Fuse | First Impressions

Fuse’s demo has been on XBL and PSN for a bit now and the preview of Insomniac Game’s already half-intriguing, half-forgotten title has left gamers more polarized than before.

The first multi-platform title of Insomniac has been plagued by changes in art direction, delays and a general feeling of uncertainty when the question of “Can Insomniac do more than Ratchet & Clank” arises.

Of course, Insomniac has the Resistance series under its belt, but critics and consumers still to this day are on different pages when it comes to the trilogy’s quality.

When it comes to the divide regarding Fuse I can unbiasedly say that I agree with the point of views for either side.

The game most obviously wreaks of indecision in the art department. Fuse visually suffers from being caught in between an EA-inspired ‘mature’ and Insomniac’s-proven ‘cartoon’ look, making it generic.

Quick! Is this Fuse or a modern war game cutscene?
Quick! Is this Fuse or a modern war game cutscene?

The lack of polish especially doesn’t help as it sadly looks like an early-generation title, and some animations are downright horrendous –unacceptable for even the last-generation.

While some may argue that a game can be more than its graphics, for a game that relies on gun creativity and fun characters in a solid story it still seems mediocre. Insomniac has made a living on ridiculous weaponry and quirky characters, and the leap into a mature arena tones their strengths down into casual decencies.

Ratchet & Clank provided lovable characters and charming dialogue and Fuse missed an opportunity by having neither of those. There little bits of conversation here and there feel like this dull ‘misfit’ team is only conversing out of boredom.

Each of these characters of course have backgrounds and personalities that reflect their weapons, but that itself tells how uninspired they all are.

The black guy would be ex-LAPD.

When every gun is equipped with this Fuse material it makes them all at standard, and those that don’t are plain useless. With only two of the four weapons being generally interesting –a rifle that encases enemies in shatterable crystal and a rifle that creates singularities around enemies– I predict many players will gravitate to these two characters and forget the rest.

Fuse is certainly geared towards co-op play and using Fuse abilities in unison can lead to spectacular kills, but while on your own these combinations are near impossible to coordinate with the AI.

The singularity is actually pretty badass.
The singularity is actually pretty badass.

Fuse may be a good, serviceable summer game to sit around with friends and be ridiculous with, but with so many other 3rd person shooter games out there (that do it well) I don’t have any reason to keep coming back. Sadly with Fuse’s potential and Insomniac charm, it feels as though it was smothered by EA. I doubt Fuse will be remembered for long which, for Insomniac, may be a good thing.


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