Fractured Online in 2022 is a HORRIBLE MMO Experience | My Early Access Impressions
It’s always exciting playing a new MMO for the first time, especially at launch.
There are thousands, tens of thousands of players all running around with no idea what to do, or where to go, sharing in your achievements and your frustrations.
Yet despite this, we’re all aware we have a purpose, we have direction. Because while MMOs are large, open and provide us a lot of freedom, they all still follow the same formula: “Level, quest, and grind to endgame.” That’s where the game starts.
This is where Fractured advertised that it was different. This was a sandbox world with infinite freedom – no singular, linear path to follow. Full of experiences that were influenced by you. Not the developers. And that is unfortunately also where this game fell short.
Fractured Online is a dynamic, open-world top-down isometric sandbox MMORPG that was announced back in 2017. In June 2018, they opened a Kickstarter to aid in the development of the title and just barely made what they were asking for: A little over $100,000 USD.
Sandbox MMOs are very different to your traditional MMOs. They focus on allowing players to mold their own experiences through their actions, exploring the world at their own pace, learning and upgrading the abilities you want.
As opposed to moving through regions in a linear fashion, from quest hub to quest hub, following the same route everyone else has taken, learning the same skills every other play has learned. Offering nothing thousands of other players haven’t already done.
But with that sense of purpose, with that – let’s go ahead and label it “hand holding,” you’re presented with a world that is full of life, full of lore. Characters, personalities to learn about, to engage with, stories to become enthralled in.
You have a reason to exist within the area you’re currently in. There is a reason you’re killing those 30 boars. Or harvesting those 5 flowers for the little girl back in town. Otherwise, you’re wandering aimlessly throughout the world without purpose – trying to find the motivation to do anything.
Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe MMOs with a lack of direction just aren’t my thing.
Upon logging into the Early Access, I saw 3 different races. Humans, WildFolk and Demons. Demons are not yet implemented – and likely will never be implemented given the horrible reception Fractured has garnered.
I went with WildFolk because honestly – dear GOD what is that abomination of a character? That’s the kinda shit I’d dreamt up as a kid before proceeding to immediately run downstairs screaming saying Satan was coming to steal my soul.
After coming to terms with the trauma I suffered as a child, I selected my class. There were 4 to choose from: Gladiator, Bowman, Arcanist, and Street Rat.
Upon completion of your masterpiece, you’re thrown directly into the game with a number of tutorial quests that walk you through how to craft a few different items, how to learn your abilities, set presets so you can actually equip them.
It’s a whole lot of navigating confusing menus that could easily be condensed into a single skill or talent tree. I don’t understand why we’re forced into these overly complex methods of utilizing a basic feature like “dragging your ability onto your action bar.” It’s unnecessary.
After spending 20 minutes stabbing Wolves, looting mushrooms and peeling tree bark – all very important for what we had planned for this evening – we had successfully completed the tutorial, and left tutorial island.
And that is when the true game began.
I spent the remainder of the stream running aimlessly throughout the world, fleeing from the majority of monsters because they were just significantly more powerful than me. Harvesting the same materials from trees, from flora and fauna, from wildlife.
I believe I went 20 minutes without even engaging an enemy, because the game world is just so empty. So void of life. You see the odd monster here and there, a small camp of bandits. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing.
Combat in Fractured consisted of repeatedly clicking one of your mouse buttons, while waiting for and cycling through a small selection of abilities that all shared the exact same animation.
I understand the premise of providing players a large open world to explore at their own pace. I get the appeal – I used to wander off in Morrowind, spending hundreds of hours, raiding, leveling, getting the most powerful gear possible before returning to Seyda Neen and being told I need to go see Caius Cosades in Balmora.
But the difference was very evident: While I played in a large sandbox world, if there was ever a point that I felt I was growing bored, that things were too repetitive, I could immediately backtrack to and continue the story.
At the end of every journey was the possibility of even greater journeys, or, a return to the evolution of my story.
Having a narrative connects everything together. The lack of one I feel is inhibiting – and while I agree that survival games at their core don’t require a story – V Rising, Valheim, ARK – MMO’s most definitely do. You claim you’re creating an “MMORPG,” but the reality is this is a survival game.
There really aren’t any “RPG” elements present – Fractured isn’t a “new, innovative” kind of MMORPG. No. What Fractured is, is an empty, restrictive, inhibiting multiplayer game.
This is easily the most broken, underwhelming, low-quality MMO I’ve played all year. And that is including the Mobile MMOs I’ve played that auto-play the game for you.
Character animations were so jarring. My deer man dislocated his neck every time he ran. It was disturbing to constantly look at.
He couldn’t hold his spear – it was inches out of his hands.
While harvesting materials, my arms would immediately fall behind my back and I’d lose my shoulders. That is not in any way a normal interaction.
Balance and scaling were off.
I could rant for 10 minutes about every thing Fractured does wrong. But at the end of the day, nothing can sum up everything I want to say better than this: You are required to purchase the game to play it.
$130 for this broken, empty, abhorrent mess with “Mostly Negative” reviews. And those reviews are 100% warranted.
This is a terrible MMO – it’s an embarrassment to the genre. And honestly? I wouldn’t even classify it as an MMO. This is a low-budget survival game. And not the fun kind like Valheim, V Rising, or any of the other quality survival games released in the last few years.
I would not recommend this to anyone. This is a major pass from me.