Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Fracture Review - PS3/Xbox 360

Format: Xbox 360/PS3

LucasArts don’t just churn out Star Wars games you know. They’ve given us some absolute classics over the years; such as The Monkey Island series, Grim Fandango and Sam and Max. Fracture is the latest release from LucasArts and developer Day 1 Studios, but unfortunately it isn’t a point and click title like those aforementioned classics. But a third person terrain-deforming shooter thing.

Fracture follows two sides of the US, the cybernetic focused Atlantic Alliance and the DNA restructured genetics focus of the Republic of Pacifica. You’re on the side of the Atlantic Alliance though, and play as the humorously named Jet Brody, who looks like every generic American protagonist you’ve ever played as. Of course stuff happens, the president orders a strike on the Pacifican Territory and war starts.

So you lead the one man army, Jet with his terrain-deforming weaponry which allows you to lower and higher terrain. Whilst it may seem novel and exciting, it quickly wears thin. Your abilities are used to help pass obstacles as well as defence. For example, you can raise terrain to shield yourself from enemies. However, you’re better off just running up to them and punching them in the face. They’re not smart. Instead of the AI having any amount of intelligence the game simply throws an increased number of enemies at you.

As well as the typical shotgun, assault rifle, sniper-rifle weapon affair, there are some slightly more interesting weapons, including one which can freeze enemies, and a vortex grenade which creates a magnetic whirlpool of destruction, swirling round and causing damage to anything in its path.

It all gets pretty tiresome though, and quickly. The amount of influence other games have had is quite evident. You can clearly see that they’ve been inspired by Gears of War for example. However, there isn’t really anything that fracture has done better than any of these titles from which it’s influenced.

And like many of these titles that it takes so much from, it is inherently linear. To the point where you are often spoon-fed information without being give the chance to work out what you need to do in the first place. Early on in the game it seems that destructible environments could play a large part in the game, but they don’t - only when the game wants you too.

It’s not all bad though, if you’re looking for a title to get a few easy achievements then you can’t go too far wrong with Fracture. Rent the game and in the first hour or so you could easily find yourself getting a couple of hundred achievement points. Although there are some achievements that you’d need to be quite devoted in order to obtain - i.e. the complete 1500 multiplayer games achievement. The physics are pretty good as well, and, your character does seem to have the ability to punch holes in the wall. Though that isn’t going to help much.

It’s certainly not a terrible title, and there are numerous moments of enjoyment. However, it’s thoroughly recommended that you play either the demo, or at least rent the title before purchasing. And you may find yourself feeling a bit of déjà vu. And you may find yourself feeling a bit of déjà vu. And you may find yourself feeling a bit.. oh you get the idea.

Review By: Wesley Lock

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