Fuse, the newest title from Insomniac Games; makers of Ratchet & Clank, as well as the Resistance franchise.
I will admit, I knew almost nothing about this game before buying it on impulse. I sat there for the rest of my work shift wondering, “did I make a huge mistake?”. Heck, I actually forgot whether the game was a third or first person shooter. That’s how long it was since I did my research. Luckily, from the moment I started, I had zero doubt in my mind that this game was anything but awesome.
Fuse is a third person, four player co-op game with a character system similar to Borderlands. You have four different characters to choose from, each with their own unique personality. You have Dalton Brooks, the former Raven soldier, and leader of your group. Jason Kimble, former LAPD Robbery/Homicide Detective. Naya Deveraux, a former contract assassin. Lastly, Isabelle Sinclair, the intelligence expert. Each character will have their own talent tree’s for you to play around with, and each specializes in a different role. The game also boasts a large amount of team perks you can buy. These perks will not only give your character benefits, but your entire squad. The game does a good job of giving each character personality, and a majority of the dialog will be while you are exploring the levels. Most of it is pretty humorous in classic Insomniac Games fashion, which helps in getting a better sense of each characters personality.
The story of the game is your team, an elite unit called Overstrike 9, is sent to a secret government bunker by a mysterious contact to retrieve an unknown object, later to be discovered as Fuse. Fuse is a mysterious substance that humans were not meant to have. Originally studied to be an unlimited renewable energy source for the planet, the military aspects of Fuse are quickly discovered. The story, well, isn’t anything too special. However, what Fuse lacks in story it more then makes up for it in gameplay.
Not too far in the game you will find Fuse powered guns. This is where each character will receive their unique weapon. Dalton will receive a ‘Magshield’ capable of raising a shield to protect your party, and able to launch any projectiles back at your enemies. Jacob will receive the ‘Arcshot’ which can launch energized bolts able to incinerate an enemy. Isabelle wields the ‘Shattergun’, a weapon capable of encasing your enemies in crystal and shattering them. It also can heal the other agents of your team. My personal favorite is Naya’s Warp Rifle. Hitting an enemy with these anti-matter/fuse bullets will cause a wormhole to appear and tear your enemies apart, often resulting in a chain reaction. The best part of Fuse is when you get a group of players together and unleash all these amazing weapons on your enemies at once. Many of the effects caused by your guns can stack, and it turns the battlefield into whimsical chaos.
The shooting is satisfyingly fast paced, and smooth. You are able to find EXP canisters lying around, along with Fuse credits, and data logs. These make exploring each nook and cranny of the game fun, and completely worth it. Using your Fuse credits you will be able to unlock new costumes for your characters, and new skins for each characters unique fuse weapon, as well the character perks.
One thing I instantly noticed in the game are the smooth animations. I’m a stickler for animations and this game delivers. Whether it is the melee attacks, to the way you effortlessly can vault over obstacles and climb walls. It all looks very natural and you can perform any action without missing a beat. It makes navigating the levels feel fun, instead of a drag. One small thing I wished was in the game, is a crouch button. There will be times the game sets you up for stealth, and not being able to crouch can make it a bit awkward. Stealth is hardly the point of the game so no big deal. Just a pet peeve.
Another feature of Fuse is the Echelon game mode. Echelon is similar to Gears of War horde mode, but with more objectives added. The objectives range from destroying a VIP target to defending an area or opening a supply crate, to transporting a fuel cell. The mode advances in waves, with each wave increasing in difficulty. Echelon is a bit more competitive to the co-op campaign due to the money you can earn. Unlike the campaign there is no sharing here. When felling a hard foe or at the end of a wave you will be congratulated with ginormous bags of money, and large stacks of gold bars. When these appear all sense of comradeship goes out the window and turns into a race for the gold.
So far my time playing the co-op campaign online, and Echelon mode has been largely lag free. When playing the co-op campaign I have had a decent amount of disconnects. It has always happened pretty late into the levels, which is unfortunate. Whether this is a problem with the servers or just an isolated incident for me, I am unsure.
In the end, the game is nothing groundbreaking, but if you are looking for a fun co-op game to either play online or with your friends on the couch, you can’t go wrong with Fuse. From the moment I started, I could tell I would be playing this game for a good while.
Not too shabby for an impulse buy.