Insomniac Games is well known to PlayStation fans. Between Ratchet & Clank and Resistance, the studio has garnered plenty of respect from million of gamers. But the talented developer has recently decided to branch out and offer their quality products to many more millions; to accomplish this expansion, they’ve got a brand new multiplatform project in the works. It was initially called Overstrike but has since undergone some cosmetic changes and is now known as Fuse.
Now, although this cooperative-oriented shooter may appear to be a significant departure from Insomniac’s bread and butter, one should realize that in fact, this team has stuck to its guns. We’ll still get the large and diverse arsenal of weapons we saw in both of the aforementioned franchises, and the style seems to combine R&C and Resistance. What I mean by that is this— Fuse presents an interesting mix of lighthearted breeziness in addition to a fair amount of drama, and the combination of those two storytelling elements should be intriguing. The story might not be too bad, either, so we expect a decent narrative.
Speaking of the plot, there’s a reason the game is perhaps best called Fuse. It seems the government has been experimenting with an alien substance, which is not coincidentally called “fuse.” The powers that be have been combining this mysterious stuff with earth materials to generate totally over-the-top and ultimately devastating firearms. As you might expect, such technology spells trouble; various unsavory individuals want it for themselves and as a result, the “fuse” goes missing. Well, the government has to get it back and that’s where you and your team come in: It’s time to hunt down the thieves and get the stuff back.
There will be four players, each of whom will boast a special fuse-based weapon. There’s Jacob, with his super cool crossbow known as the Arc Shot (yep, all sorts of fun arrow attachments), Izzy and her Shattergun (freeze foes in place and even fire healing rounds), and Naya, who is all sorts of stealthy and carries a warp rifle. The latter weapon sounds completely insane, as it puts this weird substance on enemies, which causes some sort of wacky singularity. …so yeah, they go bye-bye in some crazy sci-fi way. Lastly, there’s Dalton, who you will control; he fires effective energy bullets and can even erect shields that can block incoming fire.
As you might expect, there will be plenty of teamwork because each character’s weapon and abilities are quite distinct. In this way, it reminds me most of Borderlands 2, what with its four very unique and very different classes. And, like Gearbox’s epic shooter, there should be a few role-playing elements in Fuse as well, as each fighter will have the appropriate skill trees. If for some reason you can’t manage to drag your buddies into the fray, you can play solo and jump between each character with the simple press of a button. This will let you experiment with each fighter, which could be essential for success.
The only question is whether or not shooter fans will be interested. Remember, this isn’t a first-person shooter (like Borderlands), so it might get pushed aside by the die-hard shooter crowd. Then again, Insomniac’s legion of loyal fans is likely to support this title, and let’s not forget the biggest factor. This team knows how to make great games and there’s no reason to think they’ll drop the ball just because Fuse is a multiplatform project. I like the co-op aspect and the style is really appealing, so here’s hoping the game gets plenty of attention as we roll towards its release. We still need a solidified launch date, by the way.
10/1/2012 Ben Dutka