While at E3 2018, I had the opportunity to try out the beta for Fractured Lands. The game is a first-person shooter battle royale with car combat mechanics, and it also has a heavy Mad Max tone to it.
One of the first things you will notice when starting up play is that everyone starts out with a car. This is extremely helpful because since it is a battle royale game, the map is constantly shrinking in the form of a deadly, oncoming storm. As a result, players are able to maneuverer throughout the map and not feel like they are doomed due to not being able to escape the storm.
While everyone starts out with a car, it is a bare bones ride. It offers very little defenses, and it has subpar handling. As you begin to explore the map, however, you will find upgrades for your car, such as armor for protecting you against attacks, spikes for ramming enemy vehicles and players, and even rocket boosters to help you fly up and around obstacles. The customization felt awesome, and being able to customize my own ride with scrap parts laying around really made me feel like I was in the Mad Max universe. Also, there are many different upgrades to find for your car that can cater to an individual’s play style, so there is definitely something for everyone.
Along with finding car parts, there is the usual slew of armor, weapons, and healing items to pick up to help you become the last one standing. The gun play was solid, and there were a few weapon choices to choose from. From the looks of it, it only seems like there is one type of each weapon (shotgun, SMG, sniper rifle, AR, etc.), but each one filled its role well. The ammo in this game does not spawn in surplus, but you do always find a gun with ammo laying around, although it is limited.
The awesome thing about everyone having a car and being able to fight with these vehicles means that it is a lot easier to engage in combat. I did not feel pressured to let a car pass because I knew that I had one as well. In addition, because of the car upgrades you can get (and the limited ammo), it felt less risky and more encouraged to engage in car combat. However, there is a balance with the cars. Each car needs to be refueled every once in a while, but there are plenty of gas cans scattered around the world to find. Due to this, it also encourages looting because having a car is crucial in this game. Because it can be such a powerful asset, I never felt compelled to abandon it outright.
Cars can be destroyed, but because everyone has a car, so it is easy to find a replacement. However, you lose all of the upgrades you put into your vehicle, so it really is kind of a loss when you do lose your vehicle.
While playing, I managed to deck out my car to give it spiked and a rocket booster. I had launched myself at an enemy car with the rocket boosters and rammed myself into them. After forcing them to get out, I ended up killing them to take their loot. After a couple close encounters, I had managed to make it to the top 3. While engaging in a fire fight, I ended up running out of ammo and dying.
Fractured Lands, while a little rough around the edges due to being in beta, still played and felt great. Fractured Lands will be available on Steam in early access later this summer.