Posted 3:00pm

Fuse: Your questions answered, release date announced

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During a PAX East panel over the weekend, Insomniac Games announced a 31st May release date for its upcoming PlayStation 3 co-op shooter Fuse. The game blends some familiar elements of Resistance 2′s large-scale co-op mode with exotic weapons powered by an all-powerful alien substance dubbed, you guessed it, “Fuse.”

Given the news, we reached out to Insomniac Games President Ted Price with a list of topics we plucked from a recent Twitter call for questions. Enjoy, and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.

How long have you guys been working on the Fuse concept (via @jaydawg6958)?

Ted Price: We started working on Fuse a few years ago. It’s evolved significantly since then, as all of our games have.

Thematically the best way to describe Fuse is to take the dry humour and teamwork of Mission: Impossible (the new films, not the old TV show) and combine it with the crazy weapons of District 9. That’s the kind of alien marriage we believe helps Fuse stand out among all of the real world, gritty sims which are so prevalent in the shooter genre today.

One of the aspects of the game we believe will feel fresh for players is that Fuse does NOT take place in real-world hotspots and doesn’t reflect real world politics. Ours is a very “Insomniac” world where you travel around the globe to exotic locations where larger-than-life bad guys have established strongholds in sometimes improbable locations. While our story has twists and turns along with dire consequences for failure, it also has plenty of lighter moments where we offer players a break from the grim, serious attitude that so many other shooters have adopted.

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How many weapons are there, and do they all have secondary fires? Do the weapons level up similar to Resistance 3? (via @justincasuccio)

Ted Price: Each of the four characters in the team has his or her own experimental weapon powered by the alien Fuse substance. Each of these weapons has unique strategic functions and an upgrade path which allows you to unlock additional abilities and buffs.

We don’t have secondary fires per se. We have secondary abilities which are different for each of the Xenotech. For example, Dalton is equipped with the Magshield which by default is a large, see-through bullet barrier that Dalton can wield when tanking for the team.

By default you can also release a kinetic blast which liquefies nearby enemies. Later you can unlock the ability to drop copies of the Magshield which allows you to build a safe area for your team – something that’s incredibly useful if you’re ambushed from multiple sides.

Naya, by contrast, has the Warp Rifle, which coats enemies with an antimatter/Fuse mixture. When enemies reach critical health levels, they detonate a black hole and the enemy gets ripped apart. The resulting explosion sends out a shock wave that knocks down nearby enemies and can trigger a chain of additional black holes if other enemies have been coated with that mixture. It’s a pretty sweet AOE function.

Later, Naya can unlock an invisibility function which makes her a great flanker. Thematically this function is tied to the Warp Rifle’s use of antimatter which allows Naya to temporarily disincorporate.

Jacob’s Arcshot and Izzy’s Shattergun have unique primary fires and secondary abilities as well. But in each case the Xenotech fires/abilities create what we think are some very useful multi-class characters. For example, Naya is not only the rogue-like stealth specialist with her invisibility, she’s the group’s AOE expert with her ability to chain black holes.

Also worth noting is that it’s not just the Xenotech you can level up in the game. Each character has his or her own substantial skill tree which allows you to improve your Xenotech weapons, your abilities with the more standard weapons in the game and your character stats.

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In co-op gameplay, how do the different weapons and skills complement each other?

Ted Price: One of the keys in making a game focused around teamwork is giving everyone incentive to work together. I say “incentive” because we never want to force teamwork down anyone’s throat. Instead we reward teamwork with bonus XP which will allow players to unlock cool stuff faster. We originally experimented with something similar in Resistance 2′s eight-player online co-op mode, and some of that DNA has made its way into Fuse.

As a simple example, Dalton can push forward with his Magshield up. The Magshield protects his teammates who can cluster behind him and fire their weapons through the shield. Kills made through the Magshield garner more XP for both Dalton and the hero who made the kill.

Here’s another example using Naya and Jacob. Naya can cloak and get into a good position, and then “paint” multiple enemies with her Warp Rifle. Then Jacob, can use his Arcshot from a distance to nail one of the soon-to-be victims. Provided Naya has coated the enemies with enough Fuse/antimatter mix Jacob’s Arcshot bolt will set off a singularity that could result in a chain reaction taking out all of the enemies.

There are lots more complex examples where more Xenotech weapons are combined, and any co-operative interactions like these will reward the players with additional XP.

