Genre: spaceships, space simulator, multiplayer online battle arena
Release Date: 2016
Developer / Publisher: Edge Case Games
Fractured space is a five versus five capital ship online arena. Steer mammoth vessels across the stars as they unleash a hailstorm of fire, plasma and missiles on similarly lumbering battleships. Exploit weaknesses in hulls as you dive cannons blazing under the cover of a dwarf red, and slowly surge for the final explosion. Capture the enemy’s home base and victory is yours.
Playability: Slightly agitated
Fractured Space uses just six keys to move ships around. Shooting at enemies consist of lining up targets on your reticule and hitting the mouse button. Fire and forget seeker missiles are even easier to handle but require reloading. Because of the slumbering nature of capital ships, those itching for a space dog fight will be grinding their teeth at the relatively slow pace. Don’t expect third person shooter frenzy either. “Slightly agitated” is a more accurate description of the atmosphere of Fractured Space.
Annoyance: Spawn and respawn
Fractured Space doesn’t let you enjoy the silence of space one second. There is near constant chitty chatter from virtual and real spaceship captains, and near constant alerts and alarms from your ship’s systems. An eerie dichotomy prevails between the need to capture quickly enemy resources and bases, and the sluggishness of spaceships’ pitching and turning. Everyone and everything seems to be yelling “hurry!” but you could almost finish your social media posting before targets drift within firing range. Blowing up large battleships out of the stars is gratifying, but respawing makes you feel like Sisyphus building a sand castle against a rising tide. Getting blown up doesn’t have any consequence either, just wait for your quick rebirth to join the fray again.
Beauty: Cluttered space
Fractured space is on the rather drab side of the universe. The spaceships and space stations bristled with useless clutter that doesn’t seem to have any aesthetic functionality. Playing hide and seek among asteroids is a visually boring affair of shades of grey. What happened to those space telescope pictures of far flung corners of the galaxy?
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Lost in fractured space 6/10
Battles after battles, as you slowly grind your way to better equipment and more stupefying vessels, Fractured Space cannot warp away from a less than dull sense of repetition and déjà vu. This is an arena that is multiplayer and online indeed, with big ships and big weapons aplenty, but with little purpose aside from bragging rights on leaderboards. Ships explode nicely but respawn dulls the excitement of the pack hunt. Near slumbering leviathans and artificially created alarm mix as well as unshaken oil and water. Chitchat can hardly make up for the lack of purpose of this endless respawn spaceship brawler.