard HDTV, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
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