In Fractured Soul is an old school platformer where you play as the Entity a commando who is able to shift between two realities at will and your mission is to defend the Typhon Cluster the lifeblood of all existence from enemy invaders.
Fractured Soul takes a classic approach to platforming with jumping puzzles and having to time your movement perfectly but also adds the ability to move between two parallel realities. This makes the puzzles in Fractured Soul unique in the way that you have to tackle them. Moving between the two realities allows you to leaper over what is a large gap in one reality but in the gap will have platforms for you to jump to in the other reality or will let you get the jump on enemies by shifting to one reality and then appearing behind them by shifting back. This mechanic is used a lot in the game and makes the game hard to focus on at times because you have to be watching both realities at the same time which can lead to some very frustrating deaths.
The games controls are one of the most important things for a platformer and the keyboard controls just don’t cut it here and after playing the game for a couple of hours and dying…a lot, I ended up pulling an old Xbox 360 controller out of the cupboard to play with because of the fast pace and precision that is needed for some of the puzzles.
The visuals are part cartoon part stylized sci-fi and this adds to the games fast paced heart pounding atmosphere with bright colours and laser blasts but I feel that they could have looked a bit better but this is a port of a 3DS game.
There are a few glaring issues with this game and it’s one that seems to be happening a lot lately and that the lack of a good story. Sure Fractured Soul has a story but looks like it’s just been thrown in to tick a box on a check list of things that games must have.
The story is told with vague small paragraphs at the beginning of each level and this makes it hard for a player to connect to the character in any kind of meaningful way and the very generic main character isn’t helping matters. The price point on this one is also fairly high for what you’re getting. $10 for this game just seems like a bit much, I think that if the game was $5 and then you could buy extra levels for a couple of dollars that it would vastly improve the feel of the game because the player wouldn’t be expecting a Bastion or Fez like experience.
While writing this review I was going back and forth about the amount of content in the game. In my mind there just isn’t enough, in the age of DLC, micro transactions and other addons there could have been so much more to this game. The premise is a good one, the art style is also good but there just isn’t enough meat on the bones for this game to be a really great platformer.
Fractured Soul feels like a game that was born out of a love of retro platformers like Mega Man and Metal Storm and definitely has the gameplay please to platformer fans.
The controls are solid once you add a controller and the game is visually appealing but the lack of a good story, a generic setting that we have seen over and over again, generic characters that just don’t connect with the player and the glaring lack of content just make me think that if a little more work was put into the game this one could have been a modern indie classic but sadly it misses the mark.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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