Developer: Day 1 Studios
Release Date: 10/7/2008
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The Good: Great graphics, the story has a great premise, terrain deformation is revolutionary, cool weapons and grenades,…sucky powers!
The Bad: Bland art style, story isn’t done justice, very derivative, cheap deaths
The hoopla about Fracture was the terrain deformation technology that Lucas Arts created to hopefully push next-gen games in another direction. The technology works and really changes the way games are played, but it’s wrapped around a derivative, almost boring, third person shooter with a luke-warm plot, lame enemies, and cheap deaths. The story goes a little something like this: The world has finally gone too far with global warming and the USA uses terrain deformation to split the US of A into two parts so the northern polar waters can flow through without taking the country under. Knowing our testosterone induced government, both sides create their own little “nations” the Alliance (east) and the Pelicans…I mean Pacificans (west). A crazy lunatic, Sheridan, who thinks his ideas are better than everyone else’ tries to use human modifications to take over the world. So agent Jet Brody (isn’t that a girls name?) is sent in to do the one-man-army thing. While the story is really interesting it’s never delivered properly and isn’t utilized enough.
The game does have some pretty cool weapons…along with annoying ones. They have weird abbreviated letter-number names, but you have a cool grenade launcher called the Black Widow that lets you detonate the grenades on your command. You have rocket launchers, a sniper rifle that only has two rounds per clip (what?!), a couple of different machine guns you get the idea.
Now you’re probably wondering what this terrain deform-whatchamacallit is right? Well you have a tool called the entrencher and you can raise and lower dirt WOW?!?2!#$#! DIRT!!! Ok really…it’s very helpful and you use it to solve puzzles, get up ledges etc. Another part of your terrain deform-whodawhat is your grenades. Some lower the ground, some raise it, and the coolest is the spike grenades. They raise a spike right out of the ground!!! You can use this to get to higher places, make bridges by pushing broken parts of it up, or kill enemies! I also have to mention that the game does have that shield recharging thing like in Halo (damn you Halo!! You’ve cursed us for life!!!), but your shield and melee power grows over time. You also have a cool stomping technique to crush enemies and comes in handy at CQC.
Now that all of that is out of the way the game is really cheap. They throw too many enemies at you and you can’t really find cover since you have to make your own with your entrencher, but terrain can be lowered by shooting at it so everything kind of negates itself. You can freeze terrain with a certain weapon (who knows what it’s called right!) and enemies then BLOW hit them and they EXPLODE! The game also has like a sucky engine where you can use a Lodestone (why that name?!) to suck enemies into one spot and pull debris on top of them. I also love the portal grenade that has this huge swirling sucky…power…that has a HUGE radius and kills everything! Now the enemies are pretty smart. They dodge grenades, get to cover, and will run away from you and melee you when you come too close. I have no complaints about the AI it’s really good.
The visuals, however, are pretty damn good with lots of particle effects, high res textures, and great lighting. The game looks awesome, but everything still looks just plain. The enemies are always yellow (kind of reminded me of Haze and TimeShift for some reason), there aren’t many different enemies, and everything is just too close to the real world. You fight in San Francisco then you move to snowy DC. It’s very typical and nothing very awe inspiring. When it comes to multiplayer I can’t tell you much because I didn’t bother trying it since the single player bored me of this game. You can beat the game in about 6-8 hours and it’s pretty darn short. This is a great rental, but for the love of god take your $60 and buy Dead Space, Silent Hill: Homecoming, or go pre-order Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2…just don’t waste $60 on this game!