UK virtual reality (VR) developer nDreams has been in great shape lately thanks to titles such as Phantom: covert operations (2020) and Location-Based Entertainment Experience (LBE) Far Cry VR. His latest project Fracture seeks to continue this success, providing players with an action-packed adventure where you can run and shoot through elaborate levels designed for verticality, exclusive to PlayStation VR.
Fracture has the usual action hero dynamics where you try to save the world from some interdimensional aliens. So, spot plenty of dramatic settings like hurtling down a mountain trying to outrun an avalanche or ziplining through a building while bombarding enemies with gunfire. All pretty standard stuff, but nDreams made some interesting design choices, especially when it comes to the PlayStation Move controller.
first of all, Fracture can only be played using Move as the playstyle simply wouldn’t suit a DualShock 4 or PlayStation Aim controller. Movement is needed when VR video games require physical actions like climbing ladders or reloading a weapon and there are plenty of them in. Fracture. In fact, the mechanics like the reloading work strike a nice balance between realism and automation. There’s no ammo belt to worry about, just eject the magazine, ram the next one, and cock the gun. The process is smooth enough that even in the heat of the moment, it doesn’t feel bloated and awkward.
Locomotion and PlayStation Move haven’t always been a perfect match, and it certainly is when a fast-paced shooter requires you to be seated. however, Fracture isn’t slow and cumbersome like others in this area, being able to move around environments with ease (without teleportation), take cover, and plan your next move. This is helped in several ways. When you’re seated and there’s no crouch button, all you do is grab the blanket behind you to make it pop up, snap a few photos, and then lower yourself down. A very simple but intuitive mechanism. The others are the ziplines mentioned. Fracture has plenty of places to climb, but it’s the ziplines that give the experience an added dynamic flavor, traversing areas quickly to get the drop on enemies.
The first few zones also feature a good level of pace, providing an instant challenge in normal mode without being too overwhelming. Fracture also has a nice visual flavor, which is somewhat reminiscent of Borderlands 2 VR and this cel-shaded art style. nDreams has struck the right balance between realism and comic book aesthetics, lively with its use of the color palette but still feels like you’re in an abandoned mining town.
Even though the demo only lasts about 30 minutes, the most important factor shone, Fracture was fun to play. You’ll easily go through the demo a few times before the official launch in August, testing the freedom you actually have when tackling set pieces.
From the first inspection it certainly seems that nDreams is doing everything possible to Fracture the action blockbuster of the summer. He faces stiff competition from Vertigo Games’ After the fall But Fracture has all the ingredients for an engaging experience. Considering previous VR getaways from nDreams Fracture is its most daring, hopefully managing to maintain that thrilling gameplay throughout the campaign for a truly solid adventure.