FUSE Demo Impressions
FUSE, Insomniac’s latest and first multi-platform title promises fast-paced action with emphasis on co-op to even the odds against Raven, the game’s baddies, and put a stop to their nefarious intentions. Earlier this week Insomniac released the demo for all to try for themselves. Will the successful development company strike another gold mine or will FUSE end up being unstable like the volatile alien material it’s named after?
Before starting the demo you have your choice between four agents: Dalton Brooks the close-ranged specialist, Jacob Kimble the sniper, Naya Deveraux the assassin, or Isabelle Sinclair the medic. The fifteen minute demo starts with a short introduction to the living material known as FUSE and an organization’s military advancement developing its endless possibilities of destructive uses. Raven then comes and steals the Fuse for their unknown goals, possibly shooting somewhere 2 or 3 hours into the game.
After narrowly escaping a lift crashing into the side of a snowy mountain you begin your accent to reach a Raven facility. As I approached the heavily guarded area you are given some info on your selected character’s unique Xenoweapon and its abilities. I instantly realized that this was much like the old 2003 Xbox exclusive Brute Force where you were also able to control and command the abilities of the 4 main protagonists.
After the nostalgia, I then was able to take cover undetected and silently execute enemies by pulling them over and quickly snapping their necks. I was pleasantly surprised to see my teammates take care of another foe in the process, killing him without drawing attention. I appreciated the option to go for the stealth oriented route, but then I was spotted. I quickly learned that you can get overwhelmed easily and must incorporate your teammate’s abilities to advance smoothly.
The A.I. knows what to do, and will use their abilities sufficiently and take cover, but sometimes you will need to personally commandeer them to use their talents more effectively, though I’m not saying that they are at all incompetent. If you’re ever in a downed state, your buddies will come to revive you in a moment’s notice making them more reliable that other A.I. teammates. The cover based system and reviving of downed friends is very similar to Gears of War including how you switch weapons to running by holding down the A button, so Gears players will be comfortable with the game.
Near the end of this first segment I needed to breach a room with another member of my team to deactivate the ventilation system to advance to the next section. I like this feature because it’ll further encourage teamwork rather than going all Rambo and getting yourself killed like an idiot. The fact that there are parts where all four members are required to advance, there’s a huge “the need of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one” mentality. After a funny little message from Insomniac about “discovering a rift in space time” we are then flung 15 minutes into the future. The difficulty spikes dramatically as you face-off against two mechs and there hover turrets.
In this tussle I discovered the ability to vault over obstacles while holding down the A button and maintaining my sprint invaluable. But with one mech toting a Behemoth chain gun and the other carrying an Incinerator you’re bound to have someone go down, with that said I found the refreshing ability to revive my downed comrades while in cover!
Once you reach your objective you get a cutscene of your helicopter buddy being blown out of the sky by an intimidating enemy craft, ending the demo. So what did I think about the FUSE Demo? Honestly, it was pretty fun.
At first I wasn’t too sure how to feel about FUSE since it’s a bit of a departure for Insomniac, especially being known for platforming adventure games (like Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank) and the Resistance series, but FUSE holds up exceptionally well as its own identity in the 3rd person genre. Things like being able to level up your agents and purchasing Skills and Perks will make players feel invested to their characters, tailoring their abilities to the player’s liking.
The gameplay is fun and the game controls great, not once did I have trouble with the games mechanics. Switching between agents in the Single-Player campaign and experimenting with their particular skills keeps things fresh and interesting. But when you get to adding points to your agents skill tree only four out of the fifteen skills for each agent are exclusive to their specific weapon which is kind of disappointing as each weapon themselves warrant extensive customization options.
The multi-player is the highlight as it plays just as well as I imagined. Having three other human players interacting with one another makes strategizing much easier and a lot more fun. As you see plans being executed perfectly you get a huge feeling of accomplishment. And another thing that I congratulate Insomniac for is the inclusion of local multiplayer so you and your buddies can huddle around a TV and have a grand old time. My time with FUSE was really fun and if you’re not too sure about it yet then I definitely recommend giving the demo a try.
FUSE will be available for PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 and WiiU on May 21st, 2013.