Fracture: E3 Impressions Sure, this is a science-fiction title from LucasArts, but this is not a Star Wars game. I repeat, this is not a Star Wars game. LucasArts' Fracture is one of the most innovative games in the first-person shooter genre we've seen this show. We had a chance to watch a demonstration of the single-player game and the terrain deforming mechanic that defines the shooter and separates it from the general lot. The story is essentially an extrapolation on the possible effects of global warming and genetic engineering 150 years into the future. With the entire middle portion of the US underwater, the East coast and Europe's cybernetic-centric Atlantic Alliance go to war against the West coast / East Asia's Republic of Pacific. While you only get to play as the Atlantic in single-player, both sides are playable in multiplayer. (The Pacific side will likely be your team for Fracture 2.) What about the rest of the world, such as South Africa? A LucasArts representative said with a smile, "to be answered in Fracture!" If you remember the old game Scorched Earth, you'll recall there were weapons that cratered and created (via "sand piles") land, and Fracture takes much from that idea. Using special grenades you can lower and raise the land. Examples shown were creating a wall between enemies and lowering the earth to turn a crack in a wall into a new doorway, among others. You could even use it to make stairs to a higher ground. We were told that there is a floor and ceiling to terraforming the land, but that it is reportedly "forgiving." We saw within minutes a battlefield that was utterly devastated and warped, very impressive. Many of the weapons shown capitalized on the terrain deforming concept. We saw a bangalore grenade launcher, that sends a grenade rippling through the ground like you would see Bugs Bunny dig in Looney Toons. The ground above it would raise a little, and the explosive would eventually pop its head out of the ground to claim its victim. A vortex could be created which acted just as its namesake implies, and also seen was a gun that created a large boulder from surrounding terrain and hurled it like a bowling ball. We also saw an extreme use of terraforming with the the magma spike, which shot a column straight up into the sky. If you're standing on it, you get a new, higher platform. If you destroy it, the remnants serve as a hindrance to incoming traffic. No co-op play, but there will be 16-player online multiplayer. Though we weren't allowed to play it at the appointment, we still very much enjoyed what we saw. (Fortunately, there is a multiplayer event tomorrow that we will be also covering.) Fracture is due out Summer 2008 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.