Is there going to be extensive character customisation? Will there be weapon mods or just upgrades? (via @Sulphurburn)

Ted Price: Each of your four characters has his or her own skill tree. As you play the game you can choose how to level up each hero to fit your playstyle. We have some additional cool skins and customisations you’ll be able to unlock as well.

Is the gameplay going to be easy for someone who basically sucks at shooters? (via @raycat27_2003)

Ted Price: There are several difficulty levels in Fuse, so you can pick one that might work for you. And we’ve worked really hard to make taking cover, vaulting, climbing and especially shooting intuitive. At Insomniac we’ve always placed great importance on tight, straightforward controls so that our games are accessible to all types of players. It doesn’t mean that the game is easy by any means. But we’re passionate about making sure that Fuse has the same pick-up-and-play feel that our Ratchet & Clank and Resistance series have had.

So, easy? No. Challenging but rewarding and fun? Yes. Also worth noting is that each of the characters has his or her own specialisation that may work better for you. If you’re the type that likes to hang back and snipe in shooters, Jacob is perfect since he’s outfitted at the start with the Arcshot – a very powerful, scoped long-range weapon. But if you aren’t into precise aiming, Dalton’s Magshield is fantastic for close-range combat. It’s got a wide blast radius and can keep you and your teammates safe as you close the distance to foes. Just don’t run out of Fuse in the middle of a bunch of tough enemies!

What types of enemies will we fight in the final game?So far we’ve seen general troops and mechs, but given Fuse’s extraterrestrial origins, will we be encountering anything more monstrous?

Ted Price: No Fuse zombies… but there are lots of different archetypes you’ll see in the game. For us it’s important to vary enemy look, weapons and behaviour to keep combat fresh. Plus, as you progress in the game, you’ll face more and more enemies using Fuse-powered technology against you. Players will have to be constantly changing up their strategies as they encounter these new types.

What is Raven’s role in regards to Overstrike 9? What are their goals, and why have they stolen the supply of Fuse?

Ted Price: That’s something we want players to discover during the game through the story we’re telling. Fuse itself is an incredibly powerful, renewable, living, alien energy source and multiple factions you’ll encounter want it for different reasons. Having control of the source of Fuse is an instant game-changer, which is why it’s so important that Overstrike 9 retrieves it.

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Can we play splitscreen while playing online with other people? (via @DampRevil)

Ted Price: Yes indeed. In fact you and a friend can be playing splitscreen online with two others who are playing splitscreen.

Is there a join in/drop out co-op mode with PSN support? i.e. can I join my friend’s session and chat? (via @HAWCGaming)

Ted Price: Yes, two-player split-screen at home still allows you to go online to fill out the team with four players. However, if you don’t have four-players or you prefer playing alone, don’t worry! We have a feature called LEAP that allows you to instantly jump into any of the four characters that isn’t currently being played by a human-player. This gives you some great strategic options for gameplay. LEAP is available as long as at least one of the four heroes is being played by a bot.

What type of replay value will Fuse have after I beat the campaign? (via: @cros1625 )

Ted Price: This is something we were really focused on with Fuse. Each character has a full skill tree you can unlock and the gameplay experience can be quite different based on which character you are using. We’re finding that it takes several playthroughs to unlock everything in all four skill trees.

Beyond that, those looking for a ton of replay value will also find it in our Echelon mode. Echelon is our wave-based mode, but it brings forward a lot of the ideas we had back with Resistance 2 co-op. An important feature of the game is that the experience you earn in the campaign carries over to Echelon mode, and vice versa. In other words, if you spend a lot of time leveling up your characters in Echelon you’ll be bringing your leveled-up characters to the campaign (and again, vice versa).

Will there be any competitive multiplayer component? (via @angrytacoz)

Ted Price: We built Fuse as a cooperative experience. While we experimented with some ideas for competitive multiplayer, we ultimately realised it was more fun when players could use the co-op skills they were building in both of our game’s big modes. Yet our Echelon mode does feature a competitive aspect. As you defeat enemies, they’ll drop different types of Fuse Credits in the form of coins, bags of money, or gold bars. It’s a little like the classic game Smash TV – when you see the money, you’ll want to make a run for it.

Those Fuse Credits are useful as they unlock and improve special Team Perks. Team Perks are team-wide buffs and each hero can equip one at a time. Fuse Credits also unlock customized skins for your characters and weapons.

