Published on June 7th, 2013 | by Tony0
I love my shooters, most people do right? I would assume this to be the case, as every time you look at the most played games on Xbox Live it always happens to be a shooter with an amazing MP attach to it. When reading up on Fuse early on in its development it was going under the name of Overstrike, but for some reason EA and insomniac games dropped that for the much shorter name of Fuse.
At the time of writing this review Fuse has entered the all Xbox 360 game charts at number 37, but this is not because Insomniac have made a bad game, oh no, I just feel the game has not been given the right amount of press and people just don’t know it is out there. I’ve also been reading a lot of tweets with people just saying not many stores are stocking it, which is a damn shame to the guys and girls who have worked hard to make this, as we all know a game is judged on how much money it makes.
Fuse is a 4-way co-op cover based shooter that sees you control a member of the Overstrike 9 team whose mission it is to shoot a lot of bad people, but the twist is having special guns to do it with. The actual story is a terrorist organization intends to start a new kind of arms race, but with your bunch of misfits you must try to stop this from happening, which is of course blowing things up and shooting a lot of faceless soldiers and big bosses. You can go alone in the campaign and control all four team members if you want to, as this is made handy by the option to team warp into another member of the team with the press of the LB button, but this game is played better when playing it with buddies/randoms online. If you do go alone though the warping system works really well when intense fire fights, as when getting close to death and warping to another member can save your life if need be.
The team members to choose from in the game are Dalton Brooks, a former soldier and now leader of the Overstrike 9 team, Jacob Kimble a former LAPD detective, Naya Deveraux who is a contracted assassin, and finally Isabelle Sinclair who is an intelligence expert, they all have their own personality but more importantly their own special type of weapon, but we will get to this a bit later on.
Instantly when grabbing the joypad and getting my hands on Fuse the first game that springs to mind is Gears of War, well just because Gears is surely the best cover based shooter out there and every game that tries to go down that path must surely see it as a benchmark. But Fuse is its own game, as while it does take away from other games it does do its own thing in the process. It feels like a 3D format of a Streets of Rage game. By that I mean you battle through a chapter only to face a big boss at the end of it with your secret weapon being that one special weapon (in this case your gun) you have in your possession.
The campaign is nicely spread out though and seems a chunky enough campaign that shooting fans can enjoy online or with friends, although it does start to get a little bit repetitive later on in the game, as I would love to have seen more of the fuse world than inside warehouses and buildings, as on the rare occasion you did venture outside it felt like a refreshing change which the game needed. I’ve enjoyed my time with the campaign though, and it would be one I would go back to if a buddy asked me to jump online with him for. You of course also have the replay value factor of ranking up, upgrading your perks, buying team perks, collecting Intel, so it’s not one of those shooters you will be done with once the campaign is done.
Back onto the stars of the show, let’s talk about those weapons.
Dalton has a gun known as the Magshield, what this does is protect you from enemy gunfire, but it can also transmit a short burst of energy that will make your opponents explode in to tiny bits.
Jacob has a Arcshot, which is basically an overpowered sniper that when hitting enemies makes them explode into a ball of Fuse-augmented mercury or fire to you and me.
Naya has a warp rifle in her possession which sees enemies either just disappear or sometimes reappear somewhere else on the screen, so one of my lesser used members till later in the game if I am honest.
Finally we have Isabelle who has a Shattergun, which fires crystals at the enemies and freeze them to the spot they stand.
Along the way the team also unlock other special perks via the games upgrade market. These range from Naya having a cloaking device making stealth kills a sinch, to Jacob having another shield that he can throw whenever he wishes, which all really help in tense battles.
Away from the campaign you have a mode called Echelon which sees you and upto four online buddies tackling wave after wave of harder growing enemies.
Think something like the MP from Mass Effect and you’re bang on the money. You and upto three other people can play this mode on a map of your choosing and sees you facing a mixed bunch of bad guys that your faced in the campaign. It was certainly a challenge when I jumped online with it, as there are still gamers out there who go in to online shooting mode with that COD mindset off “I will suck in bullets while running around trying to melee kill everything” but they will soon find that will only lead to death. This will be one of those modes that you will either love right off the bat or be one that you play a few times and jump back to the normal big online shooters.
For me personally if I had friends with the game I would happily jump on this for a few hours, as I like it when you play a game and feel like a team rather than being full of people doing their lone wolf thing. I enjoyed my time with it and it would be a mode that I would invest more time with after this review is done and I get to play a game on my terms. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what fuse has had to offer me as a shooter fan.
I’m hoping once the reviews start to leak out and gamers start hearing how decent a game it is more people will go out and pick it up, because if it doesn’t get any higher than the chart placing this week it would be a damn shame. Sure, if you’re not a big shooter guy this game will not change the view you have on them, but from a shooter fans point of view like me it ticked all the right boxes.
It did have a few faults like a repetitive feel after a while, and a story that never made me fully care for any of the main characters, but if you like blowing stuff up with buddies online or even alone Fuse is one to at least check out.
Summary: If you're a shooter fan then this will be right up you're street, and the replay value is there with the upgrades and MP mode on offer to you. Faults are it gets a little repetitive if playing for long sessions, and the story did nothing for me.