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June 29 2008
Fracture - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
10/10/2008ActivisionLucasArtsDay 1 Studios
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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That's your character, Jet Brody.
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Fracture has some awesome effects.

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That's a tonne of destruction.
2008 is shaping up as a brilliant year for LucasArts. We have already seen the Travelerís Tales developed Lego Indiana Jones released to much critical and commercial success. Following that the company is set to release the superb looking Star Wars: The Force Unleashed in mid-September and in October we will see this game, Fracture, from developers Day 1 Studios. This is an entirely new IP for LucasArts, and one with plenty of potential. But what is it all about?

It is the year 2161. Global warming and the search for ways to combat its effects have split the world in two. On the East is the Atlantic Alliance, a staunch supporter of and leading innovator in the field of cybernetic solutions to the worlds problems. Their adversary is the Republic of Pacifica and its Pacific Rim allies in the West. They have embraced adapting the human genome to cope with the changing world. Both factions are armed with a new type of tectonic technology that allows armies to raise and lower defenses out of the earth at any location of their choosing.

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Expect an October release for Fracture!
Fracture is basically a third person action title in which you play the role of Jet Brody, a demolitions expert. Fighting for Atlantic Alliance you will take on the Republican soldiers who are genetically enhanced. What makes this game so interesting though is the way in which you can deform the terrain to reach new areas and, more importantly, gain an advantage over enemies. Throw a Tectonic Grenade and as well as your normal explosion the earth will launch upwards giving you a platform to stand on. Throw a Spike Grenade and a column of earth thrusts upwards giving Jet a big advantage over the battlefield from a large height.

Jet is also equipped with an Entrencher weapon which allows him to raise the ground to be used as cover against approaching enemies, or reach high locations. The Entrencher can also depress the ground to -for example - create tunnels under walls. There will be tonnes of similar weapons throughout the game - how about a vortex grenade which creates a massive tornado like vacuum that swirls and sucks everything inside? It looks as awesome as it sounds, believe me. Another cool weapon is the Torpedo Launcher. When you fire the torpedo it buries underground and allows you to trigger the detonation when it reaches your desired target.

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Note the ground cracking below your feet.
Not content with just making a large single player game the developers are also working hard to ensure that online multiplayer is fully supported as well. To meet the demand Day 1 Studios are incorporating 12-player online matches which will include your traditional deathmatch and capture the flag, as well as several game modes that are being tailored to make use of the terrain deformation which makes up a core gameplay element in Fracture.

There really is a lot about this game that we don't know about as yet. Certainly the ability to changed the land is interesting, but we can imagine that it is terribly taxing on the system, and we can only hope that this isn't something that will bite the developers in the ass by restricting level sizes or scope.

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Battles will be pretty large-scale.
Graphically this game already looks pretty sharp, if a little on the 'lacking detail' side when it comes to texturing and still with some frame rate issues - even the official developer diary talks about ironing out the frame rate issues. Still the explosions, particles, fires all look as good as any game, but the big 'wow' factor is indeed the terrain moving up and down depending on your, or your opponents, actions. It moves smoothly, and objects that are in the path of this destruction get tossed around and destroyed as a result. One can only hope that the PS3 version of Fracture stacks up better then the rather average port of F.E.A.R. which Day 1 Studios were responsible for. That game had some of the worst blurring and murky texturing that we have seen on the system.

Fracture is a game that could refine the action genre. The idea of changing the landscape to suit your battle conditions is simply brilliant and, should it actually be integral to the game, could push this feature into many more games. We will know how well Day 1 Studios has succeeded when this game sees a demo released late in the year prior to the title hitting the shelves in mid-October 2008.