Fragmented

Fragmented Early Access Review

Fragmented is a sci-fi survival game based on an alien planet. The game’s objective is to survive the threats and trials of the player’s new home. You must fight and forage to live on, whilst improving your gear and your character him/herself of course. The core of the game is pretty much identical to every single other game in the genre, but it certainly has its own identity and is unique in its own way. At this moment in time, Fragmented is still in its early access stage, so everything I mention in this review is subject to change. This doesn’t mean I’ll go easy on the developers if I found certain aspects lack luster, but realize I am giving my opinion on the game as it is right now. However, that’s enough of an introduction to the game I believe, let’s get into it.

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SURVIVING

Obviously the main aspect of a survival game is surviving, and I certainly praise Fragmented for it’s survival mechanics. There are six attributes relative to your survival that can be improved by leveling up: health, stamina, hunger, thirst, temperature and oxygen. Health depletes when you take damage, to regenerate health one must make use of medical supplies. Bandages are one of the first things the player can craft and come in handy. Stamina is used up performing actions, such as foraging from bushes, chopping down trees, attacking, sprinting, basically everything except walking. Hunger is obvious, over time your character becomes more and more hungry, so hunting and gathering is a necessity.

If you don’t keep your hunger level up your health will slowly deteriorate. I thought the hunger bar was a little too hard to fill, but I guess it just makes the game more difficult. Thirst is pretty similar, except a useful way of hydrating yourself is by swimming in a body of water, which is where oxygen comes in handy. Finally, temperature is controlled by the weather, your location and your clothing. Some clothes cool you down, others heat you up or give you a resistance to the cold at least. if you are cold, you can light a fire or craft a torch to warm up, and if you are warm you can take a dip in a lake to cool off.

I thought Fragmented’s survival mechanics were fairly well made, I don’t really have any complaints, but nothing is perfect. The hunger, like I said, takes so much food to fill at the start, in my opinion it’s too much. Not much of a problem but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

Fragmented

SKILLS & LEVELING

Your character levels up by completing actions, such as killing enemies, chopping down trees, and so on. Each time the player levels up they receive some skill points, used to improve each skill. You receive more skill points each time you level up, but it also costs more and more each time you upgrade a skill. The skills in the game are as follows: Construction, Electronics, Melee, Ranged, Refining, Subsistence, Survival and Textiles. Upgrading each skill unlocks new craftable items. Construction is used to make structures, gates, crates, a forge, etc., along with a crafting or industrial station. Electronics are used to make these stations. It also allows you to make wiring, turrets, robots, force fields, vehicles, etc.

Melee and ranged skills unlock the ability to craft more weapons, pretty straight forward. I’ll go into that more later. The refining skill is used to make things like acid, glue, rubber cement, usually things that in turn are used to craft items from other skills. It also unlocks pickaxes to mine materials to refine. Subsistence is one of the more important skills, players with higher subsistence can cook food and make juice, basically elongate your life. At level 9 and 10 subsistence you can make pets to hang around with. I myself never did that, but I heard it’s pretty cool. Survival is a skill used to hunt, make campfires and torches and craft medicine. Survival unlocks spears, traps and pills, all of which are rather useful when tackling the threats of the planet. Last but not least, textiles allows the player to craft armor, clothing and backpacks, all of which are extremely useful.

As you can see, the skills in Fragmented are complex, in a good way of course. I think the leveling system was pretty well done, while it takes some time to level up, the rewards are worth it. Each skill has its own purpose, and not only do they unlock new items to craft but they increase your stats too, which certainly helps along the way.

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CRAFTING, BUILDING AND MATERIALS

The crafting system in Fragmented isn’t too complex, nor is it too simplistic, which is just how I like it. The crafting itself is basic: you need to gather the materials required to make whatever it is you want to craft, then you just craft it. Some items must be crafted with a pestle and mortar, a stove or a crafting table. This is all straight forward. The gathering of the materials can be a little tedious, however, but that’s how it’s supposed to be.

The player must chop down trees, forage berries, break rocks, kill beasts or even use the refining skill to find or make whatever is needed to craft the item you want. It can take some time and effort to do all this, but it’d be no fun if you got everything handed to you on a silver platter. When you have crafted items, such as walls or other structures it’s just a matter of placing them. It can be irritating as not every area in the game allows you to build and you can’t build anywhere near another player’s buildings, but the placement mechanics are decent once you get the controls down.

