takes place a hundred and fifty years in the future, when a threat of global warming led to the development of technology that can reshape the ground in order to save the coastlines. Unfortunately, the central section of the USA was lost to the ocean and the country became divided. This division wasn't just a physical change of the map either. The Western half invested in developing biological technology and enhancing humans through the use of genetic research. Meanwhile, the Eastern side developed more traditional technology, but when the President declared that altering human DNA is illegal, a civil war broke out and thus you play a single East Coast super soldier who is sent into the Pacifican's capital in San Francisco to try and capture their leader, General Nathan Sheridan.
When I first learned the game's story, I was afraid I would experience a tale where I got preached to about global warming, or even about going too far with genetic manipulation, and while the game touches on these subjects lightly, you never get the feeling you are being preached to - which is always great.
As I said before, Fracture takes your standard shooter, and with the ability to change the land, gives you a powerful tool that really becomes more than just a gimmick. Instead of allowing you to raise or lower the ground in certain areas, or only when the game wants you to do it, you can take any open patch of dirt and make yourself some cover, or open up a doorway if it is buried, or sink your enemies lower so you have the higher ground, or squeeze them into the ceiling by raising the ground under their feet. The possibilities really are pretty staggering and it does change the gameplay experience dramatically.
I have to say, I did enjoy the single player experience quite a lot. I've found that, more times than not, shooter developers tend to focus more on the multiplayer experience and stick a single player campaign on there for little more than training, and that mode typically feels very tacked on. Such is not the case with Fracture. One of the nicer touches was the fact that I rarely felt like I was playing through individual levels. The game's missions flow smoothly from one to the next, and you never really have to stop and wait for a loading screen unless the two missions are separated by a cinematic. But considering the number of missions the game is divided into, there are far more smooth transitions than between-level videos.
Though I have to say, I would have preferred just a bit more variety in the enemy troops. You have your standard grunt, your tougher shotgun trooper, your high-jumping rocket launcher, the really fast guys and the huge brutes that shoot sticky balls of goo that explode. Besides a few variations on these themes and some bosses, that's pretty much all you will be facing.
In order to facilitate the terrain deformation abilities, you have a wide range of weapons (both Atlantican and Pacifican) that do more than simply deal damage. Some hide underground, while some stick to whatever they hit (be it person, place or thing), while others create a gravitational pull that either throws anything that isn't nailed down in a single direction, or scoops it up into a massive vortex where it will be beaten to death and tossed out in a massive explosion.
Multiplayer is another area where Fracture's core terrain deformation mechanic really shines. Standard games like Capture the Flag really change when you can raise the ground to block doorways, or seed your flag's location with a grenade that is ready to blow as soon as someone comes after it. Besides the Capture the Flag game, Fracture also features both team and single Free For All and King of the Hill style games, as well as a new game mode called Excavation.
In Excavation, teams try to claim various control points around the map by digging down as far as possible. Once they claim an area, a rock-spike appears making it a little harder for the other team to reclaim it.
The last mode that Fracture features is the Weapons Testing level. This self-contained world is a desert area that will eventually have each type of weapon and upgrade available for you to pick up and play with (as well as a few other extra features). At first, you simply have a couple of guns and a playground to have fun in, but as you play through the campaign and collect purple Data Chips, you will unlock everything else. I enjoyed this because it is so rare to be given this kind of sandbox to play with new technology and features like this. This is the type of thing I wish I had available in games like Star Wars: Force Unleashed so that I could play with DMM and Euphoria.