At PAX Prime 2012 two weeks ago, Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Resistance)Â hosted their own panel where they unveiled a brand new IP. It wasn’t entirely new since we had seen the previous incarnation of that same game last year at E3 2011. It was called Overstrike and now it’s titled Fuse.
Electronic Arts is publishing the title and today unveiled not only the expectedÂ Fuse release date and platforms, but a pile of details on the four-player cooperative features, characters and storylines in the over-the-top sci-fi shooter.
Fuse is a co-op shooter that puts players in the shoes of elite and well-armed (with alien tech) combatantsÂ Dalton Brooks, Izzy Sinclair, Jacob Kimble and Naya Deveraux (who together form the Overstrike 9 team) as they attempt protect the plant from Fuse – a “deadly alien energy source.” When playing solo, players can switch between the team members to take advantage of each individual’s unique weapons and abilities via a feature Insomniac dubs “LEAP.” We call it “character switching” from back in the days of playing theÂ Conflict series and Brute Force on the original Xbox because that’s all it really means.
Fuse also features some RPG elements when it comes to progressing characters to unlock new abilities:
Through lethal teamwork, players can complete objectives and kills to earnÂ FuseÂ points for powerful upgrades. Players can also play online or offline and level up along unique character paths, allowing players to unlock more powerfulÂ Fuse-driven abilities as the game progresses. In addition, the gameâ€™s progression system is unified between different play modes, allowing players to continue improving their agents regardless of how they play.
As for the story of the arcade-esque shooter, there are two factions of antagonists, the obligatory rogue organization called “Raven” who want the alien energy source and what sounds like the aliens themselves:
InÂ Fuse, the members of contact team Overstrike 9 attempt to thwart a rogue paramilitary organization called Raven from stealing theÂ FuseÂ source located deep within a classified government facility. Overstrike 9â€™s pursuit of Raven will take them around the world, from the fortified desert facility to underwater bases, island strongholds, icy mountain peaks, palatial hideouts and beyond. Later, as the team closes in on Raven, another more sinister enemy reveals itself as a truly horrendous global threat.
More interestingly,Â FuseÂ represents the first ever time Insomniac Games has developed a multiplatform game. All of their games since 1996 have released exclusive on PlayStation consoles. Founder and CEO, Ted Price:
“FuseÂ demonstrates what Insomniac does best: outlandish and gruesome weapons design, over-the-top action and a touch of humor. Weâ€™re especially excited to see how players utilize lethal teamwork by combining theirÂ FuseÂ weapons to stop a deadly arms race.”
Fuse will hit retail shelves in March 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360, the same month as another third-person co-op EA shooter,Â Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. Also recall, this is only weeks afterÂ Crysis 3 andÂ Dead Space 3 (also a co-op action shooter) release in February.
CanÂ Fuse compete against other co-op shooters on the market like the upcomingÂ Gears of War: Judgment, and is there a risk of all of these EA shooters cannibalizing each other’s sales since they release in such proximity? The over-the-top nature, special abilities and co-op features may allow for an incredibly fun and unique experience and those selling points are presented a such (and the game is good) – and cross-marketed with the other major EA releases in a much better fashion than Syndicate was this year – then Insomniac may have their first multiplatform title welcomed with open arms. They certainly deserve it after last year’s underratedÂ Resistance 3.
Fuse releases March 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.