E3 07: Fracture hands-on

Crazy-as-hell shooters are nothing new on 360 and PS3, but the earth-moving gameplay found in Fracture easily sets it apart from the rest of the pack. Almost every gun you have is built around upheaving and receding the ground around you. Even the everyday guns have alternate functions that burrow underground and detonate, blasting dirt and debris in all directions. If last year's Black was spanktastic for gun fans, Fracture is full-on dirt porn.

We played several multiplayer rounds of the soil-saturated shooter and walked curious yet slightly put off. The visuals are astounding and the various earthen effects are breathtaking, but keeping track of everything as the entire level shifts around you is very difficult. Our 3-on-3 matches were mixed with either intense bouts of mountain-making grenades or long stretches of absolutely nothing but searching for other people. The default gun felt entirely too weak and tracking down new weapons was increasingly difficult as the level was deformed into an unrecognizable state. Melee hits, usually one of the most crucial moves in any shooter, were so slow they rarely helped at all. Jumping is also very heavy, but then again, these are loaded dudes that shouldn't be able to jump at all, so fair enough.

This is all based on one map of course, and an early version to boot. The multiplayer gameplay might be a little disorienting, but just watching all the various weapons do their dirty work is fun enough for a time. Odds are the single-player game will be more focused, allowing proper use of all the weapons, so even though we're a little confused at the moment, there's still excitement in the air for LucasArts newest title.


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