Fuse is a remarkably unique game which is a four person co-op shooter allowing players to be joined in game by friends during single player. Or if playing just offline, switch between all four of the playable in game characters. It’s an action game, a futuristic game, a fun game.
Fuse as a game, bases itself heavily on action oriented character reliant gameplay. When in combat each character has a different skill set and unique weapon available to them to use. Each member of the team enjoys a unique specialisation that must be used and switched between to win battles and skirmishes. Each character has their own personality as well and after playing the game for many hours I can say the voice acting of the four main characters sounds good.
Each character during combat also helps each other character to stay alive. If you are playing as Dalton for example and fall in battle, your friends, either Jacob, Naya or Isabelle can revive you. I found this to be a really good use of characters that follow you throughout the game. Many games have NPC’s that aid you, follow you, but never help you. When you die in Fuse, your ally NPC will revive you allowing you to continue the battle. It’s very helpful and as a gameplay feature I commend it. That’s not to say you can’t die in the game, I failed to revive Naya and had to restart, just as the NPC’s revive you, you must revive them. I think this is a good mechanism as it encourages working as a team for the entire game rather than just simply doing everything on your own. Teamwork would of course be most fun when players join in as well, as you can play along with your friends during the missions, you don’t have to have all NPC’s.
Apart from the character specialities there appears to be a variety of weapons. Also there is a levelling up system in the game but it’s fairly simple allowing the character to gain special abilities and get stronger as the game progresses.
So who are the characters? What are their specialities?
Dalton Brooks is described as a former Raven soldier and leader or Overstrike 9. Dalton is a bit more built than the other characters in the game, he’s bigger (physically). He carries a Fuse weapon known as a Magshield whcih creates a deployable cover and shield. It can be activated and carried with Dalton as he moves forward or placed to block almost any projectile that tries to hit it. It’s quite a good defensive weapon allowing Dalton to absorb damage or place temporary defensive points throughout the battle.
Jacob Kimble is described as a former LAPD robber/homocide detective and is a playable character that works with Dalton Brooks and the rest of the team. He’s smaller and skinnier than Dalton in appearance, he felt quicker on the field during game to. His special weapon is the ArcShot, he’s the sniper of the team. I found it best to position him at a distance and take shots as sniper’s tend to do. His weapon is powerful, but unlikely to be the best choice for close combat. He’s fun, it’s also easy to target enemies with the ArcShot, lot’s of head shots can be obtained using Jacob.
Naya was the character I found to be the most fun during the game. She is described as being a contract assassin before joining Overstrike and the rest of the team. She used to work as an assassin with her father Luther (if you play the demo, he’s referenced during it). From what I can tell, she’s a bit more dynamic as a character due to her position with her father, as he’s part of Raven. Can she bring him in safely?
Naya’s weapon is the most fun, it’s called the Warp Rifle. The gun contains anti-matter with fuse which creates singularities causing those who get hit, to blow up in the most fantastic way. You can also chain effect the explosions to get multiple take downs during combat. She can also go invisible allowing her to sneak passed enemies and assassinate them, using the melee combat.
Isabelle Sinclair is the final of the four and is described as an intelligence expert who will sell intelligence to anyone, for right price of course! Her weapon is called the Shattergun. When fired it will sort of freeze enemies in place then when the time is right it will shatter them, causing them to be slain. She’s fun to play with but you need to concentrate your fire to complete the shattering.
What about the art style and sound?
Fuse has a well crafted visual appearance during the game. What I thought it did best was the levels that had quite a lot of shadow effects, or moving shadow’s. There was quite a lot of detail and well done angling of shadows. Graphically the game looks good when playing, but simple. The colours are bright and vibrant making everything that’s bright stand out especially Isabelle’s red hair!
Another thing I really liked about the style of the game was the way the characters facial expressions looked. You can notice them during the character selection part of the game when you are selecting your character to start with. Much attention to detail was made to make subtle facial movements, it’s not L.A Noire, but I thought they were good.
As for the sound, I really liked it. The menu’s have a sort of eerily danger science fiction feel to them. The in game music is loud and action oriented. I haven’t played all of the game so don’t know if the music is repetitive but it’s enough to have its presence felt.
Is the game good?
What I can say about the game so far is it’s definitely fun. The combat took a bit to get used to particularly with Dalton and his more defensive gameplay compared to the rest. I like the innovative combat style that Fuse has in it. I like the sound of the characters and the way they move during gameplay. I like that the NPC’s revive me if I get killed. I like that I can switch between NPC’s during the game allowing me to better use their specialities.
It seems good so far…
Insomniac and EA recently released a demo available for download on PlayStation network and Xbox live.
Check back with Resident Entertainment later in the month to see the full review for this game closer to its release.