Insomniac Games embraced multiplatform development since they believed they had a chance to make it big. They could have comfortably continued at Sony, but that was probably not enough for them, and their latest creation called Fuse which is on the PS3 and Xbox 360, does not do justice to their skills as a game studio.
So what went wrong? Let me be completely honest here. Fuse is a very uninspired game and is the very definition of what you call a generic game. Most people saw this coming when they saw the gameplay footage and numerous trailers released for the game. There isn’t a single thing here that makes it appealing for people to actually give it a shot and spend their hard earned cash on the game.
It’s a four player co-op shooter and it’s quite telling that Gears of War 3 which was released in 2011 had implemented co-op better than what Insomniac Games have managed to churn out in Fuse, which is designed around the co-op mode.
Featuring a cast of generic and forgettable characters–I’m not going to bother writing their names here because I frankly don’t care and don’t have enough attachment towards them–Fuse falters at the first step itself. This is clearly a game that was created in a bubble and the developers were completely oblivious of what people wanted.
The core shooting mechanics are solid and it features all the third-person shooter concepts that you have seen in a lot of games before it. The controls and movements are a bit stiff but you can get the hang of it after you play for a while. The unique thing about this game as with all other Insomniac’s creations are the weapons.
It’s one area where the game excels in as you will have a lot of ingeniously designed weapons to play with. You can tag enemies to watch them absorbed in a singularity wave or create a shield for cover while your teammates provide adequate counter fire.
This is a game that must be played with humans, because the AI is truly awful and considering the high enemy difficulty, the friendly AI just doesn’t help you enough. You can be downed in a single sniper shot only to find yourself on your knees, hoping someone will revive you.
There are cover opportunities but sometimes the AI can be aggressive and if you are not careful your entire team can be downed in a hail of bullets. Playing with humans and communicating with them helps a lot and actually makes this otherwise drab and boring game a lot of fun.
The plot is nonsensical and revolves over an alien material called Fuse. It has fallen into the wrong hands and you and your team have been sent to stop them. It would have been a better if the main characters were not so generic but everything in this game is uninspired which is a big shock considering the pedigree of the studio.
The enemies can sometimes take a lot of bullets to go down. They are bullet sponges and I have no idea why they were designed this way. The bosses sometimes carry incredible weapons which they drop after being defeated only for you to face another wave of enemies. You know what to do. It really does feel like you are in a shooting gallery sometimes.
The graphics are decent and there a lot of visual effects on the screen due to the fantastic weapons at your disposal. You are always in a situation where you will be faced with a lot of enemies so there’s a lot of action happening on your screen. But overall, the art design isn’t something that will make your jaw drop. It is just unremarkable.
There is an Echelon mode which is a twist of the Horde mode. Yes, another developer has managed to get inspired by that. If you are playing with friendly AI it is recommend you don’t try out this mode as you won’t survive for a long time. The game is meant to be played with friends or people with actual intelligence.
Fuse is what happens when you have a developer with no clue what to do. Getting to do a multiplatform game is a great opportunity and it hurts to see it wasted on such a game. We know for a fact that the studio is very capable and can create some masterful games, so what happened here?
This game is not worth the money and should be bought later when you haven nothing else to play. If you have an Xbox 360, it’s better to boot up Gears of War 3 and play co-op with your friends, you will probably get more enjoyment out of that.
It’s a wasted opportunity and the reason why my tone is negative in this review is because Insomniac Games have managed to genuinely surprise me and not in a good way. I would have never expected such an uninspired game to have been churned out by this studio.
It seems like their heart was not in this game and they wanted to do something else. Whatever it is, Fuse isn’t a game you should buy at full price.