Given the fonts and colors used to promote this game, you’d almost be reminded of HAZE, this is not a good thing. But look past that, because FUSE does what you’ve often wished games would do. It goes there. FUSE uses real life legends such as Area 51 underground bases and more to set the tone for a serious adventure that is parts Action, parts Shooter, and more.
FUSE received controversy upon its announcement as Insomniac Games has brought one of their titles out on the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 multi-platform for the first time. There are some who say that this game is nothing more than a cash-in by Insomniac to go multi-platform and develop their good relationship with Electronic Arts and Microsoft before creating the exclusive New IP for Xbox ONE entitled Sunset Overdrive (coming next-gen from developer Insomniac Games and publisher Microsoft).
I’m happy to report those claims couldn’t be more wrong. While the weapons in FUSE may sometimes remind you of those seen in Ratchet or Resistance franchises, this is rare and even when it does happen they feel too completely different for you to mind. Not to mention, this game strikes more intriguing plot lines than both of the aforementioned franchises. This game actually manages to squeak past all of its controversy and be pretty enjoyable to say the least. A few stumbles behind a masterpiece, FUSE deserves a closer look than I originally expected and I’m glad I did check it out.
FUSE is not just the name of this game but the essence of it. FUSE is something like an anti-matter substance, a wormhole to another dimension? It’s being used as a never-ending power source, and a super-weapon applicable to many different forms of guns, air-craft, and more. It’s very volatile and can kill you. It might even be alive, and exists on a molecular level similar to radiation. A few groups fight over control of this substance throughout the game as your characters discover why and what makes this one out of many of the government’s top secret inventions the most dangerous.
Many of the enemies found in this game are predictable, easy to take down with a friend or even the AI, and don’t seem extremely realistic to be in the game’s setting. We are supposed to be fighting the most high-tech robotic guards around. And while some foot-soldiers seem almost like zombies after they’ve been exposed to too much FUSE, most of the enemy design is pretty lacking in creativity and excitement. The most advanced air-craft you’ll find are more towards the originality and complexity we would have hoped to see from the rest of the game’s enemies.
The cheeky dialogue between the characters shouldn’t fool you, this type of stuff is pretty much directly based on the United States alien UFO conspiracy folk stories that go around since before the invention of the internet involving stories of an “Area 51” like the one featured in FUSE and more. Of course, this game is entirely fictional and any real versions of what it represents are purely coincidental, right?
Incredible hit detection, great storyline, and compelling co-op with drop in/out online support make this game a shooter’s game. Gameplay elements right where you’d want them let you know Insomniac put time and thought every detail through in this title. If you can get past the sometimes cliche’ dialogue and the sub-par graphics then you’ll definitely be in for a great experience. At first the extreme amount of words on the screen will throw you off, but the HUD really is meant for gamers that know their shooting. If you can shoot well then you will appreciate the detail of things like automatically displaying head-shots and other events in text by your aiming crosshairs.
In FUSE, Single Player and multiplayer are seamless. When there’s less than 4 people online in your game, you can “Leap” between characters that are being played by AI. In FUSE, another thing you should know is that Stealth is optional. You will be able to break out a gunfight at any time by shooting off when there was once silence. Your partner(s) may or may not mind however, as this game seems to be pretty much all about gunfights and high-tech alien/government secret conspiracies.
Some of the dialogue that the characters share make them seem like they aren’t real people. They don’t do a good job of making every single character believable, which can take away from the immersion at times. But there are so many small bits of evidence that quickly play as audio clips in the game which do a much better job of adding to the suspense and evolving knowledge of the characters as they adventure into what is essentially one of the most deadly mysteries on Earth.
Unfortunately graphics seem to miss the mark on the type of pixel fidelity expected from an Insomniac Games after what has been displayed with their Sony-proprietary PlayStation 3 titles such as Resistance 3. Not to mention the completely doctored screenshots that’ve been released to promote the game. But it gets the job done. You’re able to see what you’re shooting and there aren’t enough artifacts to prevent you from becoming immersed in the game. The graphics aren’t bad, they just seem limited by the hardware being pushed to its limits since this console generation is at its ending.
The Four player drop-in/drop-out multiplayer in FUSE is some of the best in its class. This game feels great even if you’re alone. The AI can do things like flank, heal you, even complete co-operative objectives without you lifting a finger. But online with friends/strangers is where this game shines. It’s a quick blow through and enjoy type of game though, so don’t be looking to get any deep tactics and strategy out of it. Each character has their own unique weapon, use them as you wish because it all gets the job done.
Replay Ability- All of your standard re-playability features are here including picking up intel, customizing your skills and upgrading abilities, as well as enhanced difficulty modes.
Engine Performance- Engine is amazing, one time I was spawned in a spot where I couldn’t move though. But it was during a boss fight that contained cut-scenes and I was placed in it after one, then removed from it after one. No glitches happened after, and this one didn’t stop my progress in any way so I find it easy to forgive in light of the incredible hit detection, animations, and fluid controls / UI.
Final Verdict- The fact that Insomniac Games was able to bring out a New IP on short notice at the end of a console generation with so much polish, such a compelling storyline, and such fun gameplay that doesn’t have any of those dreaded “WTF” moments of terrible design woes shows that they are truly masters of their craft. However, FUSE fails to innovate and instead focuses on showcasing some of the best elements seen in the shooter genre. This is an incredible ride if you’re intrigued at all by shooter video games and/or conspiracy theory, but veteran and seasoned gamers may find it generic and lacking of identity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and FUSE earns a respectable 8.75 out of 10 points giving it an RGN Rating of Silver. Given some time to rest and regain its energy, FUSE could someday return as one of the industry’s greats, but right now it’s just a decent play.
Overall Score: 8.75/10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Insomniac Games / Publisher: EA Games
Available On: Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3
Played On: Sony PS3
Review Copy Info- This game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purposes of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130712 and was last modified on 20130712 .