Fuse is Insomniacs first multi-platform game featuring alien weaponry, free flowing character selection, multiplayer focused on all fronts and a gunplay driven campaign!
At its core FUSE is about Overstrike 9 stopping a global catastrophe caused by international terrorist group known as Raven who are using FUSE for their world domination plans and that’s where it basically ends. Set in the near future. Four mercenaries come together to from Overstrike 9, Dalton Brooks, Naya Deveraux, Isabelle “Izzy” Sinclair and Jacob Kimble. Using lethal skills and deadly teamwork with their newly acquired FUSE Xenotech weapons individualised for each team member. Dalton gets his Mag-Shield, Naya has a Warp Rifle, Izzy has her Shatter gun and Jacob gets the Arcshot.
The potential for an interesting and engaging story was there and is a trait Insomniac are renown for but FUSE just couldn’t entice me enough to become too concerned about the outcome of the story or the characters themselves. However the focus of this game lies in its Co-operative gunplay. This makes the story partially excusable.
Fuse does a great job of flourishing its orange colour scheme to make the fuse element stand out in menu and in game. The locational settings of the game are quite varied, indoor and underground to snowy peaks and lush rainforest. At times I found myself “slow panning” to take in the scenery that was detailed well enough to catch my eye more than once. Menus are easy to understand and navigate. Gunplay sounds are to be expected but the overall score of the music didn’t stand out exceptionally but it got the job done.
Two modes feature in FUSE, Campaign and Echelon. Which are playable both off and online.
Campaign will see you working from point to point using a strong cover system and your Xenotech weapons different for each of the four characters in Overstrike 9. During which you will be battling waves of enemies ranging from ordinary solders to spec ops, even robots and of course a boss for each level. Insomniac have done a good job of mixing the pace of their 6 mission (roughly 8-9 hours offline, online will see you through much quicker) campaign you will find stealth portions, old fashioned ambushes, the team splitting up and a well thought out uses of the environment for gun fights.
Echelon mode pits you against wave after wave of enemies and using a variety of maps (sections taken from campaign). Each level or wave gets harder as you progress but also provides variations on each level whether it is eliminate all troops, defend a position or seize a weapons cache.
FUSE is exactly what it sets out to be a 4 player co-op, third person, cover to cover shooter. Reviewing this game online and offline, I found it to stand out extremely well with an all human controlled team. Provided everyone is on the same page and working as a team. Using Daltons Mag-Shield and everyone filing in behind, pummelling enemies from a safe location as you advance forward is just something that the team A.I. couldn’t grasp the concept of most the time, this included a lot of variations on FUSE team work possibilities. Only during online modes did I see the full potential of FUSE shine.
All the while killing enemies, completing objectives, finding Intel and locating FUSE canisters, will accumulate you experience points which will be earnt to level up the team members of Overstrike 9. Regardless of which player you are using all team members will acquire experience and level up as their individual efforts reflect. Each level provides you with a skill point which are spent to their correct team member to become more deadly on the battlefield, more Xenotech ammo capacity, critical hit chance increase and an increase of fusion time are all examples of how the skill tree, individualised to each character can grow and benefit the player. The best aspect of the experience feature is that in both campaign and echelon mode all experience will accumulate, never having to start from scratch.
FUSE doesn’t shine exceptionally offline but developers Insomniac have allowed for that with their “leap” feature. Provided at least one team member is bot controlled with the press of a button you can instantly leap between characters. Particularly useful for using each team members strong attributes for particular situations, Jacob’s sniping skills or Naya’s stealth skills for example which provide an opportunity for a more enjoyable experience.
FUSE is designed to be a 4 player game and this is where you will get the most fun and enjoyment from playing. Solo is still solid but doesn’t live anywhere near to its full potential. An excellent sense of team work and the gun play is solid. The variety and individuality of the new Xenotech weapons shines and creates endless amounts of teamwork possibilities for Overstrike 9. Both AI in team bots and enemies are off the mark, occasionally doing silly things resulting in me having to rescue them, particularly in a very frustrating (solo) final boss fight. The story isn’t riveting but it is solid enough to warrant what this game is worth a fun team based shooter. If I was looking for a co-op to enjoy with friends then FUSE would certainly be a top choice.