The long awaited return of Overstrike, now dubbed Fuse, has finally happened and the game looks to be what we expected, both in the good and bad department. It was two weeks ago in which we were promised a Fuse reveal and today we have our first in-game screens from the title along with some basic gameplay details. If you expected Insomniac to deliver in the action department then all is good but if you wanted the 2011 premier trailer to be indicative of the final product then you may be a tad disappointed.
As expected, Fuse is a co-op centric action game in which up to four players can play as an elite squad trying to take on foes, both mechanical and organic, that are up to no good. The good thing about Fuse is that it isn’t really forcing co-op play down our throats, despite being the main attraction, since Insomniac has thought of a good way to keep single-player gamers engaged. Playing solo will of course result in the other three characters in the squad being bots, but it’s possible at any time to switch between characters and use their special skills (deflective shield, long range weapon) in order to get the upper hand. Such a feature isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it’s nice that Insomniac is allowing gamers who prefer to play by themselves to have the same optimum fun levels as those playing with friends.
The co-op nature of Fuse is obviously the main draw based on how multiplayer centric gamers are today. With that in mind Insomniac is following in the steps of what they did with the co-op feature of Resistance 2 as Fuse will feature four different character classes (Tank, Healer, Sniper, and Stealth) in addition to having skill trees and special co-op centric XP opportunities (using a shield to protect your allies will net you XP).
Gameplay wise Fuse may not sound or look too different on the surface since it’s yet another cover based 3rd person shooter. But in typical Insomniac Games style the game has gotten a boost of life through some of the weapons that are featured such as the aforementioned energy shield and another which shoots out mini singularities (black holes) that slowly suck enemies in. The debut screens of Fuse may not be bursting with the seams with character, especially in the wake of the minor art alterations that were done compared to the initial debut trailer which featured more stylized characters and colors.
Art direction changes aside, Insomniac is promising that Fuse will still have that same edge the company is known for through the writing, which is said to be witty and not serious, and in how the actual weapons look during combat. It may still be disappointing that Fuse isn’t necessarily the same game that we first saw a year ago, but I am willing to give Insomniac the benefit of the doubt unless this turns out to be another Resistance 2 situation.
There’s no need to be angry if you’re miffed that a new trailer wasn’t released as such a thing was planned but had to be delayed due to some last second legal issues that popped up. A reveal trailer for Fuse is still planned to be released but as of now doesn’t have a release date. However, there is a silver lining to the trailer news as tomorrow’s episode of GameTrailers TV revolves around Fuse and will feature some gameplay footage. So if you’re eager to see the game in action then just tune in to Spike TV tomorrow night.
Despite what it has become tonally, I think Fuse could be a lot of fun once it finally arrives on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Most of us are tired of the ultra-serious dudebro shooters that lack any substance or originality, but thankfully it appears that Insomniac is doing something different with Fuse which could be worth our time in the end. And after all, who doesn’t want to destroy a giant robot by sucking it into a black hole?
Fuse will be released in March 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.