We may have only had some simple in-game screens to wet our longstanding appetite, but we finally have the first footage from Fuse – the game once known as Overstrike. The 3rd person action shooter from Insomniac Games has garnered a lot of attention as of late, some of which isn’t that positive since the game has undergone a rather obvious and substantial change in the art direction department which is devoid of the original flair and style we were originally presented with.
Upon watching this debut trailer for Fuse I expect the opinions of gamers to become that more polarizing since the game seems to be a bit schizophrenic. Usually I’m pretty honest in stating the feelings I have about a game, but with Fuse I won’t go on a long tirade about the project since it seems to be in this very odd place.
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of playing Fuse since (that will likely have to wait until GDC 2013) so I don’t know how the game feels and how a level plays out when playing with actual teammates or A.I. bots. With that said, I really don’t know if making Fuse into a more “mature” and seemingly aesthetically familiar game was the best thing to do.
As this debut trailer shows, Fuse does an excellent job at blowing stuff up and making it look like fun. With the plot of the game revolving around alien tech that has since been weaponized and coincidentally fallen into the wrong hands, it’s nice that Fuse won’t have gamers using the same Uzis, shotguns, and other automatic weapons we’ve used to death this generation. That’s not to say Fuse won’t have a hint of familiarity to it since some standard weapons may be used occasionally, but I can’t think of the last game which featured enemies turning into ash or exploding into bloody chunks due to the tools the player had available to them.
It’s this level of insane weaponry and impressive visual effects which has me interested in Fuse but damn is that art style hard to accept. So far Insomniac Games has stated that the change in Fuse’s art style was to balance how graphic the violence was with the whole bloody chunks thing, but in turn the game has lost some of its apparent spark or at least what made it stood out amongst other games. The slightly cartoony style depicted in the Overstrike premier trailer was unique and it showed that each team member had a personality given their wardrobe and battlefield demeanor. Outside of their weapons, there’s really no personality in this Fuse trailer unless the weapons have become the stars and the characters are merely their vessels.
Again, I won’t rag or worry too much about Fuse as the game looks good visually and could be a fun multiplayer romp if everything feels good. However, I really don’t know if the game will be able to stand out given its current visual style and the fact that it’ll be competing against similar genre games such as EA’s very own Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and established action heavyweights such as God of War: Ascension when it launches in March.
Doubting Insomniac may not be wise since they haven’t given us a dud since Resistance 2, but even the best developers are prone to making a mistake once in a while and as a fan of the studio I hope that Fuse doesn’t end up becoming a huge misstep that will forever be analyzed and talked about.