Developer: Insomniac Publisher: EA Platform(s): PC , PlayStation 3(reviewed), Xbox 360 UK Price: £33.00 US Price: $58
It’s embarrassing to think about Fuse’s intended audience because it appears that any novelty can be supplanted by access to guns and waves of enemies. A projected market base that informed this design clearly exists since Fuse has gone through significant changes over the course of development. Our initial introduction was to a game named Overstrike at 2011’s E3. It appeared to have a light-hearted tone, aesthetic and an interest in providing something different to handfuls of homogeneous Man-Shooters we were growing tired of playing. Years passed and Fuse is the eventual result, somewhat resembling the original pitch, but shaped into a form that more closely resembles everything we’d hoped it would depart from. It changed because, presumably, this is what we appear to want instead.
Fuse is dull, which is in many ways the worst criticism that can be laid on any game. There’s just too much of too little spread out into a massive product that can’t sustain interest for the obnoxiously long run time. It quickly establishes everything it will ask the player to do and then asks them to stay entertained by horrible repetition.
You will shoot men. You will shot men in robot costumes. You will shoot men in flying robot costumes. You will occasionally be asked to shoot different combinations of these robots at once (with characters un-ironically remarking that the enemy side have made things interesting). You will fight a new wave of opponents using the same tactics you’ve used on the group before. You will reach a turret that has to be deactivated before the team can pass. You will do some climbing. You will repeat this until the game concludes.
You do all of this for nebulous reasons within a plot that barely does anything but provide excuses to move to a new location. You control a team of four mercenaries that stumble on a new chemical named Fuse that contains supposed limitless applications, but has been primarily used in the creation of advanced weaponry. Baddies gain control of it. You have to stop them from doing whatever they have planned. Most of the narrative twists ask you to care about characters that make little attempt to do anything other than exist in a video game, barely fleshed out.