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Insomaniac’s Fuse lets you lead a team of four badass agents (preview)

Insomniac Games first called in Overstrike in June 2011. It has since rebranded what was once a comic shooting game as a serious title dubbed Fuse. But what remains is a frenetic-paced game where four agents fight as a single team, working to contain the spread of an alien energy known as Fuse.

Last week, Electronic Arts, which is publishing the game for Insomniac, took the wraps off the multiplayer version of Fuse, where you can fight as one of four team members. Now, it is unveiling the single-player version of the game. With the single-player mode, you still fight in a team of four, but your companions are controlled by artificial intelligence, not humans.

As we noted earlier, it is refreshing to see a title that is a brand new intellectual property at a time when all of the major blockbuster game franchises are moving on to their third or fourth instantiation (Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Fortune, Call of Duty Gazillion). This is a brand new game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

fuse sp 2You can play as one of four elite agents from the Overstrike 9 group: Dalton Brooks, Izzy Sinclair, Jacob Kimble, and Naya Devaraux. Their job is take the volatile alien energy technology, called Fuse, and protect it from being misappropriated by the evil paramilitary group Raven. Each agent can tap into the substance and use it to enhance different weapons. When you build up enough energy, you can unleash it, and it feels like you’re blasting the enemy with a mini nuclear weapon. It’s quite satisfying.

The enemies are smart, and they’re able to take you down if you’re not careful. If you’re wounded, your comrade has to come and heal you, just like in games like Left 4 Dead or Gears of War. But your companions are not lightly armed scavengers or heavily armored marines. They are fast-moving, effective combat fighters. All of them have special abilities, and you’ll be able to switch among them.

The 3D graphics look good, but they’re probably not as noticeably brilliant as Crytek’s upcoming Crysis 3 shooter based on what I’ve seen. Still, when one elite soldier holds up a shield to protect the others, the blasts and smoke are quite eye-popping. One of the great things about Insomniac’s game engine is that it can handle lots of action happening on the screen at the same time.

One colleague can fire out medical supplies to quickly heal downed players. Another has a sniper rifle that can incinerate enemies. Another has a gun that is useful in close quarters because it crystallizes enemies. This is a reminder that Insomniac has always been great at coming up with zany weapons, whether they were for the comical Ratchet & Clank series or the downcast Resistance games.

Fuse debuts in March 2013.


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