Fuse is an action game that invites players to experience what happens when humans access alien technology they were never meant to have.
Insomniac, the publisher behind Sly Cooper and Resistance has launched the first title in a new franchise, Fuse. While the game may not live up to the developer’s previous titles it is nonetheless an incredibly fun experience, particularly with friends.
Mechanically the game excels. As in previous Insomniac titles the weaponry and equipment are incredibly innovative, offering unique ways to play. The four key characters are each armed with distinctive “fuse-powered” weaponry, from an electromagnetic shield generator to an explosive sniper rifle. The game also includes an RPG component, where experience is used to gain and enhance weaponry and equipment. This feature is solid and pays rich in-game dividends, yet the whole is simple enough to keep players focused on the action.
Fuse also manages to succeed at the myriad of tasks needed to create a successful shooter — from the feel and recoil of the weaponry to a strong cover system and intuitive controls. Enemies too are well developed, each providing an interesting challenge, and each battle results in a satisfying and hard won victory. One mild criticism involves the lack of balance between the player characters, but this is largely mitigated by the absence of PvP and the ability to switch between characters mid-game.
Where the game truly earns its keep is the multiplayer mode. It is here that the unique design of the weaponry truly begins to pay off. Different weapons allow for different combinations, and figuring them all out can provide hours of fun. Shooting through a shield can provide you with cover and extra powerful shots, while shooting an enemy that another has already frozen can result in an explosion that wipes out all enemies.
There are two modes of multiplayer, the main campaign and Echelon, a twelve round horde style smash-up. Both modes allow for split screen co-op and online play, while the campaign also supports drop-in-drop-out online play. Each mode is designed to fully exploit and reward teamwork, and getting through waves of foes or the labyrinthine levels of the campaign together can be one of the most rewarding experiences since Halo 2.
However, for players considering the single-player campaign: Don’t bother. The story is a confusing mess of cliches that fails to intrigue or even interest. Without the enjoyment of co-op the game fails to hold your attention for very long, with cardboard cutouts for characters and poorly explained motivations on all sides. It truly is a shame that the developers of Resistance were unable to create even a functional plot line.
It must also be noted that the visuals of the game are workman-like at best, well below its contemporaries.
Solo play is not as good as multiplayer.