Four Against Everyone: Fuse Demo Review
A little message popped into my inbox this morning entitled, 'Play the Demo!'. Guess I'm a sucker, because I did. That's how I came to write this review on Fuse, a co-op focused shooter created by Insomniac Games (or essentially EA) that will be available for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. The game isn't officially out until May 28th, but you can Pre-Order now for a little extra gear. This gear includes only 3 perks, and even among those only one - 'Quickdraw' - will actually improve your skills at all. The other two are just superficial.
Overstrike 9 Force
You play four Agents who all have this dark emotionally damaged past, but are now on Team Good (even if they are getting paid for it). Guns for hire, the group's aim is to track down an Alien technology named "Fuse." According to the Official Site, whoever controls Fuse will have "unlimited power at their disposal."
Enter Evil Corporation
As you may have guessed, just like most games Fuse has an evil paramilitary corporation set on world domination. Evil Corps (named Raven) then proceeds to steal Fuse, and now they are calling in your ass to fix up their mess before all of humanity suffers. It's kind of like Transformers except with humans as the bad guys. And not so many cool cars.
The four playable characters are Dalton Brooks (the team Leader), Naya Deveraux, Jacob Kimble, and Isabelle Sinclair. Each come with a unique set of abilities and Fuse-powered weapons. The characters are class based as well. There is also a LEAP feature which allows you to switch among all these Agents during combat.
Both the full game and demo allows you to play with up to 3 friends on your team.
The menu screen isn't greatly intuitive, and the interface might have been planned out a little better to make it easier to navigate. This also could have something to do with the fact that my TV is tiny as hell. The menu and game uses this green font that has a hacker or computer sort of feel to it which I do like.
The game doesn't tip toe around and starts you off right away in the action. You find your team being thrown wildly around on a scaffolding like floor only to land unharmed on a rock ledge in the middle of the mountains. Controls are pretty straight forward unless you've never played a game in your life, and the game explains things pretty clearly as you move along. To control the LEAP function, you simply press the 'Back' button (if using Xbox). A heads up display floats above and around your character, almost as if it was a FPS like Halo.
I started as Isabelle Sinclair, and her gun's bullets in game have this ability to them called Melanite which will crystallize enemies and eventually shatter them. The shattering affect is actually kind of fun, and it makes it pretty clear why the name was chosen. She also has the ability to create a medical field that can heal the team and although helpful I find it to be pretty boring. I switched to a different Agent quickly.
All of my fellow team members have some rad abilities. Naya can become invisible and her Fuse weapon creates black hole fields, Dalton has a force field that nothing gets passed (though he doesn't ever shoot or kill anything that I can tell), and Jacob is a sniper.
Of course, the enemies also have abilities. In between gun shots and crystal shattering, some bad guys would suddenly be there only to then...not be.
As an Agent, you can take cover and this ability seems to not only be very easy to handle, it also is very fluid from one object to the next. The Agent you have in play can easily climb over and up onto just about anything I found in order to scramble out of the way of fire. Taking cover also regenerates health if you are wounded.
"Are you ok?" "Yes. I landed on my gun." - Dalton
The demo is quick and jumps through in places in time of the real full game; most likely to give you a better idea of how it plays out. At the end of the demo they go through a promotional video highlighting the storyline and action.
I like the abilities the Agents have, both in their weapons and themselves. It reminds me a tad of Mass Effect, but that could just be the fan girl in me. The ability to switch between Agents pauses game play and also reminds me of ME - except in that game you could only access powers and not full characters.
The graphics aren't amazing but do the trick well enough for me. All in all, the storyline is engaging (even if not spectacularly original) and the abilities make Fuse interesting and fun to play. Although I would have liked a longer demo to test it out, the game is definitely worth purchasing.