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“Fracture” Demo Impressions

Remember Fracture? The LucasArts thrid-person shooter with weapons that distort the environment? It was on my “Top Five Games I’m Looking Forward To” list, and because of that, well, I kind of have to give you my demo impressions.

The story consists of… I’m not sure what. There’s two main groups that have something against each other, and that’s all I need for a demo to offer. However, the demo spent a considerable amount of time with cutscenes and dialogue introducing the characters and controls. Definitely the controls. The cutscenes could be skipped, but the opening tutorial could not. The length of the tutorial was equal to, if not greater than, the length of the actual level. I’ll admit that I understood the controls quite well afterwards, but I really didn’t think that spending that much time teaching them was necessary.

The graphics, while very good, stutter a bit during cutscenes. Still, the art direction and landscapes of the demo were top-notch, even if some of the character models remind me of Gears of War. In terms of sound, there isn’t much to complain about. A surprisingly excellent score and sound effects do the game proud.

The main gameplay hook of Fracture is the land-changing weapons. Early on you learn about the simple land-raising and land-lowering guns, but other weapons are introduced quickly. Almost too quickly. In the tutorial, you’re shown quite a bit of rifles, rockets, and terrain-deforming grenades, but in the real level you actually only use a few weapons. Are the developers just trying to show players what they can use in the real game, or were they not thinking at all? Anyway, the land-changing mechanic works quite well, and the well-made physics engine is put to impressive use on boxes placed around the level seemingly for the sole purpose of showing off that physics engine. There are standard machine guns that can be used on enemies, and honestly, that’s probably what you’ll be using most of the time when you encounter a group of… whatever the evil people are called. Land-changing guns are fun to use, especially the one that shoots a rocket that goes through the ground like a torpedo, but they can only be used on dirt, making the mostly “indoors” level of the demo not the best way to show off the game. The machine guns work fine, but the third-person perspective makes aiming just a wee bit difficult.

Overall I’d say the game is pretty good. It rivals LucasArt’s other recently released game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and if you’ve played that, you know about what to expect from Fracture. I’m be glad to rent it, but I don’t see a full-priced $60 purchase anytime soon with things like Guitar Hero 4 and Fallout 3 coming out in the near future.

By Josh60502

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  1. September 25, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I think it will be worth renting. I don’t see playing a lot of the multiplayer, but who knows it could be a lot of fun too.

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