For all the attention THQ and the Red Faction Guerilla team have (rightfully) received for their environmental destruction, LucasArts has been working on its own deformation-friendly action game called Fracture. Designed to let players deform the world by using weapons that do things such as create holes and raise the ground, Fracture is set to hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 this October. We thought you might appreciate hearing from the development team directly about how Fracture is progressing for both PS3 and Xbox 360, and perhaps hearing a bit more about the game itself.
How is Fracture “different” from other console action games?
What makes Fracture so different from other 3rd person action games is what we’re calling “Terrain Deformation” (or TD for short). This is a revolutionary new technology in games. It allows the player to literally reshape the battlefield on the fly using a variety of different weapons and techniques. A few examples – players can raise the terrain to create cover for themselves, they can lower it to dig underneath walls or locked doors, it is a tool for solving puzzles, and of course can be used in combat for destructive purposes.
What’s the story behind Fracture? When does it take place?
Fracture takes place in the year 2161. At that time, the world has become a very different place. Everything we were ever warned about climate change has come true. The United States has been ravaged by hurricanes, tornadoes, violent earthquakes, and massive flooding of the Mississippi that has physically divided the nation. The two sides begin to follow two distinctly different paths of evolution. In the west, radical genetic modification is developed. In the east, cutting edge cybernetic technology is developed to augment humanity. Eventually, distrust and suspicion rises between the two sides. When the Federal government attempts to ban genetic modification, the western states secede, allied with the nations of the Pacific Rim, to form The Republic of Pacifica. The eastern states, with their European allies form the Atlantic Alliance and move in on Pacifica to attempt to bring them back in line and preserve the nation. This is where the game starts. You play as Jet Brody, an Atlantic Alliance soldier on the front lines of the next big global conflict.
What sorts of multiplayer modes will be available in Fracture? Will multiplayer options be configurable?
Multiplayer is a big component of Fracture. All of the terrain deforming weapons you can use in the single player campaign are at your disposal in multiplayer as well. This leads to a whole new spin on the concept of multiplayer shooters. There are lots of different MP modes that are configurable by the player, as well as the usual Free For All and Capture the Flag type games.
Do all weapons deform or interact with the terrain in some fashion? Are there any “regular” weapons in the game?
All of our weapons have an effect on the terrain, but others will definitely have a more visual and destructive impact while you’re playing. For example, the Bangalore Rocket Launcher possesses a really high degree of power, so if it makes contact with the ground it will leave a noticeable crater. The Entrencher, your main means of Terrain Deformation, raises and lowers the ground, allowing you to provide yourself on-the-fly cover as well as some very cool ways to navigate through puzzles and the world around you. As far as “regular weapons” go, some of the weapons in the game will have less of an impact on the terrain, but that doesn’t mean they’re simply point and fire pieces of weaponry. The Bulldog Assault Rifle, for example, can be used in a traditional way to shoot at enemies, but it can also be used in secondary ways, like shooting at a rocky overhang and sending boulders down on your enemies, or by chipping away at the terrain to provide players with an easier path uphill.
Are enemies in Fracture going to have the same terrain abilities as the main character? Will they have unique abilities or weapons?
Yes, the enemies in the game will have the ability to affect the terrain as well. And yes, you will see them pulling of some pretty amazing special abilities. One really unique enemy is the Pacifican Hydra. This unit has been genetically modified to be able to leap 40 to 50 feet in the air. He carries the Bangalore Rocket Launcher as well. He’ll leap into the air and fire that rocket down on top of you from the apex of his jump and then jump away just as fast, making him deadly and hard to hit at the same time.
How many weapons are in Fracture? Will they all be available in Fracture multiplayer?
We have 13 different weapons as well as four different grenade types. And yes, all of these are available in multiplayer.
Are there any weapons exclusive to Fracture single player or multiplayer?
No, all of our weapons are in both single player and multiplayer. However we do have a vehicle, the TDV-1, that is only in the single player campaign.
What is that weapon that creates a huge vortex and then sucks up everything around it and then explodes?!
That is the aptly named Vortex Grenade. It is easily the most powerful weapon in the game. It generates a swirling vortex of rock, dirt and debris that pulls in anything around it – including yourself if you’re not careful! You can even fire rockets into it to increase its destructive power. When it reaches its critical mass point, it explodes, throwing everything that was inside it flying through the air.
Thanks to LucasArts and the Fracture development team for taking the time to do this Q&A.