I'm relatively sure that my experience with Fracture's multiplayer mode at the Games Convention in Leipzig is a whole lot like what AJ experienced on her experience in San Francisco, only we had much better beer. She's already gone over the modes, the guns, and the grenades, all the while fulfiling Kotaku's quote of fisting references for the next three months, so I won't bore you with those details. The event here in Leipzig was set up as a team affair, with six stations set up on one side, six on the other. Journalists took turns taking on the other team until the matches were over or the tremendous heat inside the room shorted out the power strips. At one point, as you can see in the picture below, they had to turn off an entire side, resulting in a spontaneous free for all death match taking place on the working half.
So we know all about the mechanics...how does it play?
Relatively slow, actually. It reminds me a bit of Lost Planet, which is more of a measured style of FPS than a frantic, running and gunning affair. Personally I prefer a bit more speed to my multiplayer games, but some folks just enjoy taking it easy. I felt the lack of speed took away from the excitement somewhat, reducing my desperate chase after the guy who had stolen our team's flag to a Chariots of Fire-style slow motion moment.
The terraforming mechanic, while certainly impressive, still comes across as a gimmick to me. While there were odd times when using the powers came in handy...hindering pursuit, for instance...other times it felt like all that it was just confusing the action or worse, trying to distract from it.
I think the key to making a multiplayer shooter that leans on a gimmick successful is to strip out the gimmick altogether. If the multiplayer is fun without the gimmick, than you've got a winner. Strip the time-twisting mechanic from TimeShift and you've got a rather average little multiplayer shooter. I'm a little worried that Fracture will fall into that crevasse as well.