GamePro gets hands-on time with LucasArts' newest land-altering game.
Fracture takes place in the far flung future where the U.S. has been split into two separate factions. Players take on the role of Jet Brody, a cyber enhanced super soldier. With the help of the Atlantic Alliance Army, Jet will fight for the freedom of the future U.S. against the evil Republic of Pacifica.
Raising New Ground
Fracture is the newest intellectual property to come out of LucasArts Studios which has also been hard at work on the amazing Star Wars: Force Unleashed. Not being a huge shooter gamer myself, I was a little hesitant to really dive head first into Fracture's multiplayer mode. I am classically horrible at such things but I put on a brave face and charged into the fray.
The main battle mechanic in the game is the ability to raise and lower parts of the terrain. This terraforming ability will allow you to create cover, crush enemies into the ceiling, and eject your enemies into the air. Terraforming can even protect certain items from the opposing team. It's an interesting mechanic but does require a bit of practice to really get down pat. Since the demo I sat in on was a multiplayer event, I had to concentrate more on not getting shot than actually getting the terraforming process correct. This is a shame since learning this main mechanic will improve your gameplay experience quite a bit. PROTIP: Raising the ground below your feet will eject you to areas you couldn't jump to normally.
Vortex grenades create a gravitational vortex that sucks anything nearby in, and then culminates in a huge explosion. Kabooom!
Fracture has several multi-player modes to choose from and we tried several of them including Free for All, Team Free for All, Excavation, Capture the Flag, and Team Kingmaker. But, it is the Excavation and Team Kingmaker modes that set Fracture apart from its Halo like roots.
In Excavation Mode, your team's goal is to raise spikes from the ground. These spikes are scattered around the map and can be accessed by using your terraforming abilities to dig down to them. Once a spike is raised, however, it must be protected from the opposite team who can blow your spike up and raise one of its own. PROTIP: Clever terraforming can be used to confuse the enemy by either hiding the spike or using a "spike grenade" to raise a distracting "dummy" spike.
Team Kingmaker was by far the most difficult mode to play. Essentially, Team Kingmaker is a King of the Hill like mode that takes advantage of moving capture points. Once a capture point appears, your team must secure it and keep it secured until the timer runs out and the point moves to another location. PROTIP: If a capture point appears inside a building, use your terraforming ability to crush pursuing enemies into the ceiling.
Weapons of Construction and Destruction
What would a shooter be without a huge arsenal of weapons at your disposal? Fracture does not skimp on this point and you can find a variety of weapons to suit your tastes and needs. Your first weapon is the classic assault rifle, but a little searching can net you a ST-14, a mole-mine launcher and loads of other different rifles and shotguns. The ST-14 shoots its ammo under the ground, causing the earth around it to elevate and eventually detonate. The various other weapons that can be found will allow you to either directly assault your enemies or take advantage of their own special brand of terraforming.
Fans of Halo and other team shooting games will certainly enjoy the twist that Fracture has put in multiplayer. Personally, after experiencing the multi-player mode I am interested to see how the single player story mode pans out. We'll all get the chance to see exactly how Fracture comes together when it releases on the PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 7th.