Fracture revealed

Speaking of the enemy, who are they? New York Yankees fans, of course. Well, sort of – you see, just over 100 years from now, all of our current problems have gotten much, much worse. In Fracture’s alternate (we hope) future, Mother Nature is suffering a serious greenhouse hangover: geological cataclysms like earthquakes and tidal waves are commonplace, and the United States are no longer united: the Mississippi River has overflown so badly that it has become a sea, cleaving the US into two islands, one in the east and one to the west. Oh, and the mouth of the San Francisco Bay has been moved, so it’s a desert now. Bummer.

Even more damaging is the fact that the US has been torn in two politically as well. The whole cloning debate continues to rage, and the first batch of human clones started off well and then began to mutate horribly, thanks to underfunded, not-so-moral science. This produced two different reactions: the western US continued its genetic research, and the eastern half made it illegal.

Eventually, civil war broke out, with the east allying with Europe to craft the Atlantic Alliance – along with armies of cybernetic soldiers, including you – and the west teaming with Asia to create the Republic of Pacifica, as well as a genetically modified, mutant counterforce. We’re told the single-player mode is all Atlantean, though we could possibly get to play as Pacificans in the planned multiplayer modes.

Incidentally, yes – Briggs is cybernetic, and that does mean cool superhuman abilities in addition to earth-sundering firepower. Not much has been revealed yet about them, but the demo did include a moment of “slow motion” (meaning your reflexes are heightened) and we’d swear we saw a quick shot of jet boots.

There will obviously be some sort of ultimate limit to what you can do in Fracture – most human-made structures will be immune to the grenades, for instance, to make sure you don’t wreck something important to the story before its time. Still, this type of on-the-fly terrain deformation has never been done before, and it’s such a powerful gameplay dynamic that Fracture has instantly become one of our most anticipated titles of 2008. That’s one year later than we’d like it to be, but sometimes it takes awhile to move mountains.


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