Fractured Space is a 5v5 team based space capital ship battle game with vague MOBA influences. Its also an “early access” game (ew). Normally the game runs for 10 US Bucks, plus micro transactions, but there was a sale a few months ago where the game could be gotten for free, permanently. So naturally I got it and proceeded to never actually install it, much less play it. Until Today…
The game’s progression follows a World of Tanks sort of model. You get tech points when you use a ship, and you spend those points on a tech tree to research new ships and upgrades for your ships, which you then buy with the credits you also earned in the matches. There were three tech trees, for three ship manufacturers, and you start with one ship for each. Unlike World of Tanks, there are no tiers, and all ships are allegedly viable, only offering different playstyles.
I say the game has MOBA elements mostly due to the map layout, as well as an in-game level up system. The map is broken up into five sectors, two of them just being the bases, and two of them explicitly called “lanes.” Each sector is basically enclosed, and you can only travel between them with your warp drive. The main objective is to capture the enemy base.
The alpha and beta lane sectors contain five capture points each. Two of them are the “Forward Bases” of each team, which you can stop at to heal up and level up. Capturing the enemy one allows warp access to the enemy main base. The three other ones are mining facilities, which you capture to get resources to level up you and your team.
I didn’t really understand the leveling system. Only holding the mines contributed to leveling up, not kills or anything else. More often than not, both teams had the same level, where as in most proper MOBAs, one team would typically overtake the other in power. Leveling up also wasn’t very noticeable, its supposed to boost speed and damage and such, but my ship feels the same in the end game as it did when I started the match. You also get the option to specialize in damage, defense, or support, but again I couldn’t feel a difference.
The gamma sector is special, kinda serving as this game’s Roshan or Baron Nashor. The capture point there opens up every couple minutes or so, and grabbing hold of it grants your team a buff for two minutes. It was kinda neat, because everyone gets alerts that the gamma sector was going to open, so you’d usually get some big nasty teamfights in.
Of the three starter ships available, I chose the one for the Russian manufacturer, which is apparently a mining ship retooled for war, because reasons. Its armed with big mining lasers that do semi constant damage to ships, as well as a slug thrower that did no damage on its own but would destroy armor on hit. I could do decent damage, but only as long as people ignored me in big battles, as the laser was weak on its own. I could also do a burst heal all around me, and deploy a drone that shielded me and my allies. But what I was best at was capturing stuff behind people’s back, and dying. I died often.
The actual combat in the game is fairly appropriate to the genre, but also lacks a certain amount of depth. It’s mostly just massive ships floating about, slugging the ever loving crap out of each other. Maybe it opens up as people get more ships, but it wasn’t the case in my four or so games. There’s cover as well as the whole armor system, but the ships are very slow and unwieldy, meaning there isn’t a whole lot of tactical mobility.
The other problem is there wasn’t a whole lot of other people playing. There was about 250 other players, granted it was a Tuesday afternoon. The queue times for matches was on average 3 minutes, although the last two took seven and ten minutes of waiting. It’s really no fault of the game, but it happened.
Would I recommend it? Probably not. Its yet another game where I have to grind for hours on end just to get to the fun part, and actually acquire the more interesting ships. The gameplay is mostly average, it certainly doesn’t offset the grind. The MOBA elements just don’t add a whole lot, other than stuff to cap. I just don’t feel like playing it more after the two hours I put in.