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Fuse: Asymmetrics

Company: EA Games

So Insomniac Games ditched the whole exclusivity thing. If it means more people can enjoy their consistently excellent work, that can only be a good thing. From Ratchet & Clank to Resistance to Disruptor even (oh yeah, I went there), the company's resume is impressive, to say the least. Their first multiplatform title, Fuse, is nearly upon us. I recently had some hands-on time with the upcoming shooter, and I came away impressed and hopeful for what could very well be an excellent new IP.

Fuse began life as Overstrike a couple of years ago; Insomniac touted the game as a shooter built for four-player co-op. When you hear "four-player co-op," you generally think of one scenario. Four people running off doing their own thing and hoping that their comrades see the awesome shots they make or pick them up when they go down. But Fuse aims to be more than just four dudes with guns running around. Each individual will have a very specific role to play in the team. Each of these characters has a skillset that contributes to that role. And all of these skillsets are related to an alien substance known as Fuse.

Set in the near-future, Fuse tells the story of Overstrike 9, a ragtag group of soldiers out to stop the villainous Raven Corporation from harnessing the power of Fuse. Each of the four Overstrike 9 members possesses a special Fuse-powered weapon, each of which features a diverse set of functions.

Snide mercenary Dalton Brooks has a special Mag Shield, which projects a semi-translucent barrier in front of him that is capable of exploding outward, disintegrating anything unfortunate enough to be caught in its path. Soldiers can take cover behind the Mag Shield and push forward as a cohesive unit.

Naya Deveraux is an ex-Raven employee who is outfitted with the ultimate in stealth technology. She can cloak at will, but she's packing her own kind of heat: a gun that fires black holes.

Isabelle "Izzy" Sinclair is a lab geek with a big gun: her weapon is the Shattergun, a machine rifle that transforms enemies into twisted carbon abominations that explode, often harming other enemies.

Jacob Kimble is a detective with a bit of a mean streak. He's your de facto sniper, as he carries a crossbow called the Arcshot.

Each of these characters has their own special abilities that complement those of their teammates. Special skill points are awarded for creative kills (like in Bulletstorm), be they solo or team-based. Enemies in Fuse attack en masse and often in chaotic patterns, so new strategies must be devised and executed in order to survive. This is not a lone-wolf shooter, and players who approach it as such will be punished.

Fuse is looking like a fresh take on cooperative shooting action, and we don't have long to wait until it's out. It will be lighting up store shelves on May 28th. Check back for a full review.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:

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