Published on June 6th, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Fuse (formerly known as “Project Overstrike”) has been released to some mixed reactions. A number of gamers seem to enjoy it, where others have not. Fuse is a different kind of game, where as casual gamers will thoroughly enjoy it, and those that are looking for a strong co-op shooter will feel at ease. However, the hardcore fan base of traditional third-person shooters may find some missteps along the way.
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Editor’s Note: An Xbox 360 version of the game was used for review
The story of Fuse is like a blockbuster movie that you know is not going to be fantastic, but will still be a fun, shoot-em up action flick (think of Expendables in this case). Fuse is a four-player co-op third-person shooter that stars a team of hired mercenaries to whom each have character specific weapon that utilize fusion energy to turn enemies into a puddle of mess.
The overall story of Fuse is a bit lackluster as well. The general gist is that you are a team of four mercenaries called Overstrike 9, who use an alien substance, called Fuse, that us pesky humans meld with our own weapons to create very powerful and destructive weapons. The weapons fall into the wrong hands, and the team is hired to destroy said weapons and any Fuse material left behind. From this point you are led from one kill-box to the next, materializing everything in sight utilizing tried-and-true cover shooting gameplay we are now so familiar with.
Each member of Overstrike 9 brings with them a shadowy back-story that leads them to the violent present. Their interactions with each other is witty, and features some memorable one-liners. What turned out to be a bit disappointingwas the lack of character development. Sure, the story allows us to take a look at their damaged past, but it ends up as less than fleshed out characters and more of just witty mercenaries that kill people in their own morbid fashion.
In classic Insomniac fashion, the weapons are different and impressive. Each weapon has its own special advantage, and is tailored to different play styles, so Fuse can be enjoyed by many different types of gamers. The third-person action of Fuse is a bit similar to the Gears of War franchise. The game can be played online for up to four players, and this is the most adequate way to do it as the regular AI is just awful. Nothing is better than using strategy with real people to take down threats.
I’ll reiterate: Fuse has got to be played in co-op with three other human players, because the AI-controlled teammates are a disaster. Many times AI partners will not pick you up when knocked down even if they are standing right next to you, and even spoil a stealth-based mission by running out into the open where every guard in the area can see them. If you do play solo, you do have the ability to body swap between characters, giving you the option to try all character classes, however, if you are down you are unable to switch until you get picked up.
Fuse does not have any competitive multiplayer, however there is a survivor mode called Echelon. You return to single-player locations to fight off waves of enemies and protecting drop points. Echelon is repetitive in gameplay, as you are forced to attack one area, protect another area, then repeat.
Each character has their own personal abilities that their fusion weapons give them. Dalton has a protective Magshield that protect his teammates from gunfire. Other players can hide behind the shield and take shots without the risk of being harmed. Naya has a cloaking ability that allows her to sneak around enemies and use her Warp Rifle to turn her enemies into black holes. Jacob is equipped with a crossbow and is able to use remote mines. Essentially, with Jacob you can shoot an enemy with your magma bolt and burn everyone else around them upon explosion. Finally, Izzy can turn her enemies into black pieces of glass that can then be shattered with one shot.
Graphically Fuse is not a slouch. The environments look beautiful, however once you get into buildings, which is where Fuse spends most of its time, things begin to look recycled. During the outside environments, the game looks more and more climactic.
Fuse is a fun co-op experience that is worthy of a play-through, however it is not worth the price tag. This would be a perfect rental, however I do see this game eventually hitting the bargain bin before the summer lets out. Fuse is shallow in story and character development, but is solid in weapon choices and is overall a fun way to kill time with friends.
Summary: Fuse is a fun co-op experience that is worthy of a play-through, however it is not worthy of the $60 price tag. This would be a perfect rental product, however I do see this game eventually hitting the bargain bin before the summer lets out. Fuse is shallow in story and character development but is solid in weapon choices and just overall shoot-em up fun with friends.