You would be forgiven for not recognising FUSE, and wondering what type of game it is. It has slipped under the radar, with little to no advertisements, and came in low on the UK sales charts. You may remember a quirky little title called OverStrike that was shown at E3 the last few years, a squad based game made by Insomniac of Ratchet and Clank fame, the game showed the four squad members in a seemingly 80’s camp styled universe, similar to what I remember TimeSplitters series being.
Well all that style and charm got thrown out the window, and we got FUSE; a gritty shooter. The interesting weapons that were shown in the original trailer have mostly stayed the same, apart from the weapon that fired balls of metallic goop, that’s changed to something that causes spikes to explode out of your target.
In FUSE you play as the four members of team OverStrike 9, the four being Dalton, who uses the Mag shield, Naya with the warp rifle, Isabelle with the shatter gun and Jacob with Arc Shot (more information on the weapons later). The story is pretty basic – secret lab researching a new weapon; FUSE. Your team finds weapons that utilise this substance, you have to fight against the evil corporation Raven. Though thankfully, this secret labs’ working seemed a little messy, leaving convenient boxes of FUSE all over the place so you never run out of ammo… what a coincidence.
The main draw to FUSE has been its “unique” weapons, of which there are only four. It’s a bit of a let down considering the strange and wonderful weapons Ratchet and Clank receive. Dalton’s Mag shield is, as the name suggests, a large shield that is projected. It can absorb almost any bullets, it can then pulse, sending the gathered bullets back at the shooters. The Warp rifle is a standard rifle, but once enough bullets hit a target it opens a black hole that will suck nearby enemies into it, damaging them or killing them. Shatter gun again is a normal rifle, but once enough hit a target it encases them in black crystals that will jut out of the target, and if another is within range it will attach to them as well, keeping them locked up for a few seconds or damaging them, you can continue firing to shatter it and the target. Last is the Arc Shot, which is just a cross bow that fires a bolt of what seems to be fire. It will pin targets to the wall or set them on fire.
Apart from these weapons all others are somewhat boring and standard. You have your pistols, rifles, burst rifles, shot guns. For a game where the only draw is unique weapons, you would expect more than 4 weapons. Because once you get bored of them, that’s it. Your now playing a 4 way co-op game, bland and boring with some funny comments occasionally made by the team every now and then. The closest comparison is Army of Two, but with 4 instead of 2 players, even the newest Army of Two has more weapons and customisation than this, even when the customisation in that game was butchered.
Another part of FUSE is the RPG elements, like levelling up with a skill tree. It seems every damn game, of every genre has a level up system now, why? It is not needed, it’s pointless, surely these credits I’m picking up could be used to upgrade these crazy weapons in more crazy ways? No? Okay then just slap on a badly thought-out level up system.
For a game that is about 4 player Co-op, I would have hoped that the AI in this game would be well thought out, I don’t always want to play online. Of course no, the AI is about as useful as a potato in a tactical vest. Oh there are two targets with their back to us? Let’s take them down stealth kill style. No, you’re just going to stand there and stare at them? Good job team! There are so many areas where you need two players to simultaneously take down two targets if you want to sneak in, but instead your AI team mates are too busy staring at their feet or walls to even notice you just took down an army by your self, and the one left calls the alarm for re-enforcements. The one good thing I can say about this game is that you can switch between the different characters on the fly in the mission, its a small good thing, I’m glad to see at least one more interesting factor in the game.
Another area where FUSE does manage to pick up the ball is graphically, this is possibly one of the better looking games on each system. Lightings, models and everything looks great.
Once again, as it seems, another EA game that is just bland and boring. It again ticks off everything on the “How to make a Gritty FPS” list, and checks them twice. Everyone knows at this point that EA want so desperately to make the next Call of Duty game, in fact it seems every developer does with Capcom saying Dead Rising 3 is aimed at the CoD audience. They have CoD, they are never going to choose CoD Lite. Because of this, FUSE is a boring and bland shooter, with a few good points being overwhelmed by everything else. It’s disappointing to see Overstrike become this mess of a game. Also, EA usually advertises every game well, but a distinct lack of advertising for this game really seems like they just wanted this game out the door.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.