Fractured Space Review

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Fractured Space is a 5v5 space combat game, it could also be branded as a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) as it technically fits the criteria, but it definitely doesn’t feel like what you would expect of that genre such as League of Legends.  For example, while it is technically all in an arena, it doesn’t resemble one because there are multiple lanes or parts to this one arena, each acting as a separate area for you to fight in.  This game is being developed by Edge Case Games, it is their first title as developers, and I have to say it’s a really good idea, with a lot of replayable entertainment value, and it’s executed extremely well so far.

So far, there are only two game modes to speak of, Conquest and Frontline.  Conquest has been the main game mode since the early access release of Fractured Space.  In this game mode two teams of 5 battle across two lanes, Alpha and Beta lane, with each lane having a forward base for either team and 3 mining outposts spread evenly across the sector.  The goal in Conquest is to capture the enemy Home Base by having more allied ships in their capture zone than enemy ships.  The mining stations are captured in the same way and offer you additional points per second which work towards getting ship upgrades.  These upgrades give you combat bonuses like increases damage, defense, capture speed etc. and intermittently at upgrade levels 3,6 and 9 you get to pick between Offense, Defense and Utility for a major upgrade in your chosen branch.  Offense and Defense speak for themselves, and offer huge bonuses in those areas, allowing you to bring the fight to the enemy with renewed intensity or take a hammering and outlast your opponents in gruelling firefights.  Utility upgrades increase your ships capability in other ways than the typical combat buffs, like increased capture speed, better utility ability cooldowns, which is good for a healer as they can heal more often and with better results.   There is also a timer at the top of every players screen  The other game mode is Frontline, which is essentially a quick play version of Conquest.  The goal is still to capture the enemy home base, but all the fighting is done over one lane with one forward base for each team and 3 mining outposts to battle over for upgrade points.  After a while of fighting without consequence the game enters a sudden death mode where you cannot heal at forward bases and only have one more death before your reign is ended forever and placed firmly in the hands of your (sometimes) capable teammates.

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There are 3 types of ship, Attack, Defense and Support, and designations such as Heavy or Light based on the physical size, hull strength and abilities that each ship has.  There are also 3 manufacturers of ships, USR (United Space Research), Zarek Industrial and Titan Defense Systems.  Each manufacturer has some loose resemblance of a speciality, meaning if you have a specific style of play you want to try and carry over to Fractured Space, you at least have somewhere to start.  United Space Research have a focus on DPS ships.  They have the heavy ship with the most damage of all, they have 2 of the 3 cloak or stealth ships which pump out an insane amount of burst damage; and have a good amount of affordable, but deceptively deadly, medium attack ships.  Zarek Industrial has more of a well rounded approach.  They meld together strong attack and defence, with very helpful abilities such as being able to disarm an opponent for a few seconds, self heal and more.  And lastly, Titan Defence Systems.  They bring a mixture of defence and utility, a lot of their ships having speed boosts and abilities to help them capture quickly such as capmod buoys which they can put out to moderate the speeds at which you capture a zone.

Personally, my favourite of the 3 has to be Zarek Industrial, with the Enforcer being my favoured ship at the moment, with its Escalate cannon, firing off a massive volley of shots with each successive shot dealing an additional 150% of the damage of the previous shot, ending up with a huge amount of damage caused.  Couple that with speed, a boost ability for moving up the lanes quickly and a target blink ability, to teleport as near as possible to an enemy, and the end result is a rapid and potentially devastating package of destruction.

Something often overlooked in this game, but as essential, if not more so, than other games, is teamwork. Communication and teamwork, or lack thereof, can make or break a match in Fractured Space.  You probably hear this a lot in regard to all online team based games, and it probably sounds a bit tired by now, but this game hinges on your ability to make team based decisions and working individually towards the goals of the team.  If you try to go solo in this game, you’ll have a bad time.  As long as you use the chat function to plan a bit in advance with your allies, your matches will go a whole lot smoother.  Decisions such as which lane has the better terrain for your type of ship or whether you’ll need support as you make an easy target will either be the keys to your success or to your imminent downfall.

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These decisions are the bread and butter conversations you should be having in Fractured Space, and they will 99% of the time lead to the surefire destruction of an enemy team that clearly isn’t communicating well, if at all.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of systematically pulling apart the enemy team by countering them perfectly, the best ship on your team to counter everything they push towards you in a relentless, but ill-prepared charge that will ultimately fall flat next to your master plan.  No matter how good a pilot you are with a certain ship, with a bad team or a poorly organised one, your chances of winning are slim.

In conclusion, I want to say that every time I play Fractured Space, I love it.  I always come away with the feeling I’m going to come back, because even if you lose and get torn apart hopelessly, the strategic depth and decision making that is poured in to everything you do really makes this game stand out.  If possible, find someone to play this game with, as this game thrives on teamplay, as well as communication.  It has gone F2P since it’s launch so that is even more incentive to pick up this awesome game.  It’s very satisfying to find the ship you were made to pilot, playing well with a team and climbing the MMR ladder.  All in all I’d definitely recommend Fractured Space as it does well to meld together a few parts of different genres, intense and rewarding combat, point capturing that actually has consequences is you forego it, and a teamplay element that is hard to ignore.  Overall, excellent for a first title!

rating-8

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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