|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.
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.
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.
CCC Editor / News Director