There isn’t much to say about it, it’s all pretty straight forward and easy to comprehend. It took me a minute to understand how to place buildings and rotate them and so on, but that could have been user error. It takes a lot of effort to finally build a full base, but if you’re into that the reward is definitely worth the effort.

WEAPONS, ITEMS, ARMOR AND BUILDINGS

Yes, I mentioned building in another section, but here I am reviewing the buildings themselves along with the weaponry and armor of the game and other items used. I won’t list every single item in the game, because there are so, so many, which is a major plus in my opinion. Each set of armor has it’s own stats and “buffs,” the same with the weaponry. Each gun and each armor set is different, so it’s actually worth your time crafting them, changing them around, trying them out, etc.

The items like backpacks, food, medicine, even the robotics, are all unique as well. The backpacks are used to store items, each backpack has different storage capacity, each consumable item has it’s own affect. I felt like it was actually worth my time crafting the more difficult to make medical supplies and weaponry. The buildings are the same in this aspect, they all look different and it’s certainly useful to upgrade your home as you go on because wooden structures don’t have as much damage resistance as stone and such.

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In conclusion, everything the player can craft is completely unique, and it’s actually worth your time crafting the next item you unlock. Other than that, I quite liked the variety of gear available to the player and the different stats given from each different armor set.

COMBAT AND ENEMIES

To be frank, the combat in Fragmented is very repetitive and tedious. This is not to say it is terrible, it’s just very, very basic. Some players seem to like that, I heard one person say it reminded them of legacy Rust and that he loved the combat mechanics. However, I felt like the developers could have put a little more time into the AI of the enemies, and perhaps they will, but they haven’t done so just yet. The enemies use the same attacks over and over again. They just rush you and they can be extremely boring to fight at times, so don’t expect tactical prowess from your attackers.

Aside from this, the combat is mostly level based, enemies twice your level will probably ravage you, so it adds some danger to the game and pushes you to make your character evolve. Like the weaponry in Fragmented, each enemy is different, while they all follow similar attack patterns and such, each type of enemy is unique in its own way. I see this as a plus, but to be honest, that’s just how it should be. PvP is a different story of course, which is dependent on individual players and their fighting styles, but this rule applies to all survival games: if you see a higher level than you, run until your legs give way.

In short, the combat in Fragmented isn’t revolutionary, but it’s perfectly fine as a whole. There’s room for improvement, but some players love it as it is and there are many different types of enemies to fight.

GAMEPLAY 7/10

The game was quite fun and there was a lot to do. There weren’t many times I was sitting there with nothing to do, however, of the activities available, some are pretty tedious, such as gathering resources and fighting monsters. Because the enemies fight the same all the time it eventually gets boring.

INNOVATION 7/10

While the game does have many unique aspects to it, many other survival games do too. I don’t think the game is too revolutionary, but there’s not much to complain about. The items, enemies and the world itself are all original, but many of the game’s mechanics are almost identical to the other games in the genre.

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COMMUNITY 4/10

I’m not rating the community of Fragmented very high because it’s almost nonexistent in the online servers. The most players I saw in any one server was six. Most of the servers were empty or had maybe one player! I understand the game is still in early access, but I am rating it on its current state, not how it will be at a later time. Plus, when I did go into a game none of the players interacted with me, I was pretty much ignored, so the community feels antisocial. The only interaction I had with another player was in a PvE server when I went afk and they tried to kill me.

GRAPHICS/SOUNDS 9/10

Yes, I had to reduce my graphics to play the game, but the visuals were still beautiful, and I have no complaints about the sound effects either. I’ve seen players post pictures and videos of them playing at high resolution and in my opinion the game look gorgeous. A game doesn’t have to be backed by a massive company to look great.

VALUE FOR MONEY 8/10

It’s not expensive at all, currently priced at $24.99. I certainly think it’s worth the money if you’re in to survival games. Perhaps the price will go up when the game is released in its final stage, but I hope not. For $25 you get hours and hours of gameplay, and if the game is to your liking, those hours could become weeks.

OVERALL 7/10

I think Fragmented was a decent game, but again, nothing revolutionary. It certainly has potential, and if you like survival games, this is certainly a new experience.

Pros:

  • Beautiful, colorful world.
  • Online gameplay.
  • In-depth crafting system.
  • Vast variety of gear.
  • Potentially hundreds of hours of gameplay

Cons

  • Very few online players.
  • Minor glitches.
  • Simple combat system.
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