Fuse is a four-player co-op action/adventure shooting game, set somewhere in the near future with liberal amounts of science-fiction elements smothered into it. You pick from four default characters, each with their own specialties, and the other spots can be filled up by the computer’s AI or by your pals.
The basics are all in here, with a bit of parkour and free-running mixed in with some adventuring.
The key element in Fuse’s gameplay has got to be the LEAP system, which lets you hop about changing characters during combat. It’s smooth and great to play around on, since you get to change tactics quickly and promptly during enemy waves, by positioning the characters differently and utilising their different skills when the best opportunity arises.
The ally AI has been described by many as being dreadfully awful, but so far during my play-through, they’ve been all right, so, no problems on that front for me. If you’ve managed to get a couple of friends to play on this with you, the experience is quite stellar.
Gameplay, in general, is quite fluid and smooth. Couple of bugs though – for example, in one part, the camera was frozen on one spot, and I couldn’t see my character. That’s incredibly frustrating, because it was smack in the middle of a fire-fight. Hopefully, this will be an issue resolved in later patches or something. Otherwise, there were few other problems. Still, it does suggest that quality checks weren’t good enough, though that seems to be indicative from many games today.
Graphically, the game’s nice, but it’s not really anything boast-worthy. The setting’s quite atypical and expected of games of similar genres and types, and hence, nothing spectacularly detailed or amazing.
I mean, it’s pleasing, but it’s not jaw-dropping gorgeous. Or even anywhere near it.
Weapons & Skills
The weapons in Fuse are really the star of the show here. You’ve got four types, one for each character, and they’re all quite great.
I personally adore the Warp Rifle – a fully automatic rifle whose shots can open up singularities, or be combined to create chained kills by marking targets with the warp shots. The Magshield is also a fun, clever design and really great for gameplay, as it creates a deployable shield that can also generate blasts to send crowds scuttling. The Scattergun’s not half bad, with shots that can crystallise and lift enemies up and out of cover.
The only real let-down here is the Arcshot, a sniper crossbow that can liquefy enemies, or even lay traps. On its own, the Arcshot is quite a joy to play with, but against designs like the Magshield, it almost feels like a lazy afterthought. Seems like the Year of the Bow is really not quite over.
Plot & Characterisation
The game centres on a quadruple bunch of dysfunctional misfits that are working together as a black-ops team named Overstrike 9, and it’s got a fairly straightforward storyline – humans find alien tech that could dominate the world, bad guys steal alien tech, good guys come in to retrieve that alien tech. While it’s a fairly cliché plot line, to be fair, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, am I right?
Not really though. The plot doesn’t particularly come across as anything clever, and it feels like it’s really there to only give the game some kind of purpose and to drive it forward.
The characters seem to be largely played by big players, or at least, fairly prominent persons in the voice-acting scene. Jennifer Hale and Ali Hillis play Naya and Isabelle respectively, while Brian Bloom and Khary Payton take on the roles of Dalton and Jacob, and they sound pretty good overall, so that’s a plus point.
The characterisation is also rather decent; even if it isn’t deep and introspective, it’s not so flat that it’s completely boring either. What I wish there were more of was some of that inane humour that comes up every once in a while – for example, big, burly, angry team leader Dalton has a fear of cats. Jacob, on the other hand, actually owns a cat, and at one point threatens Dalton to lock him in a room with it. It’s things like this that help to make the game more enticing, since it’s already working on a generic formula. Still, it seems like Bioware games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age still has most games beat when it comes to party banter.
Fuse doesn’t come across as the next-best-thing-since-sliced-bread, which is a shame, because the thing is, it really is a pretty great deal of fun. While its design proves to be lacklustre, it still manages to provide sufficient entertainment, and in truth, that’s the main point of a game, isn’t it?
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars
by Chua Yuxuan
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