On the leverage of the great success achieved by exponents of the MOBA genre (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) such as League of Legends and Dota 2, it is a long time since this acronym has been used to collect a multitude of games. In reality, these are titles that often have little in common with each other, if not a game scaffolding on which each development team then builds in its own way. In Fractured Space, the game we are dealing with today, we do not find the classic fantasy setting of the genre, but mammoth ships ready to battle in space. For the guys at Edge Case Games, this is only a formal debut on the scene, as the Guildford-based studio can rely on some experience in the field of stellar combat. As surely as anyone who has followed our coverage dedicated to Fractured Space knows, the team includes a large part of the team already seen at work in 2013 on the popular Strike Suit Zero. After the positive experience made with the latter, the developers decided to focus on a more ambitious project, starting work on Fractured Space: after almost two years spent in Early Access, the free-to-play game has finally seen the its official launch a few days ago.
From the developers of Strike Suit Zero comes Fractured Space: that's why it convinced us!
Alpha, beta and gamma
As we had already seen in the trial a few months ago, compared to our first contact with Fractured Space the game has seen the arrival of some news, but leaving the system at the base rather unchanged. The work of Edge Case Games is in fact revolved around the mode called Conquest, in which two teams of five players collide. The points where Fractured Space meets the MOBA genre consist precisely in the foundations at the base of the gaming experience, starting from the final objective of the two sides which is to destroy the opposing base. The map is divided into a group of quadrants that form a kind of cross, at the vertical vertices of which are the two structures to be destroyed.
To attack the enemy base, teams can move by making space jumps through two different "lanes", identified with the names alpha and beta. Only by conquering the opponent's bridge present in one of these two quadrants is it possible to access the area of the enemy base, but it is good and right not to ignore the extraction plants: it is thanks to the control of the latter, in fact, that ships can level up to become more powerful. The central quadrant is instead identified with the name range, and contains an area that at regular intervals of time allows the team that conquers it to obtain important bonuses. The games of Conquest mode, usually around thirty minutes long, are flanked by those of Frontline, the second type of game desired by the developers for those looking for a different experience, more oriented to "hit and run". In this case, in fact, all the ships are placed on a single play area, engaged in the usual conquest of the opposing base. However, when a timer expires, the respawns stop working, thus transforming the game into an elimination game in which the team to which the last surviving ship belongs wins. This is a good variant of the Conquest mode, especially in light of the fact that at least for the moment Fractured Space cannot count on other maps. In addition to the tutorial, quite well done and always available to clarify any basic dynamics, the game also offers an offline mode, in which to give life to battles that also feature ships controlled by artificial intelligence.
Time to time
Fractured Space's free-to-play system takes players through an inevitable progression system, based primarily on the ability to purchase additional ships and upgrades for those already in their hangar. The main benefit obtained by those who decide to invest real money is to be able to access the various elements more quickly, compared to those who find themselves having to accumulate games to buy the various items without spending real money. If in such a situation the specter of pay-to-win is always present, we would like to say that in Fractured Space the main element capable of decreeing a player's success fortunately remains his ability, accompanied by the work of squad. It's nearly impossible to see a single man dominate an entire match, while a well-organized team can give even better equipped but less coordinating opponents a run for their money.
Maneuvering ships is not always easy, and to succeed in the most rewarding feats a quantity of dexterity is required that can only be accumulated with experience. It is no coincidence that the developers have scattered the quadrants of asteroids, intended to act as a shield but also as an obstacle depending on the situation. As intuitive as it is, the control system adds a further pinch of complexity to the gameplay: using the classic WASD keys it is possible to perform the basic movements of your ship, which however has the possibility of exploiting the third dimension to go upwards. or down with the space bar or the control key. The identity of the many ships is defined by a series of parameters and abilities, accompanied for convenience by three different numbers linked to as many indicators that show the propensity of the vehicle to attack, defense or support. Returning to the issue related to purchases, it is appreciated the possibility to try each ship before buying it, in order to evaluate its compatibility with your own style of play before shopping. Among the elements that cannot be purchased through the normal currency (Credits) we find the skins for the ships, therefore obtainable only after converting euros into the Premium currency. For Edge Case this is obviously the easiest way to earn, which does not affect the balance of the free-to-play we were talking about above. Beyond the aesthetic customization, Fractured Space also gives the player the possibility to choose the equipment of their ship, presenting a series of alternatives to which different bonuses are linked. In this case, the crates also come into play, obtainable by completing some daily objectives without therefore having to spend real money in this case too. Each unlocked crew member then requires the use of Fractured Space's third currency type, DNA, which can be obtained by converting regular Credits or purchasing one of the content packs available on Steam. We close with a few words on the technical sector, to which the developers have paid particular attention starting from the creation of the settings. But it is the ship models that shine above all, which can be appreciated in their details even at high zoom levels. The audio effects are also good overall; the soundtrack is enough.
PC System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows 10
- CPU: Intal i7 920 2,66GHz @ 4,2 GHz
- RAM: 16GB DDR3
- Video card: GeForce GTX 970
- Operating System: Windows 7
- CPU: 2.3 GHz
- RAM: 4 GB
- Video card: NVIDIA 470 GTX, AMD HD6850 or better, DirectX 11 compatible
- Disk space: 16 GB
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The development of games with an almost always uncertain outcome allows Fractured Space to offer a very fun experience, in which the twist can really be around the corner. In the short term we can undoubtedly promote the effort of the Edge Case Games guys in a convinced way, but they will have to be good at taking care of their creature in the long term, guaranteeing it new content.
- Tactical at the right point
- Many ships to choose from
- Excellent visual impact
- We would like to see some more maps
- How much can it keep in the long term?
- Lack of details on some ships and abilities