GAME REVIEW | Getting "Fracked" in a Death-Defying Adventure
It’s one thing to play a video game that feels like a high octane action movie; it’s another to be fully immersed into one. nDreams has done wonders with its virtual reality games, ranging from the puzzler The Assembly to even the meditative Perfect. With its eighth game Fracked, nDreams not only brings forth one of the most exciting VR titles around; it keeps your adrenaline pumping nonstop!
Fracked puts you in the shoes of a high-flying hero, who finds himself deep in the mountains on a mission to save the world. An evil organization is drilling deep into the earth’s core, as they attempt to steal the planet’s resources for their own home world. You are tasked to take down these intergalactic foes, keep the earth from being destroyed, and get off that mountain before you catch frostbite. And to do all that, you’ll need to hone your set of special “skills”.
Calling your hero’s qualities “skills” is a bit of a stretch, as they’re simply means of getting around an area. In order to breach the enemy’s lairs, you must run, climb, ski, and zip line through the mountain. Taking down enemies will require using whatever gun you have on you, as well as scoping out the environment for some explosive barrels to send your foes flying. All of this sounds rather generic for an action game, but it’s in Fracked’s execution where these run-of-the-mill techniques are showcased in an exciting light!
What Fracked does right is keep its players within the immersion of its realm. Every moment I spent playing this game, I felt the power of every move, shot, and even grip that I was able to perform. With the PlayStation Move controls, taking hold of objects, shooting, and even ducking in and out from cover felt as real as one could get with a virtual reality game. nDreams may have already presented an impressive resumé with their past works, but this game is them showcasing everything they’ve learned in one fell swoop!
The opening moments of the game had me literally at the edge of my seat, as I skiied down a mountain in the midst of an avalanche. Each jump I made, I could feel the world engulfing me in a euphoric fashion. Even better was when you had to shoot snowmobile-riding aliens down the mountain while blowing up silos all the way down. While it could be tough to sometimes keep an eye on oncoming trees and other hazards while blasting away enemies, it nevertheless made the whole thing more challenging and fun!
It’s when the shootouts begin when the real meat of the action shines. Taking down enemies with your gun is surprisingly on-point, especially when you have to protect yourself from their fire. Even on Easy mode, Fracked gives you quite the challenge, as the enemies will come at you at all sides to make quick work of you. When you see one of the radioactive aliens running yourself, you better have a full clip of ammo ready to blow them away!
Using guns in the game isn’t anything like most action shooters. You constantly have to make sure you have been stocked with the ammo for the special guns, whereas your main weapon-of-choice does offer infinite bullets for your convenience. However, every time you empty a clip, you’ll have to grab another, slide it into place, and lock it into place in real-time. Those duck-and-cover moves aren’t just for evading enemy fire; they’re great spots to keep your ammo in-check!
Besides skiing and running, the art of the climb must be mastered in order to get around. In Fracked, these moments will no doubt mess with your brain, as you carefully grab hold of rickety barriers or ladders as you move around and above the vicinity. On many occasions, I found myself taking deep breaths and trying not to look down, as the sight of being far beyond a safe distance between the ground and my feet made me feel nauseous at times.
This does lead to the one downside of Fracked, as it’s very easy to get dizzy playing it. The lingering effects of motion sickness took hold of me roughly after playing 60 straight minutes of the game. It leads me to strongly suggest to keep your playtime to about 30-45 minutes, as experiencing more in a bigger chunk may cause you to sweat and feel a little woozy. Fortunately, its near-3 ½ hour story will give gamers plenty of leg room and time to experience everything this game has to offer.
- Nonstop action-packed campaign
- Great controls, immersive movement
- Enemies and environment always challenging
- May cause some motion sickness
Fracked is one badass experience! nDreams’s latest is filled with fantastic action, immersive environments, and some of the best controls you’ll find in a virtual game. It may have a clichéd story like most action films, but Fracked has plenty of brains and excitement to keep you both entertained and on your toes!
Promotional consideration provided by Jim Redner of theRednerGroup