Fractal Combat X is an extremely fast paced aerial combat arcade shooter. Unfortunately, the developers behind the Fractal Combat X doesn’t go beyond the surface of its Google Play description and instead offers a shallow and repetitive gameplay. Thankfully Fractal Combat X can be consumed and works well in very small doses. Couch warriors looking for a more extensive flight SIM or more expansive experience should look elsewhere, but for the casual mobile experience, Fractal Combat X just manages to slip into the radar.
Like most casual games in the market, the story here is nothing more than an afterthought. Set in the backdrop in the midst of an alien invasion, players will find themselves in the cockpit of futuristic military fighter plane tasked with repelling the onslaught of invaders. Not exactly a space opera, but nonetheless, the game doesn’t bog you down with long narratives and places you behind a ship within seconds
Gamers are given a total combination four control schemes. One makes use of a gyroscope, which I find, like in most games, offers the least amount of precise control and gets quickly tiresome. As always the virtual controls provides a slightly better alternative and thankfully the game offers an “arcade” scheme, which after every loop and turns, automatically straightens the plane.
Grind Like it’s the 90’s
Each level is divided into missions and each must be complete for players to progress. After the completion of each level, they are given a moderately amount of credit to purchase upgrades parts, armors or even new ships. Every completed mission also rewards credits, but you’ll soon find that the funds awarded are never enough to to make a sizeable amount of upgrade purchases for your ship.
This leads to players to repeatedly grind completed mission and leaves, bulking the game’s replayability. The RPG elements are can get enticing and replaying missions wouldn’t so bad if they weren’t so uninspired and bland.
Mission boils down to seeking and destroying particular enemy types, whether they be surface towers or enemy ships or a combination of both. Most of these are incredibly easy, and can be finished in a matter of minutes. However, later difficult missions I found to be too cheap, as enemies bombard you with projectiles that are seemingly overpowered or just impossibly accurate. Again, this force gamers to retread finished missions for upgrades.
Games of Yesterday
The graphics in Fractal Combat X are hit and miss. The visuals are crisp, and fluid with no hint of framerate drop and there are enough varying enemy types, so combat, at times, can get interesting. This sounds great, but the game doesn’t push any boundaries and looks as if designed and released in 2010. The environments are bland and repetitive, and the lack of major landmarks leaves you to rely on your screen radar to maneuver. Though to the developers credit the levels themselves are expansive. Unfortunately, the way missions are designed, players are unable to skip the levels, forcing you to play through these bland stages and into the mechanic of constant grinding.
There is one thing going for Fractal Combat X: its portability. Missions are brief (if your ship is properly upgraded) and is perfectly suited for short bursts. These shorter sessions are perfect on the go gamers with players finding themselves within the thick of the action in seconds. Otherwise, Fractal Combat X offers a generic good time.