May 2, 2007 - The team at Day 1 Studios are literally world breakers. The studio behind MechAssault is teaming up with LucasArts to bring a dark vision of the future to Xbox 360 and PS3. Fracture takes us to 2161, where an environmentally devastated world is on the brink of war. Set for a mid-2008 release, Fracture's debut looks to return LucasArts to its heyday, when it made some of the best original IPs of the '90s.
Global warming has melted the polar ice caps and the United States has paid the price. The US has been split in two by the "Great Flood," leaving the country quite literally divided. The Eastern half of the US, known as the Atlantic Alliance, has joined with Europe with the belief that future survival depends on the advancement and use of cybertechnologies. The Western half of America has aligned with Asia and focuses on biological engineering to survive in a fractured world.
As players enter the world of Fracture, America is officially at war with itself. The West has seceded from the East and a massive conflict has gripped the once united States.
Taking control of Mason Briggs, a demo expert and soldier in the ultimate battle for America's future, players will not only destroy the environment, but transform it. Using terraforming technology, Briggs can affect the game world in unscripted and unprecedented ways. Terrain deformation not only provides Briggs with a combat advantage, but will be key to solving puzzles throughout Fracture.
Terrain deformation plays a major role in Fracture and the advanced technology at Mason Briggs' disposal shouldn't disappoint. Tectonic grenades raise terrain and can also be used to create defensive walls. Subsonic grenades destroy terrain and can "gopher down" into the foundations of buildings. The vortex grenade sucks surrounding objects into a small area and crushes them. And if you want to create your own big bang, just fire off a rocket into the vortex for one hell of a kaboom. The spike grenade shoots molten rock from the ground and -- along with offering protection -- can lift Briggs up so he can mover over large objects.
Guns also can affect the land, but usually in smaller ways. Just like the grenades at his disposal, Mason Briggs has a colorful arsenal of guns. Shots from the Invader, which is similar to a shotgun, ricochet off walls. The Bulldog is your standard futuristic rifle. The Bangalore is an explosive shot that travels under ground and is good for going under walls. But the mother of them all (at least, all the ones revealed so far) is the Avalanche Gun. This BMF shoots boulders. That's right: Boulders.
As if these big, bad weapons weren't enough to make Fracture a tantalizing title for '08, the game also sports a deep augmentation system. Day 1 is keeping a tight-lip on how the system works, but did reveal one of the many augmentations that can be picked up in the heat of battle. The slow-mo augmentation will, as you'd expect, slow time. Don't think of that as solely a combat application. After all, with terraforming a large part of puzzle solving, the ability to slow time could play a crucial role in some areas of Fracture.
Okay, so you're loaded for bear, who do you fight? Details on the enemies remain slim at the moment. One of the common enemies that is certain to feel the brunt of your grenades is the Hydra. Packed with genetic modifications, these soldiers have incredible jumping ability. You know what they say: The higher you jump, the longer you have to fall. Along with human-esque enemies such as the Hydra, Day 1 assures that there will be more superhuman, huge baddies destined to feel Mason Briggs' wrath.
Currently planned for 360 and PS3, Fracture has considerable potential for pushing the next-gen action genre. And that's just the single-player. The multiplayer component remains under wraps for the time-being.
Look for impressions from the video presentation and Xbox 360 demo tomorrow.
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