A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There's a very loose plot point about reckless mining causing instability of the mountain environment, but it's only there to help advance some of the action with hazards like avalanches. Otherwise, it's a basic "bad guys shooting good guy" setup.
Positive Role Models
While the game does have definite heroes and villains, with the hero trying to stop the villain's nefarious plans, it's still a fairly generic plot and simply an excuse for players to run (or ski) around and shoot things.
Ease of Play
The multitude of VR controls in Fracked take a lot of getting used to. The aiming isn't very precise, and it can be difficult to grab on to objects using the Move controllers. Movement and use of cover, while effective, also don't feel quite natural. Finally, skiing can be particularly frustrating due to the steering being controlled with head movements.
Violence & Scariness
Action and violence are constant, with players in regular shootouts with mutated enemies. Players use a variety of firearms and explosives to fight against the zombie-like foes. Enemies spray splashes of purple "blood" when taking damage, and defeated foes just sort of melt away and disappear. Player damage is represented with a bloody swipe on the screen.
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The dialogue makes liberal use of profanity, such as "s--t," "bastard," and more.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fracked is a first-person action shooter available on the PlayStation VR. The game combines elements of shooting, skiing, and climbing in a virtual reality environment. The VR controls and gameplay are somewhat unwieldy and take time to get used to. Players fight against a constant stream of humanlike enemies using a number of different firearms. There's some blood splatter shown onscreen when players take damage, while enemies splash a purple blood substance and disintegrate when defeated. The game's dialogue also makes frequent use of profanity.
Is It Any Good?
As virtual reality gaming has picked up interest, developers have brought all kinds of genres to the platform. Fracked is a game that couldn't really seem to settle on just one though, so instead it's mixed together a few different styles of play and come up with an entertaining, though flawed, action mash-up. One minute you're racing down a snow-covered slope outracing an oncoming avalanche, the next minute you're peeking out from behind cover in a gunfight with armed henchmen, and after that, you're scaling a building's scaffolding to reach an awaiting helicopter. In many ways, it feels like you're starring in some cheesy summer blockbuster action flick. But its awkward controls and repetitive gameplay make Fracked seem less box office bonanza and more straight-to-video.
Fracked is a perfect example of a game that's a jack of all trades, but a master of none. The opening moments are enough to point out some of the game's shortcomings. When you first hop onto your skis and head down the mountain, you're told that steering relies on tilting and turning your head. While that might seem like a decent way to mimic leaning into your turns, in actuality, it forces you to act like you're wearing blinders to the world around you. You can't look around without veering way off course and smacking into a tree or worse. And with an avalanche hot on your heels, it's frustrating not to be able to look behind and gauge your progress. Firefights are equally rough. The game's cover mechanic is something original and useful, with players grabbing on and easing up or around to pop out for a shot. But the actual shooting is anything but accurate, forcing you to unload entire magazines into one enemy just to guarantee a hit. Finally, reaching out to interact with things like ziplines, ledges, and other objects usually takes a few attempts to grab correctly. These issues can be overcome with practice, but exactly how much you get out of Fracked will rely on your level of patience.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.