So the NDA is expired and Fuse has been officially announced!
last week Insomniac flew Banded, myself, and 13 or so others (I think)
out to Burbank to hang out with them and see the game. We were the first
group to see it that wasn't EA or Insomniac, except for one guy before
us. We met up with Tim Salvitti and an EA worker to ahead over to
Insomniac's office. We got to the lobby, signed NDA's and took pictures
of how awesome it was (it's awesome) and then were ushered into a
conference room with a whole bunch of TV's set up for Ted Price's
presentation. We got to see the Mission Briefing trailer that was
already released before and then Ted talked about the game, much of
which is detailed here in the description: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Then we got to see the ACTUAL trailer (the one they haven't released
yet due to some legal issues) and it was awesome and got us pumped to
play the game. We were so excited.
They brought us lunch and we
got to playing in groups of 3 (3 fans and 1 insomniac, with 2 set ups,
so 6 of us at a time). I was personally one of the first group to play
(and beat) the demo. Let me assure you, it's amazing. The characters all
feel different. Their weapons...oh god their weapons.
has the mag shield, made of ferrofluids, which lets him not only shield
his team mates and himself, but it captures the kinetic energy and his
mag shield's "shooting" is releasing that kinetic energy, blowing
enemies away or vaporizing them. He's the big tank. His secondary
ability is to drop a shield for his team mates in addition to the one
Naya has the warp rifle, an assault rifle
utilizing antimatter, which causes singularities after successive hits
on an enemy. These singularities collapse and explode, dealing area
damage. What's cool is that if you can generate multiple singularities
at a time by spreading out your fire, then you can chain explode them
for MASSIVE area damage. Within my first 2 minutes as Naya, I got a
chain of 4 that took out 7-8 enemies in a massive set of explosions. Her
secondary ability is going invisible and it's really well done. She's
my favorite so far.
Jacob has the arc shot, a crossbow with
superheated liquid mercury bolts that can pin enemies to the
wall/cover/etc. He's the sniper class. His secondary ability is that he
can overheat the mercury bolts in order to cause them to explode and
spray enemies with molten mercury, burning or even simply incinerating
them. It's useful as a tactical ability when you can't hit someone
behind cover. You can simply shoot a bolt above them and have it spray
hot metal onto them. I didn't get to personally play as Jacob yet.
has the shattergun, a machine gun type (less range than warp rifle)
that shoots crystals at her enemies. When enough crystals hit an enemy,
they almost instantly crystallize (which pops them out of cover and
immobilizes them) to be easily shattered by you or a team mate. At
higher levels, this gains area of effect and can damage or crystallize
those around the person. Izzy's secondary is a healing beacon (made of
crystal of course) that can recharge a person's health or revive them
from a distance. It also works on Izzy herself. I also did not get to
play as her.
Now, for some more general things. The game is
focused on team work and Insomniac has done a very good job (so far) of
emphasizing and encouraging that. The game is set up so that each
character has 3 skill paths they can go down using points they've earned
from working together/killing enemies/etc to purchase. What IG's done
is given a bonus to points when working together with team mates for
both players. For example, if you're playing as Dalton and using your
shield, you gain 50 points for every kill someone gets by shooting
through your shield. Normal kills with the fuse-injected weapons give 75
points. So you're getting barely less per kill, but since multiple
people can shoot through your shield, then the points can rack up
quickly. Team mates have incentive to do this because they get around
120 points every time they kill through your shield, about 170% more
points. This also works with Izzy's shattergun and shattering the
crystals, since it's more difficult for Izzy to do it herself.
teamwork aspect is the reviving of course. It's done Gears of War
style, albeit much faster. Izzy may be the "healer" because of the heal
beacon, but Naya is the go to reviver in hectic situations. She can
cloak herself and go in undetected and heal someone. Or you can have
Dalton with his shield go and set down a shield and heal. Or just block
for Jacob to heal. The health in this game (sadly) is also the typical
screen goes red and recharges after a few seconds.
style will look a lot like Gears of War at first, especially with the
cover mechanics and sprinting, but it plays less like Gears in that you
don't have to ALWAYS be in cover. I did quite a good job of running and
gunning as Naya and of course as Dalton with his shield. Speaking of the
cover mechanics, I think Insomniac really succeeded with them in this
game. B (or O I would guess on playstation, but we played on dev PC's
with x box controllers) goes into cover and then you have options of how
you get out of cover. Again, similar to gears in that you can jump and
roll out of cover almost anywhere, vault over it, move around corners,
or move between pieces of cover. What they've done, however, is separate
leaving cover into two separate buttons. A will take you out of cover
entirely (vaulting over, rolling out from, etc), while B will keep you
in cover (rounding corners, moving from cover piece to cover piece)
which results in MUCH less frustration when your character jumps out
when you meant to switch between covers, etc.
The big highlight
of the gameplay demo, however, was the fusion mode. While you're playing
and building up points, your fusion meter goes up. What fusion is, is
the alien fuse going into sort of an overdrive mode and giving each
character limited time infinite ammo (no reloading) and I believe a
health buff along with unique abilities. When one person activates
fusion, the whole team gains it and their meters deplete.
fusion gives him a bigger shield and a wider/longer range/more powerful
kinetic energy dispersal. You can simply march through a virtual army
of enemies, vaporizing all of them.
Naya's fusion results in bigger explosions and easier to trigger singularities, I believe. I could be wrong though.
fusion results in easier crystallizations/multiple crystallizations and
greater damage to surrounding enemies when someone is shattered around
them. I'm not 100% sure I'm remembering everything for her and Naya,
Jacob's fusion is my favorite that I've seen and results
in every bolt of his exploding into molten mercury on contact with an
enemy, melting them and any of their friends that happen to be too
close. You can mow down so many people with this.
addition to all this, you can also kill enemies via boring normal
weapons (if you run out of awesome weapon ammo or if you're Dalton and
need to kill someone far away) that you can pick up from enemies and
hold along with your good guns. Each character also has a FUSE grenade
which will send out tentacles to disintegrate enemies hit with them and
is very powerful.
Misc things: Playing with less than 4
people results in the AI controlling the NPC, but those players can (at
any time) switch to an unoccupied character. So if I was playing solo, I
could switch through each of the characters at will. Takedowns (stealth
kills and regular melee kills) are really well done. Each character has
unique takedowns (ie Dalton is powerful and gives a series of punches
while someone like Jacob or Naya will do acrobatic awesome kicks). There
will be multiple ways to approach situations (We had an option between
going through a small grate passageway stealthily or breaching a wall
with explosives at one point). The game still has humor (You'll learn
how Dalton "solves all his problems, by finding someone smarter than
[him] and threatening to beat them to death if they don't fix it."),
although in game banter between characters was at a minimum during
firefights. Mainly calls for help when downed, calling out enemies, etc
and not anything witty, although we played a brief part with lots of
action, so I expect it to be there during less tense moments. IG says
the gang will be sort of individuals at the beginning and develop into a
true team throughout the game.
This is my most anticipated game of 2013 now, beating out Bioshock Infinite and Last of Us.
RELEASES MARCH 2013