I know I really should listen to my own advice and stop jumping into alphas and early testing, because the entire time I was in Fractured, I kept thinking to myself, “What is the POINT here?”
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gone into a game this early except that (a) I have been cheering this little indie project on ever since its first announcement, and (b) for whatever reason, the team dropped the NDA for its very first alpha test and winged me a key. That intrigued me. What did I have to lose other than my time, innocence, and all clothing?
Here we early testers are, shaping the world in our undies. Truly, legends will be told of us brave pioneers who were at a sleepover and then jumped through a portal into this strange, new world.
But here’s the thing: There’s no game here. I mean, it’s functional. You can log in. You can do stuff. But I was expecting something in the way of classes and story, and instead was treated to no instructions whatsoever and nothing to do other than your usual survival game stuff. You know, pick up a ton of stuff, start crafting, make your mark on the world, and hopefully hide your shame with ragged clothing. It’s the same formula that I’ve already groused about a few times recently, so I won’t belabor it here. Welcome to alpha, I know.
So I ran… and ran… and ran. Fractured is an isometric title, so you don’t get any sense of what’s beyond the borders of the screen except what the minimap or larger map indicates (“green”). I didn’t really bump into much of anything other than generally pleasant nature and one area of ruins that turned out to be an unclaimed housing plot. So I guess I claimed it? It’s as good of a place to die as any other.
I’m not writing this to be hard on Fractured, because you get what you get when it is early alpha. It’s a very unfinished game that we’re poking around in. And to give credit where it’s due, there are some praiseworthy elements. The UI is clean and even attractive, everything works (more or less), I saw no egregious bugs, and if the world actually had stuff in it, I’d be happy to explore it. Oh, and the one music track that kept looping was pleasant enough.
Other than bumping into some friends, I had one humorous encounter. A wolf came up to attack me, and I was so glad to actually have something to fight (everything else I’ve seen was wildlife that just fled before me) that I started punching with abandon. But the wolf got the best of me and… knocked me unconscious. I guess you can’t die right now? So after a few seconds, my character stood back up with a sliver of health, at which point the wolf — who was patroling the area — ran over to “kill” me again. And again. And again.
I was being corpse camped by a wolf. Turnabout is fair play.
I also found a fully-built (but not furnished) player cabin, which shows you what others who know what they’re doing can accomplish.
It looks to be a very sizable continent with many biomes, if this map is to be believed. If I had many hours and perhaps a motorbike, I wouldn’t mind zipping around to seeing what the non-light forest areas looked like.
I wrapped up my time in Fractured’s alpha 1 by putting my crafting to good use. Here. I’m finally clothed and wielding a spear. If that wolf comes looking for trouble, a face full of stick is what it’s going to get.