FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Box Art(http://www.insomniacgames.com/games/fuse)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  FUSE, developed by Insomniac Games, takes a rag-tag group of law breakers, and brings them together into a special task force known as Overstrike 9. They’re top rank at what they do, from stealth operations, to hacking digital equipment. Technically, Overstrike 9 is of those teams that’s never actually “there”, or even “in existence”. However, as group of humans gains access to an alien technology and starts making experimental weapons with it, the CIA calls in Overstrike 9 to take care of the situation. Upon clearing the research facility, the team members each acquire the experimental weapons themselves to use in combat against the other military mercenaries out to own this alien power for their own, devious means.

FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Box ArtFUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Logo(http://www.insomniacgames.com/games/fuse)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  FUSE, developed by Insomniac Games, takes a rag-tag group of law breakers, and brings them together into a special task force known as Overstrike 9. They’re top rank at what they do, from stealth operations, to hacking digital equipment. Technically, Overstrike 9 is of those teams that’s never actually “there”, or even “in existence”. However, as group of humans gains access to an alien technology and starts making experimental weapons with it, the CIA calls in Overstrike 9 to take care of the situation. Upon clearing the research facility, the team members each acquire the experimental weapons themselves to use in combat against the other military mercenaries out to own this alien power for their own, devious means.



Presentation:
FUSE takes the Overstrike 9 team to a variety locations, including ice-capped mountains and secret military bunkers, in pursuit of the culprits behind the theft of the “fuse” fuel. Each member of the team has a unique look and personality, but unfortunately, Insomniac studios missed a great opportunity to put together a memorable and humor-infused team here. Although Overstrike 9 team engages in a bit of comedic banter, it didn’t go the distance needed to really get me laughing or chuckling along with the script. Their chemistry is supposed to be characteristic of a “rag tag team”, but they sadly come off as uninspired and lackluster personalities. FUSE’s main appeal plays off of how the team discovers secret experimental weapons, and how each character’s gun plays vastly different from the rest. For example, one gun generates a giant shield, one crystalizes enemies, and another can generate worm holes out of enemies’ bodies to suck enemy players into one spot. This diversity is pretty sweet. However, while these weapons are fun to use, they’re not fun enough to be archive-memorable, like the gravity gun from Half Life, or the Pistol from Halo. You’ll see this as a trend in FUSE:  things become easily forgettable, because they simply don’t execute themselves in a way that makes them special. FUSE just seems like it wants to float the boat, and not rock it.

Graphics:
FUSE does not disappoint with its graphics in-game, but it also doesn’t do much to give it a “gee-wow” factor, either. The graphics are semi-detailed, and the textures look fine, but the colors are bland and the styling of the game is uninspiring. There’s an emphasis on orange throughout, if you didn’t already get this hint by the completely orange box, but that’s the only thing that really stood out to me. Since FUSE is a third person cover based shooter, the hallways and environments are littered with rectangular objects you can use as cover. While the outside environments do change from time to time, the overall environments are nothing special, but are decent enough to do their job. The environments can become somewhat damaged from battle, but the effects are limited to pretty minor acts, such as glass shattering, or something similar. The character models look fairly clean and realistic. However, the main characters receive the best attention to detail, while the enemy NPC’s are very repetitive looking. The characters’ facial emotions are pretty bland too, and while their mouths will move properly for the words, their facial expressions don’t quite match up.  

FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots

Sounds:
The special weapons in FUSE not only present unique abilities, but their sounds are quite distinct, as well. For example, the shield will make an absorption sound as shots are fired into it, and you will hear your crystallized enemies make a satisfying shatter sound as they burst into pieces. While the shootings are going on, the characters will react to reloading, grenades, and enemies by making some sort of audible notification. This feature did help me when my allies would shout if a grenade was inbound, or if more enemies were inbound. This isn’t a new feature in games, but FUSE does not do much to ratchet this game up out of the norm. The soundtrack is sufficient, as well, but again offers nothing memorable. The character voice acting is adequate for the main four playable characters (if somewhat uninspired at times), but the commander is the one whose voice killed it for me. He sounds so boring and so dry, it’s almost as if he’s just reading the script word for word, and taking the “serious commander” role a bit too seriously.

FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots

Gameplay:
FUSE’s single player mode will follow the four heroes of the Overstrike 9 team as they try to get the volatile energy source known as “fuse” out of the enemy’s hands. Players are given the choice to choose from one of these four members, with each one offering a special set of attributes and upgrades. This nicely allows the player to find a class and upgrade list that is most compatible with his/her personal style of play. There’s a brawler, a solider, a medic, and a stealth player to pick from. Although they can use any weapon interchangeably, each will be best fitted for their designated roles. Throughout FUSE, you’ll see numbers pop up showing how much experience you were awarded for each kill, and the screen will also state if it was a “special kill”, which rewards you with more points. When you gain enough experience, you’ll be able to level up your character through their skill tree, and earn improved secondary abilities with your FUSE gun, enhanced health regeneration, or more ammo capacity for your guns. When you collect money scattered throughout the levels, you can also spend it on team perks, to make you and your squad mates stronger. So there are some slight RPG elements, but that’s about as far as they extend.  I’ll be honest:  FUSE’s main appeal is not its story, but its ability to be a four person co-op shooter, online and offline. Rarely do we get same console cooperative shooters for four players nowadays–that’s very much a thing of the past. It is neat to see it in a game today, and that it’s implemented both online and offline, as well. Another advantageous feature of FUSE is that the player is able to switch characters mid game, so they’re not committed to just one characters’ abilities. FUSE also has a cooperative mode called “echelon”, in which players can team up to battle wave after wave of enemies. Echleon mode is a good change of pace from the campaign’s cooperative play, but still, the further addition of a competitive online mode might have been a nice bonus. The actual game play is quite fun in FUSE; however, it’s basically a cover shooter with very little enemy diversity, so it does get repetitive quick. The special weapons do add a little variety, but they do seem slightly over-powered at times against the enemies. FUSE works as a shooter, but fails at offering more than that. There are limited differences with the enemy encounters, no interesting areas to explore, and few incentives to go off the beaten path besides a little extra money or XP to purchase perks or spend on new skills.

FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots

Conclusion:
FUSE is really at is best when played with friends, or just in online co-op with others. It doesn’t require much team work–besides reviving other players when they are down–nor does it offer anything too new on the third person shooter frontier for gamers, either. FUSE isn’t a bad game; it just executes everything at such an average level that it was hard for me to even write this review, because there’s so little to praise, and conversely, so little to criticize. I would recommend FUSE for those who are looking for a decent third person cooperative shooter to play with friends on a weekend or online briefly, but FUSE doesn’t have much to offer gamers in the long run. There’s no online competitive mode–just online cooperative play–which is fun, but certainly won’t keep gamers satisfied for as long as competitive multiplayer. That being said, I would be hesitant to  rush into the stores to purchase this title unless you are desperately seeking new cooperative action from the video gaming. 

 FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots   FUSE (Xbox 360, PS3) Screenshots

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here