After really enjoying Fracked on PlayStation VR, I was so excited when the PC VR version was announced. This is because although, they did an awesome job with the Move Controllers, the idea of playing it with analogues, just makes you think next level for the game. I have now worked my way through the game on PC, the question is… did it?
In the story you are placed into the shoes and skis of a reluctant hero, who is placed in the final stand to save the planet. As, you go on your way to try and bring the end to fracking on your planet, you have to fight your way through a legion of interdimensional enemies in order to do this.
The fast paced action is what instantly got my attention in the trailer, and I am happy to say it did not let me down one bit in this area. The combat is fast paced gunplay, mixed with an excellent cover system – that I was happy to see they kept even with removing the need of the PlayStation Move controller. When it comes to the guns you get two main weapons a pistol and a sub machine gun, both of which are used with one hand to allow for the cover to be used. Outside of these you will find special guns that include one round of ammunition and then disintegrate. Ammunition for your two constant weapons is not in short supply in the game, with enemies dropping it on death, and it wasn’t often I found myself having to search for ammo for the SMG.
The next part of the combat is the very will handled cover system. Most objects placed around the map can be grabbed onto with your none dominant hand. You then can lower yourself into cover, peak over and lean out of cover to take your shots, and this works great and seamlessly in those tense combat situations.
Outside of the straight up gun fights, the game puts in some skiing and climbing elements, both of which break up the frantic gunplay well. Although, the skiing does include some shooting, which has you taking out watch towers and enemies on snowmobiles – with these sections making you feel like your Xander Cage from xXx. The climbing segments aren’t full of combat, but still manage to include some elements of excitement. This is done by parts breaking that you are climbing on, and made me think of those sort of segments in Uncharted, leaving you hanging on for life in VR.
When it comes the enemy types, you will find a mix of smaller enemies that will shoot, throw grenades and explode upon death, with each type having a more altered appearance to stand out from each other. Outside of these you will also take on a larger enemy that can be a pain to take down, even when you are used to the method for this type – this is due to the smaller enemies also attacking you at the same time. There is a few segments in the game when this gives it a bit of a difficulty spike, but you certainly get a sense of achievement when getting through them.
One thing that instantly stood out to me from the games trailers was the lovely Borderlands-esc art style, and when being in the game this style still looks great and does not let you down. The environments look awesome, the overall level design is beautiful, especially when seeing the avalanches coming down the mountains.
I was surprised to see no graphics options with it being on PC, but while playing the game it looked identical to what it did with the PlayStation 5 enhancements. With the only improvement in the visuals coming from everything looking even more crisp and clean from the improved resolution and better displays offered over the PlayStation VR HMD.
As with the visual presentation, the team have done great work with the audio. The 3D audio is perfect in the game, and it was easy to pick out where the enemies we coming from in the frantic combat – which saved my life at times. The voice acting for the characters was also to a high standard, that helps keep you immersed in the world of Fracked. The final good use of the 3D audio was the mix between the atmospheric sounds and music, which was used the set the mood in the current situation in the game.
The games does allow for you play seated or standing, I tried both on the PC VR version, and found I played it seated most of the game – given the excellent cover system it really does not matter how you play it. As you would expect from a studio with plenty of experience in the industry, they have offered most of the comfort options to make sure those who suffer from motion sickness can enjoy the game – however, it only offers smooth locomotion and no teleport options.
Now, the big difference in the game, having analogues for your movement. Although, the game has the best implementation of the Move Controllers on the PlayStation VR, the way your locomotion was controlled is still dated. So getting to play this with analogues improved the game even more than my previous experience. The amount of difficulty spikes were reduced, as the analogues just allow you to get on and flow with action a lot easier.
One thing they carried over from the PlayStation VR version, which I think could have been an option with the analogues is, the ski elements being controlled by tilting your head. I just feel now we have better controllers and the ability to turn your head without tracking issues, controlling these sections with analogues as an option would have been nice
To get through the eight chapters the game is made up of it took me around three hours, but given the fast paced and enjoyable action the game offers I think people will return to play it again. Also for the hardcore out there who want punishment, you can take on hard mode, that gives you one life to complete the game – which believe me will take some doing.
Reviewed using Vive Pro Eye & Index Controllers
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
With Fracked on PC VR the team at nDreams have continued the trend of not ever letting my down with one of their releases. They have made sure outside of the fun and frantic shooting, that it is mixed with other enjoyable gameplay elements, with both the skiing and climbing shining in their own rights. Add to this the analogue control systems now being possible, and the action flows even more. Everything about the games visual choices and sound design is lovely, and the improved resolutions and displays on the Vive Pro Eye bringing a more crisp visual on top of the game looking similar to the PlayStation 5 enhanced version. If you are looking for a new shooter that is based around a campaign, then you should look no further than Fracked.