First-person shooters and VR go together like peanut butter and jelly and the new alien-blasting adventure Fracked proves this yet again.
I generally don't enjoy first-person shooters, especially when the point is to relentlessly murder people. With that in mind, VR shooters are a different beast altogether and the fact that Fracked has you kill alien invaders makes it far more appealing to me. Anyway, the story takes a back seat to gameplay which is good because who cares? Just shoot some aliens and move on to the next alien-shooting area, right? Thankfully, the gameplay is handled beautifully which says a lot considering the fact that you must play Fracked with a couple of PlayStation Move controllers. Whether you're shooting, climbing, or skiing (yes, there's skiing), you're bound to have a great time. Well, perhaps not with the climbing which I personally find to be more tedious than enjoyable. Some people may find it fun, though.
Fracked's combat involves cover-and-shoot mechanics which makes it like a Gears of War game although much more immersive because, well, it's in VR! Specifically, you can grab the edge of a barricade then raise your hand up to duck behind it as you aim and shoot with your other hand. The resulting exchange of gunfire can be quite intense as the enemies within Fracked are good shots and they can get relentless, too. When you factor in exploding suicide runners and super-tough hulking foes; you'll constantly be on your toes in the heat of combat. Plus, discovering new weapons is great fun even though I stuck with the basic gun as it helped me get headshots easier.
One aspect that intensifies the shooting gameplay is the level design which is excellent. Each area is intricate with some degree of verticality so finding a vantage point with plenty of cover is always rewarding. With that in mind, there are few places to station yourself where you won't have to regularly observe your surroundings so there's always a healthy dose of tension in every gunfight.
Between exchanging gunfire, you'll take part in action sequences with the most notable of which being skiing. At the start, you basically just ski to the first level but later on, you'll get to shoot as you ski which is awesome albeit a bit easy. Speaking of difficulty, I found some situations to be absolutely brutal either due to relentless enemy spawning or a particularly tough alien with no in-game clues for how to take it down. These difficulty spikes hampered my enjoyment which is surprising because I played on easy difficulty.
Although Fracked presents an action-intense campaign that'll have you shooting aliens and skiing like a pro, it's also disappointingly short. It's one of those jam-packed experiences that's hard to fault for being as brief as it is but with no substantial replay value at only a couple of hours long, it's also difficult to wholeheartedly recommend. That is; unless you really want to play it over and over again.
Fracked is a promising cover-and-shoot VR FPS for PS4. If it featured a longer campaign and smoothed-out difficulty then I'd consider it a must-have for the platform. For now, I hope to eventually play a sequel that expands on this very epic formula in such a manner.
- + Awesome combination of action sequences and cover-and-shoot gameplay
- + Elaborate locales make for tense arenas
- + Intuitive PlayStation Move controls
- - Campaign is short at only a couple hours
- - Some difficulty spikes can be frustrating
- - Climbing is more annoying than fun