Part MOBA, Part Vehicle Action Game
Fractured Space follows the World of Tanks framework, then blends in a little bit of MOBA. There’s a good amount of tactical and strategic thinking required for this game. From the asteroids blanketing each lane, down to the jump mechanic which increases damage taken immensely. You actually have to plan when jumping out – even if it looks safe! The game is surprisingly feature rich given how recently it’s gone into full release.
You have your standard fighting-vehicle – spaceships in this case, and two lanes to push. Both lanes have satellites which accumulate your team’s XP. So you need to push your lanes, and once you capture the final satellite in the lane, you can warp to the enemy base and start to tear down the towers and capture it. Gameplay is very straightforward, but in a good way. Basically you have two big progression currencies. Experience for your player rank, and then credits to buy your ships and upgrades. There’s also DNA which is used to buy crew members, but you do get a full crew to start with. Crew members provide very small boosts to various aspects of play (3% capture speed, 4% repair speed, etc). They are your min-maxing tools. And true to MOBA platforms, there’s a paid currency that lets you buy ships, skins, and pretty much whatever. You get ‘drops’ for playing 2 (Bronze) 4 (Silver), and 6 (Gold) games per day. Reset time for drops in Fractured Space is 1 AM EST. You can get skins, DNA, credits, and even crew from drops. The great RNG equalizer!
What Makes It Fun
I think the approach Fractured Space has taken on their ships is probably it’s most redeeming feature. There is an impressive variety of ships. There are three main manufacturers, and each with their very distinct aesthetic style. Digging a little deeper, you can see that no two ships look the same, or share the same role. For example, one support ship may heal, and the next may not. It doesn’t feel like there are any overused mechanics. I’ve fallen in love with the TDS line, and have played 4 ships so far. Each ship feels distinct, and so far fun. Given the sheer amount of ships available, this is truly an accomplishment in my book. One final little thing I found cool is that if one of your teammates is paying for premium account time, everyone in the party benefits by getting bonus credit. That’s a pretty unique system in my book.
What Makes It…Not
There are two main gripes I have with this game. The first, and lesser offender, are the timers. O M G there are so many timers! Once you get into a match, there’s a timer to select your ship. Then there’s a timer to select your loadout. Then there’s a timer to load the match. Then there’s a short wait before yet ANOTHER timer, to actually start the game. It’s probably right at about 4 minutes total if people run out the clock (if everyone readies up, you can end some of the timers sooner). I’m not sure if this is a technical requirement or planned time sink, but it’s annoying. The only other gripe I have is the rate of credit gain. It feels really grindy in the credits department. This perspective is from a purely free player account. You can buy boosts or premium time to increase your gain. This is a free game, so some level of grinding is expected. I think this is just a bit much. A final complaint I have seems small, but I think it helps to establish a pattern. During holiday events for most games, you play around, complete some quests or whatever, and you get some holiday junk. A skin, vendor trash – whatever. It’s free, so who cares. Well in Fractured Space you unlocked the ability to buy a crew member. I only mention this to support my theory that this game is going to take a little more grinding than your average Free to Play game.
The Bottom Line
I still log in intermittently for a couple games. Playing the game is fun, which is an important factor. If you like Sci Fi, MOBAs, and what I call ‘vehicle action shooter’ games, then Fractured Space is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking for a comparison to Dreadnought, I’d say it’s more in-depth than Dreadnought. If you’re looking something that requires a little more thought, then this is the game for you. The community seems pretty adequate right now. I wouldn’t call it large, but I’ve never had problems with queues logging in at pretty much all hours of the day. And again, it’s free. This is one of those things where you only have time to lose.