And by the way, each game of Echelon features 12 rounds. Those rounds feature randomised objectives which can spawn at various locations in each of the six large maps. As the rounds progress, the game becomes incredibly difficult. Echelon is a very strong nod to hardcore players who want to go for it with the cooperative skills they’ve been building in campaign.

Does Fuse still have the sense of humour that Insomniac games are known for? (via @pmac131)

Ted Price: While Fuse doesn’t employ the same slapstick humour seen in the Ratchet & Clank franchise, it’s not a completely serious game either. The characters poke fun at each other and often make light of dire predicaments. Our goal was to create the more sophisticated, dry humour you might encounter in a movie like Mission: Impossible. It’s definitely not a grim military shooter.

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Comments

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PIREDERAS 25 March, 2013 @ 3:51 pm   1

I really appreciate that Fuse is not just another Call of Duty/Gears of War game. Especially the absence of competitive multiplayer (though admittedly, it would be fun to have players take their respective roles and team-up against other teams of players, but whatever!).

I have to say that I liked a bit more the first version of the game (when it was still known as Overstrike, a title which I still prefer rather than Fuse) in the art direction department, which was more cartoony, but I believe it will still be a great game. Looking forward to play it!

 
KRadiation 25 March, 2013 @ 3:56 pm   2

Co op on R2 was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had on PS3. 8 players against tons of enemies at once sounded chaotic but yet you always knew what to do, where to go, who to help. And the giant bosses that would crop up were awesome.

I’m looking forward to this one

AshrafBot 25 March, 2013 @ 3:58 pm   3

I was hugely excited when they announced Overstrike, but like a lot of other felt disappointed that they went with a more realistic look and feel. However the more and more of this game they show, the more excited I am for it again.

 

It’s so sad that I can’t look forward to this :(. Played every Insomniac game since ps1 games but Fuse will be the first one I will skip.

I might give it a go when the price goes down and if the reviews are great.

 
GANTZn00b 25 March, 2013 @ 4:01 pm   5

i loved resistance2 class based coop mode , will this game build upon its awesomeness and capture some of the great gameplay mechanics?

i agree with the above post – “Co op on R2 was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had on PS3.”

 
dogwalker4000 25 March, 2013 @ 4:31 pm   6

Much like a lot of people, I was and still am disappointed with the change of style you guys and EA decided to implement. It looks completely generic now compared to how it looked as Overstrike and in my opinion I think this will struggle to sell because of the lack character the new look gives.

Reading this post gives me a better impression of what to expect and the concept sounds like a whole lot of fun, just a shame that the lack of faith in your original idea has resulted in a very generic, unimaginative look :(

Saying all that I do hope this does do well because I’d hate to see things go bad for you guys over at Imsomniac…EA however…

 
vonhammer 25 March, 2013 @ 4:38 pm   7

I don’t feel any buzz or excitement for this. And don’t know anyone who wants the game. So even if I wanted the game I wouldn’t buy it because I’d have nobody I want to play with.

 
Jamesyp00 25 March, 2013 @ 5:10 pm   8

Sorry guys but all the damage is already done now, there’s just no way i can possibly support this game.

 
Toy_brain 25 March, 2013 @ 6:33 pm   9

If there is one thing I can say about Insomniac, its that they seem to be the most consistent and well-oiled game studios out there. They hit their deadlines almost all the time, and their games are usually solid 8/10s – which is nothing to scoff at.

I just hope that all those years have allowed them to build up a good enough cash-buffer to absorb a major flop.

Yea, sorry, I’m also in the “Not interested in this game” camp.

ThreeWallzz 25 March, 2013 @ 7:02 pm   10

looking forward to this game
my interest was even pushed further when i read that it has similar coop to resistance 2,insomniac never disappoints

Fuse FAIL! Please, back sequel Resistance: FoM2 on PS4.

 
RingoSmith 25 March, 2013 @ 9:42 pm   12

im interested in this. thought R:FOM was soo underated as a series. but i also agree with 11.
we need a resistance for PS4

 
Tranquil-Fury 25 March, 2013 @ 10:46 pm   13

Like most people i saw the overstrike trailer and it peaked my interest, then i saw the Fuse trailer and then i learned it was being published by EA. Which means various anti-consumer ‘features’ and a lack of any originality/creativity can be expected.

i’ll pass