The ability to alter the formation of the terrain with a variety of cool futuristic weapons is a great gameplay concept

User Rating: 7.5 | Fracture PS3
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Contains: Moderate Fantasy Violence
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Fracture is a third-person shooter set in the future, where you can utilise futuristic weaponry to alter the shape of the battlefield.

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STORY - 2/5
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Set in the year 2161, Fracture tells the tale of a xenophobic United States which has been split into two sides, the Pacific and the Atlantic, by rising water levels caused by global warming. The Atlantic is devoted to advancing the technological prowess of humanity, while the Pacific is devoted to enhancing the human genome. When the xenophobia reaches an unfortunate peak, war erupts, and an army from the Atlantic is dispatched to deal with the Pacific force. You take control of Sergeant Jet Brody as he leads his attack team against the Pacific.
Its a really cool idea, in the fact that it opens up ideas for the real-life future, as the ice caps are melting and the sea level is inevitably rising, and the futuristic weapons have been well thought up to conquer such a natural disaster. However promising and interesting the premise is, the plot falls flat, and its unlikely scenarios merge together into a mediocre script, and concludes weakly.

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CHARACTERS - 1/5
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You play as Jet Brody, and the name says it all. Like all of the characters in Fracture, he is lifeless and uninteresting, and his performance in an attempt to stop the Pacifians is unconvincing. The average voice acting doesn't help the already spiralling negativity you feel towards the characters, and drains all possible enjoyment out of the fact-based concept that runs parallel to the storyline.

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GAMEPLAY - 3/5
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Armed with a good variety of futuristic weapons, you have the ability to change the shape of the battlefield to dig in deep to the enemy position and establish a strong advantage. Fracture's unique selling point is its deformable terrain. You have the futuristic weapons, both in the form of guns and grenades which can raise or lower the terrain. This ability allows you to create cover, jump to areas not normally reachable, and launch enemies into the air and into ceilings. Its really fun to alter the ground beneath you, and despite repetitive and seemingly mediocre gunplay, there is lots of energetic enjoyment to be had during the game.
The weapons vary in shape and amount of destruction they can cause, and most are cool and create a moment worth relishing. The weapon which is primarily used to lower or raise the terrain is called the Entrencher, and its needed to reach high ground or burrow down to get to an unaccesible area by foot. Hidden data chips are hidden all over the levels, and this gameplay mechanic quickly encourages exploration of every environment, nd they're well worth collecting to unlock weapons to use in the training area, where you are free to causeas much damage to the land as possible. Great physics allow you to initiate some cool object deflection in the areas, and if you target your enemies with a heavy crate, can crush them, and erase them from your outnumbered scenario. The weapons are cleverly made, and each add something new to the terrain alteration formulae, one which is called the Vortex Grenade. This rare but awesome grenade, creates a tornadoe effect on the ground, and sucks in enemies and objects, and then explodes then out in a fiery burst of electricity, and is stunning to watch.

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GRAPHICS - 3/5
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The graphics may not be the best, but are highly effective for the gameplay moments in Fracture. From the neat effects of the vortex grenade, to the levitation of land, it all looks really cool. Your objectives take you to lots of different looking environments, and the developers to a good job of making the most out of them, and provide lots of impressive details to the areas. What is most impressive is the weapon designs, which are shaped well to make clear what exactly they are capable of causing to your enemies as well as the surroundings.

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SOUND - 3/5
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When running around with your futuristic weapons, there is always a great soundtrack present in the background of all the unravelling action, and the guns sound cool to fire upon enemy after enemy, without sounding dull. But what is dull, is the voice acting. Average at best, but overall a poor attempt to try and engage you in the cutscenes. Fortunately these are infrequent, and therefore allow you to focus on all of the cool array of gadgets and weapons at your disposal.

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CONTROLS - 4/5
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The controls are nice and easy to remember, and the game settles you into the basics with a brief introduction to how to raise and lower the terrain, and a quick look at some cool weapons that you can encounter later on in the game.

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ATMOSPHERE - 2/5
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Despite the large amount of frequent action, and great soundtrack, there isn't much of what you'd call an atmosphere to the fantasy style battles. There is some tension when you engage with some scary creatures, that burrow under the ground, and crawl towards you, as you witness the ground lift at the region of their presence, but there isn't any kind of dramatic moments, and boss fights that do pop up, aren't very interesting, or challenging.

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ENEMY AI - 2/5
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The challenging aspects of the game all wittle down to the edgy enemy intelligence and their sheer numbers. They don't take much effort to take down, but the game does a poor job of implementing large quantities of foes instead of smart ones, that won't take cover, don't respond to grenades well, and simply stand on the spot shooting in unison. Its a problematic task for you, because using the Entrencher to create walls of cover is vital to your health bar. But enemies won't just let you build cover, they'll all run over it and try and take you out, which can be the cause of some unnecessary cheap deaths. But at least with lots of enemies, there is multiple ways to take them out, to try and prevent the inevitable repetition.

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LENGTH - 3/5
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Fracture lasts a decent length, but its one of those games which you'll be glad that ends sooner rather than later, as the last couple of levels really are quite repetitive, so its fortunate the credits roll after about 9 hours worth of fantasy action.

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REPLAY VALUE - 3/5
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Once you've finished the game its fun to try out the practice arena, and with the amount of data cells you collected in the campaign, you'll unlock many of the cool weapons that were available to use in that (depending on how many you have, since the more powerful weapons require quite a high number of data cells to unlock). In the area there are many coloured pads to step on, each doig different things, like dropping more objects in, or enemies, and with the unlimited amount of ammo, its fun to cause a wide mix of mayhem.
Overall Fracture is an ambitious game, and while it succeeds at many of its clever ideas, some seem somewhat underdeveloped, which prevent it from becoming great.

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OVERALL SUMMARY - 7.5/10
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Good Points: Ability to alter the terrain with a wide variety of cool futuristic weapons and gadgets, Good soundtrack, Impressive level and weapon designs, Story has an interesting premise.

Bad Points: Gameplay becomes repetitive, Characters are lifeless with average voice acting, Large amounts of enemies turn battles frustrating.

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