EA Games and Insomniac are set to unleash the renamed Overstrike, aka Fuse, in a couple of weeks onto the gaming world. The demo is out and it offers a slice of Fuse's gameplay in a nutshell - providing an ample glimpse at the treats on offer in this highly polished shooter. The demo is really polished and shows that Insomniac have managed to craft a suitably impressive engine for this game, based on the previous engines used for their other titles.
So what's Fuse?
It's an alien compound that can be turned to a variety of dangerous military uses - in short it's a compound which bonds to other things and makes them into a badass version.
What's Fuse 'the game' about?
From our short time with the demo and the various walkthrough videos we've seen, Fuse is the story of a team of agents sent into stop Raven (A Private Military Company) from stealing the Fuse compound from a secret research facility. Things don't go to plan and these four misfits are now trying to recover the compound and save their own skins in the process. The game revolves around the skills and teamwork of these agents, each armed with their own Xenotech weapon and ability.
It is this interaction between the agents and their powers/weapons which drives the gameplay of Fuse. Fuse is a third person action shooter with traversal mechanics and free-flowing combat. You can be on the offensive one moment and the next you're defending against a vastly superior force, working with your team-mates to turn the tide of the battle and in the case of single player, using the 'leap' system to jump from one agent to the next - setting up Fuse weapon combos and using each agent's potential to its fullest.
It's a truly great system and the AI in single player is really sharp, they know how to use their powers and their Fuse powered Xenotech to support each other and they don't force you to micromanage the team at all. Pick your agent you prefer and have some fun.
As you fight off the bad guys and perform objectives/find hidden caches in the game you'll get XP, you'll level up and get skill points you can spend to improve the agents. Each character has their own skill tree and there are quite a few skills in the game. If you're thinking Borderlands 1 and 2 style - then you're kind of close, but XP systems have been around for years.
Fuse's Xenotech weapons are a lot of fun, each has a primary fire and an alternate fire mode and each agent has their own key weapon.
Naya Deveraux is an assassin type; she's a good sniper and has a cloaking ability on her warp rifle. The Xenotech weapon can cause unstable black holes against its enemies and it's great for dealing with tougher badguys, as well as groups.
Dalton Brooks, he's the team leader and uses the Mag Shield - it can be overloaded to fire a massive blast from the barrier, or used to drop the barrier as static cover. The bonus is that Fuse weapons and weapon combos performed through a Mag Shield are beefed up in terms of XP. So you can get more points for shooting through it at the bad guys.
Izzy Sinclair: AI and tech specialist, she gets the Shatter gun which covers her enemies in melanite - bonded with Fuse. They can be shattered with further shots or combo shattered by the team. Her second ability is a med beacon, which can revive fallen agents and heal them.
Jacob Kimble: He's a good ranged combat guy, so he's got the Arc shot - a crossbow which can fire bolts of Fuse. He can then overload those bolts and set up traps/cause damage to numerous enemies.
There are lots of weapon tricks and combos you can perform in the game; each nets you a different set of XP and its fun to experiment with the interactions. Using the leap system you can drop a Mag shield as Dalton, switch to Izzy and cover the buggers with melanite. Then switch to Naya and warp them to death.
The AI knows a lot of the tricks too, so it'll support you if you're playing Dalton. If you're under heavy fire, don't be surprised if Dalton shows up to put a Mag shield in your way and helps you out like that.
Fuse has far more than just the demo can show of course, the graphics are sharp and the frame-rate stays consistent regardless of the epic on-screen action. The voice cast includes the likes of Jennifer Hale.
With 4 player online co-op and a special multiplayer mode, the game has a few more secrets in store for players when it comes out later on this month. Until then, give the demo a whirl - we really like it.