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Fuse Preview

KevinS By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Electronic Arts 
DEVELOPER Insomniac Games 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

Like the exact opposite of its developer's name, Fuse is some intense multiplayer action.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to enjoy a few drinks with the rest of the GR crew at EA's New Year's Party, and there they were showing off a lot of classic and updated franchises, but I wanted something brand-spankin' new. So of the batch, it was decided I'd take on the newcomer to the lineup: Fuse, the high-octane FPS with a reflective coat and a gun only Insomniac could come up with.

At first glance, Fuse can be mistaken for a standard futuristic shooter, but it really is more than that. The game is obviously designed to be played with multiple players, ideally four or more. I'm only allowed to talk about the multiplayer aspect of it right now, which is fine by me… it was the more intense of the two and the one I had some serious fun playing. Playing in a co-op team of four, players are tasked with charging into wave after wave of baddies that need eliminating. Each of the four characters a player can take control of have a special skill or weapon; one will take command of a fella with an exploding crossbow, another with a sort of liquid shield, and even a gun with some kind of freezing bullets that allow a player to outright shatter a petrified enemy.

Visually, the game is impressive, with a lot of detail and thought seemingly entered into both the character designs and environments. The stage we were placed into, named "Echelon," was almost a space dock packed with a ship and various crates (I assume they're filled with cargo; they didn't move at all throughout the battles). Each wave of enemiesactually stated as "Wave #"came from one of a small handful of areas dotted throughout the map and included a diverse batch of baddies that each took a different approach. This one's obviously designed to be enjoyed with multiple players, as each specialty weapon has to be used correctly or you're simply done.

The action was smooth and simple, easy to pick up for anyone familiar with the genre, and could really gain some traction should the online play keep solid and speedy. It wasn't particularly clear what the "fuse" ability can be used for (save for giving the game a name), though it seemed to give weapons a golden sheen and additional power, but it's promising to expand on strategic options and weapons capabilities. Hopefully something unique can be brought to that situation instead of being a simplistic "here's something like Mario's Super Star," like it came off in the brief time I was able to wield it.

This could be the team-based shooter fanboys are looking for, provided the maps keep up with demand (Echelon was fairly small, but allowed for some intense firefighting). It should be one to watch as it approaches its Spring 2013 release.
More GR previews for this game:
Fuse preview posted on 12/12/12.

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