For those of you who didn’t know the demo for Insomniac Games’ FUSE came out this week on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Insomniac is best known for their Ratchet & Clank series along-side the newer Resistance series. FUSE leans more towards the Resistance side, but oddly started out looking more like Ratchet & Clank in art style. The game was initially debuted as “Overstrike” at E3 2011 and featured a more cartoon-like aesthetic. In 2012 the game was shown again with a new name, FUSE, and a new more realistic art style. The change did not go over too well with fans. Regardless, the demo is now out for everyone to form their own opinions on the finished product.

The demo showcases two segments of levels from different points in the game. The first has you taking out multiple enemies to infiltrate a base via the ventilation system, and the second shows off two mini bosses. Overall the gameplay is actually very solid. The game is a third person shooter with a cover mechanic similar to Gears of War. The shooting feels great and moving from cover to cover is very simple and is aided by icons that show you where you will end up and what button to hit to roll right into the next cover point. The enemies take a fair amount of damage to kill and your character loses health quickly, so the game is no walk in the park. I played in co-op with one other person and as we had two AI partners we could use the SELECT button to jump between the extra characters and ours at any time. The AI died once for us on the mini boss fight, but overall didn’t seem too dumb. There is a level up system as well where you assign points to different power ups and abilities, but you don’t get too much into it in the demo.

The story and acting seemed a bit cheesy, but there were some funny lines and the overall voice acting work seemed solid enough to be entertaining. I’m worried the plot won’t hold attention for the whole playtime, but the demo may not feature very much of the general story.

Overall FUSE seems like a solid game based on the FUSE preview (demo). I don’t see myself wanting to pay $60 for the experience, but I assume there will be plenty of people that do. It has solid gameplay and (from what the demo shows) a serviceable story. I’m still a bit disappointed Insomniac didn’t stick with Overstrike and the more non-realistic graphics, but in the end FUSE looks to be a solid co-op game (couch co-op included!) and will provide some decent entertainment to those looking for something new to play in May.

Fuse Official Trailer