In going hands-on for a short preview level, I can say that Fuse's teamwork takes some getting used to. I was slow to get the hang of Izzy's shattergun, though my teammates grasped the concept quicker than I did. The objective was to infiltrate a facility undetected, but after a pair of stealth kills, an all-out firefight broke out and we got to demonstrate our weaponry through cover fire. Upon clearing the outside area, we were given the option to split up and break in through the side of the building or enter through a nearby sewer. This would give us the opportunity to ambush the enemy from opposite sides.
When we were done clearing out hordes of incoming enemies using our own weapons and nearby turrets, the scene shifted to a facility courtyard, where we were confronted by a giant Enforcer robot. The rocket-powered mech had more bark than bite, as we all took separate sides and fired away until it was scrap metal.
Fuse's shooting mechanics worked well and the co-op was loads of fun, but that's not to say there weren't a few issues. Teammates would occasionally fall and need reviving, but there wasn't a clear indicator as to where they were located. Reviving teammates is critical, as one dead comrade results in a mission failure.
When outside the realm of four-player co-op, players can take any of these characters for a spin through Fuse's "Leap" feature. Leap allows players to occupy any open player slot and switch with the AI. This can help players clear out areas faster by taking a more personal touch, but can also help players earn more FP for a specific character. Anyone that wants to join a solo player can do so through drop-in/drop-out local and online co-op.
Fuse represents a potentially large jump forward for shooters. It features a brand new engine that allows the game's programmers and artists to update assets much quicker than they could in the past, while allowing players to take full control of characters at all times, rather than find themselves stuck in certain animations. It's also an entertaining four-player experience that retains Insomniac's penchant for outrageous weaponry.
Fuse will release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2013.
Working together gets fuse points, such as shooting through a magshield.
Mercs Dalton and Naya take on the enemy. Click for more images.