After 2 years in development Insomniac Games first multiplatform game, Fuse, is releasing in a matter of weeks for PS3 and Xbox 360 on May 28 for NA and 31 for EU. But before it launches the developers have given consumers the chance to download and try the cooperative third-person action shooter in a short demo that highlights the mechanics that make Fuse different from other titles within this genre. In this demo you’ll be able to take control of Overstrike 9 in a single mission and play around with upgraded weapons and skills against the nefarious Raven Corporation using an unstable and powerful element called fuse. It’s only a taste of what to expect from the final product, but it will make you crave more.
The demo allows the player to access one mission on normal difficulty only solo or with friends either through private means or match making. Players can choose to control of one of the four agents in Overstrike 9 that include: the leader and ex-mercenary Dalton Brooks; a trained thief named Naya Deveraux; the gifted scientist, Isabelle Sinclair; and the decorated detective Jacob Kimble. During the course of the mission can change their character if they’re not knocked down and the agent they want to take control of is AI controlled. Each agent has a specific skills that can be upgraded through gaining experience and a special specific Fused-powered weapon capable if crystalizing enemies or creating small temporary singularities. You’re automatically level 10 when you start but gain more levels the more you play to unlock skill points but your team skills remain locked.
The title Fuse is an unstable element that was found during something called the “L-6 classified event” in the 20th century. After 500 years of research the material was repurpose for military applications, but a dangerous military organization called the Raven Corporation, that is said to have technology far beyond the rest of the world and with Fuse they can become unstoppable. Your job is simple: recover the element.
Fuse plays like Uncharted with science-fiction weapons and a military theme. The second I gained control of Isabelle I was told to climb a pipe on the side of a cliff to reach Raven’s facility. The climbing and leaping from one portion of the mountain to the next was easy. Combat followed immediately after.
The soldiers that inhabitant the complex quickly attempted to dispose of me after taking one of their allies out silently from cover. Bullets began to fly as my instincts. Shooting, sprinting, and aiming were tight and responsive. Basic soldiers, snipers and one elite flooded the tiny field as I crystalized them using Isabelle’s Fuse-based weapon the Shattergun and healing my allies using her special medical grenade while seeing experience points appear over every soldier I killed and ally I saved. Dalton used his Mag Shield to protect himself and other allies with a deployable one, Kimble used his crossbow or Arcshot to dispose of snipers and Naya used her cloaking to sneak onto enemies before delivering a fatal blow with her knife. With the enemies disposed of I attempted to enter the next area by placing charges on the cracked wall and waiting for my other ally to do the same, then flipping the switch to disable the fans to get into the building. Things became awkward as enemies began to flood out in massive numbers without using cover and waiting to shot, so I eliminated them quickly. After a small amount of climbing and soldering Overstrike 9 was in the complex.
With the first area cleared I was greeted with a message from Insomniac explaining the incredible nature of Fuse and fast-forwarding me 15 minutes into the future. It’s here where I encountered 2 Leadfoots, one with a gatling gun and the other a flamethrower. Despite their size they moved incredible fast, teleporting and deploying turrets in order to prevent me and my allies from shooting them in the back. After quickly disposing of the heavyweights,I entered a room filled with dead allies. As I walked to the other end of the room, listening to some dialogue, I attempt to climb up a platform to a XP container and couldn’t causing me to remember how the original Gears of War had a similar vexing concept and improved it Gears of War 3 by giving the option to jog.
Once again I was outside and in a firefight against several soldiers and an elite after being forced to skip the cutscene without my consent. Afterwards I’m told to head to a helicopter and as I do I stop by a small weapons vault with three options, 2 assault rifles and one auto pistol, before entering the next area. I repeated the formula, kill all targets and move to the objective before I was treated with a trailer and the end of the demo.
After my small taste of Overstrike 9’s journey I wasn’t excited or disappointed. The new Fuse mechanics are interesting, especially when you try different combinations. It was a great demo, Insomniac highlighted the major gameplay mechanics of Fuse by allowing me to tinker with the various weapons and abilities of Overstrike 9. The agents themselves distinguished themselves by provide enough dialogue to showcase a sense of camaraderie and individuality. Hopefully the final product will showcase more of the amazing action that Insomniac has promised, but for now the demo should satisfy till then.