Fuse

Uh Oh, The Fuse Went Out

Insomniac left behind everything that got them here.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: June 1, 2013
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For most people (at least those who pay attention to these sorts of things) Insomniac is associated with the Ratchet and Clank series and the Resistance series. Those whose memories stretch back a bit further can add the Spyro the Dragon series to that list. When you look at those series, your mind tends to associate them with exotic and interesting locations along with some semblance of amusing/dramatic storytelling. With that in mind, the bar was set at a certain point with their new release FUSE.


It’s almost impossible to judge the final product of FUSE without touching on the evolution of the game. Initially conceived as Overstrike, one glance at early specs shows a game that, at least aesthetically, shared a lot of similarities to a more refined Team Fortress 2. We were promised tons of gadgets, action-packed gameplay and a rich and compelling storyline. Somewhere in the transition to FUSE two of those three points got left behind.

If you want a point of reference to what kind of game FUSE is, the closest example I can think of is maybe Left 4 Dead with a bit more class distinction. FUSE is clearly designed with 4-player co-op in mind (although as we will get to, 3-player might be the ideal way to go) and in that sense it works great. You and up to 3 buddies (or strangers) can set yourselves loose in a futuristic world where evil corporations are everywhere and the only way to prevent them from doing what evil corporations want to do is to eviscerate their ranks.

The key distinction of the game is the way the weapon system works. Each character can tote around one of the many rifle-type firearm, one sidearm (massively overpowered) and one FUSE weapon that is unique to each character. The merc carries a shield gun that can be upgraded with offensive capabilities, one of the gals is all about stealth and cloaking and a weird black hole gun, another guy carries a crossbow, and the final team member has a freeze-ray style weapon. If you aren’t playing with a full team of humans you can switch among these characters at any moment with a simple button press letting you take charge of the best character for a given situation.

I might be guilty of getting up on a high horse in some people’s eyes, but I’ve really grown tired of games where I kill things endlessly, more so if those things are humans. I can tolerate it if it is merely a sidebar to a deeper experience such as Deus Ex or in the cases of exceptional storytelling or gameplay (Spec Ops: The Line or certain Call of Duty entries), but when the sole focus of the game is mindlessly mowing down waves of enemies I get bored FAST. Unfortunately FUSE falls squarely in the latter category.
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