Insomniac Games delivers a hybrid between Gears of War: Judgement and Star Trek, fusing (title puns are fun, eh?) two unsuccessful game formulas and resulting in one slightly less unsuccessful result.
Anything with reference to Star Trek is instantly a red flag, as that game was the definition of generic and lackluster. Gears of War Judgement, while not as much of a failure, still wasn’t good and messed around with some of the better aspects of GOW’s campaign legacy that fans had grown to love. So when Insomniac Games tackled Fuse, they decided to take the structure of both titles and put them in one game under a new name. The result? Slightly less terrible, surprisingly. The gameplay is that of a typical third person shooter with disjointed missions and no real sense of accomplishment or fluidity, and the mechanics are wannabe shallow Uncharted clones. While nothing in particular is exceptional and or interesting, the actual execution is nice and provides an experience good enough to warrant a rental, for some. It doesn’t even remotely try to reinvent the wheel, only copying and diluting certain aspects of gameplay from other popular titles. It coats the same generic experience we’ve had for years with new, somewhat interesting guns and a new universe, but other than that remains an incredibly tame four player cooperative shooter.
There are only two modes: Campaign and Echelon, which is essentially Fuse’s horde mode. The campaign is composed of six hour long missions, and with a good squad can be finished in an afternoon. Oddly enough, even done in one sitting the game still glitches on achievements, which sets a sour note for achievement hunters like myself. Echelon is a fun diversion, but after playing through the full twelve waves on any given map once or twice (about twenty five min. worth of time), the luster is completely gone. This means that within seven hours you should be completely finished and bored with the game.
-Interesting squad members with cool abilites and weapons, like a remote-detonating fire crossbow
-Semi-decent universe and plot thesis
-No aspects of the game are downright failures
-Cool levels (elemental themes, set pieces)
-As short as Crysis 3 (waaaay too short)
-No gameplay aspect is above average
-Linear, relatively uninteresting campaign progression
-Two modes, both of which are forgettable
While Fuse stands as a fun afternoon rental with friends, that’s the only redeeming value it offers. If you plan on playing by yourself or long term… don’t.