Fractured Lands puts an apocalyptic spin on battle royale

Fractured Lands

It’s a day ending in Y, so there’s another battle royale shooter being announced, although I do quite like this one’s style. Fractured Lands takes the concept of wandering, scavenging and driving over each other to its most logical location; the Max Max-styled post-apocalypse. Dirty mohawks, improvised armour and slightly ramshackle guns are order of the day, and there’s a gameplay trailer waiting inside if you’ve got some guzzoline to spare.

Looking at the trailer below, while I like the look of the vehicular combat (especially the up-armoured, rocket-boosted or armed vehicles), I’m not so keen on the regular gunplay. Dusty old assault rifles plugging bullets into people as players strafe around wildly looks like so many shooters of yesteryear. I’d at least like to see some more exotic (albeit less realistic) weaponry more in line with Mad Max, where bullets are precious and improvised weaponry like explosive spears made things all the more spectacular.

Fractured Lands is the debut game from newly assembled team Unbroken Studios, although they claim to have some senior talent from the Battlefield, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty franchises on board. While a lot of the trailer did focus on the on-foot combat, Unbroken are keen to emphasise that your car is your primary and most powerful weapon, and can be customised and upgraded with bits scavenged around the map, and also used to store and haul equipment.

While I don’t deny that there’s a lot of hunger for good battle royale games that mix up the formula a bit, it’s perhaps a little bit unfortunate that Fractured Lands’ announcement comes so soon after the unveiling of Rage 2, which – while single-player focused – looks set to give me my fix of post-apocalyptic driving and shooting, all without the worry of being sniped by some jammy git half a mile away who found a lucky weapon drop. Plus, it looks somewhat weirder and more colourful, which is always good.

While there’s no hard launch date pinned down for Fractured Lands, several closed beta events will be running for it over the course of June. You can sign up to give the game a spin on the official site here, or wait for the Steam early access release planned for later this summer.

6 Comments

  1. DirtyDivinity says:

    Definitely my cup of petrol.

  2. DirtyDivinity says:

    …even if I agree that Rage 2 seems to lack a bit of the welcome madness of Rage 2
    (sorry it was to late to edit my first comment).

  3. DirtyDivinity says:

    Aaaarh! FRACTURED LANDS seems to lack a bit of the welcome madness of Rage 2 (huh, maybe I need a lot of time to edit)
    …about lack of madness… !
    Well, OK, time for me to disappear into an inflatable floor gap.

  4. Evan_ says:

    I love post-apocalyptic settings.. But I have to say, after playing a few Battle Royale games with huge colorful pastel polygons, I don’t feel like I want to try distinguishing a mud colored sniper from the mud he’s crouching in ever again.

  5. Greg Wild says:

    eh. I like the idea of Mad Max BR in theory, but they clearly don’t get what Mad Max’s brand of vehicular madness is about: that being, few/no guns, entirely based on boarding parties and dangerous contraptions.

  6. Kollega says:

    You know what’d be interesting? To see a military science-fiction battle royale game, one that would draw on the idea of cyber-commando warfare involving small elite forces that we think is likely to typify future conflicts. I could even name two obvious additions/twists to the formula that it could bring! The first one would be objective-based gameplay (be the last person standing and get your objectives done!), and the second would be planetary hazards, such as dangerous weather patterns, geological instability, aggressive wild fauna, or military operations that might get the player characters killed as collateral damage. I’m no expert in battle royale games (in fact, I have zero experience and almost zero interest in them) – but I think that could be no worse than existing genre entries!

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