After reviewing Remember Me and The Last of Us, it is high time that I take a look at the last of the trifecta of new titles, Fuse… Oh boy where do I even begin? I suppose by saying this… Out of the three, The Last of Us is an instant classic and one of the greatest video games ever made… When it comes to Remember Me, yeah it wasn’t great, but it did have a few good concepts behind it and the graphics looked really good. It was a game that left you feeling ‘meh’… But when you play a game like Fuse… A game that has some truly inspirational parts to it… and you see it all go to waste with a completely forgetful, over done story, and just all around uninspired feel… That leaves a feeling of anger that just cannot be matched. At least with Remember Me, after I finished playing it I said to myself, ‘Yeah… That is probably as good as the game was going to get.’ With Fuse… Man there was so much wasted potential with this game. Worse yet, I feel like these were things that could have easily been fixed just by one person saying, ‘Hey guys, this shit has been done so many times, maybe we should try something a little different.’ But I am getting ahead of myself.
The story centers around a four person team of guns for hire known as the A-Tea-… I mean Overstrike 9. A man by the name of Lyndon Burgess calls in Overstrike 9 to investigate a top secret government facility called Hyperion Base that went dark after the arrival of clichéd bad guy politician Senator William Fable. After a while they learn that the facility is working on an alien substance known as ‘Fuse’ which can bond with any known substance. Naturally whenever the United States learns of anything, the first thing they ask is how can we turn this into a weapon? And so the facility is centered around fuse being used for weapons research. But as Overstrike 9 is investigating, a paramilitary group known as generic faux philosophical name 431425 or ‘Raven’ appears lead by the muscular white male leader of the group Dalton’s ex lover Meilin Mao (Insert dramatic sting here). After Overstrike 9 is captured and it is revealed that shock of all shocks, Fable is in league with the bad guys. It is up to Overstrike 9 to save the day and keep Fuse out of the hands of the nefarious Raven as well as a mysterious organization known as the Illumina- I mean The Order…
I think you can see where this review is going, so let’s get started.
The Co Op and Weapons System are Downright Awesome
If you are going to play this game, then get some friends together and play in Co Op mode. Just like Borderlands, this game is tailored for multiplayer. Picking and choosing which of the four players and how they will compliment the choice of your friend can be a pretty fun process. My suggestion is get four people together and have a play through. It can be pretty entertaining in that regard since you can go through it together, drink a few drinks, and make fun of the horrible story.
Even if the characters are walking stereotypes, you need to play your role in order to benefit the rest of the group. The game does a great job of balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each character and adds another level of enjoyment to the game. Also it really does help to play with other players because if that is the case then you don’t have to sit through the ungodly awful AI that will do nothing but make you eat your controller in rage as you try to traverse each level.
The weapons system is decent too. Each character has a unique weapon and has advantages and disadvantages to each of them. Not to mention the introduction to Fuse can help you enhance your weapons. It is a pretty decent concept, but one that we expect from our games in today’s competitive gaming market.
The Graphics are Uninspired
The graphics are just sub par. In a day and age like this and with a game like Fuse, you need good graphics. You need graphics that are visually stimulating and interesting to look at. There are games like The Last of Us that put a lot of attention to detail and this helps build the tone of the game and the mythos that surrounds it. Then you have games like Borderlands, they implement bright and vibrant colors and interesting designs that compliment the game and give it an original feel.
Fuse graphics are absolutely generic. It doesn’t feel like its own mythos or give it its own identity. It looks like the bare basics of an action shooter, nothing more. If you at least create something that looks original and unique then your game will have an identity around it. But this is most likely the reason why Fuse was a completely forgotten title. Yes, the story is terrible and we will get to that in a second. But nothing about the game’s graphics makes you want to play this. It is boring and uninspired, simple as the game itself.
The Story is the Definition of Generic
This is one of those times where I can tear into this steaming pile of shit all night long. This game somehow manages to use every single overused and clichéd plot point that is in existence. Every bit of overused idea that has come from 007, Die Hard, Mission Impossible, and just about every other movie that features a squad of super commandos or commando fighting bad guys. There is just no original idea here, none whatsoever.
Let’s Start with Overstrike 9, our team of misfit heroes… I feel like this is what happens when you take the protagonists from Borderlands and suck out all of the character and likability. The four characters are so bland and so stereotypical that it is almost impossible to force yourself to play as them. Dalton Brooks is the buff, sarcastic, stubble cheeked white guy and of course that makes him the leader. It is as if the bastard child of Dane Cook, Ryan Reynolds, and Channing Tatum was created and forced into this video game. The trifecta of all around annoying white guys!
The other three members of the group include Jacob Kimble, a skinny African American man who was a rogue cop with nothing left to lose at his previous job. Kicked off the force for his ‘unorthodox tactics’. The guy is essential every hard-nosed cop who likes to take the law into his own hands because fuck due process, he is the law!
Then there is Naya Deveraux. She is the stealthy one and the one with the dark past of formerly working with Raven. (DUN DUN DUN). Trained by her assassin father to follow in his footsteps, ole Naya went rogue whenever she refused to kill a small child. Because she has just the right amount of good to not be completely evil.
Finally there is Isabelle Sinclair or Izzy. She is the brains of the group. Hacking her way through everything because they can’t all be complete gun-toting neanderthals.
None of these four are original! They are all carbon copy stereotypes of previous action movies and games. The brainy one, the reformed assassin, the hard-nosed cop, and the sarcastic stubble cheeked white guy leader. Come on, I don’t think it is asking for too much to have some rich and interesting characters. And if you want to use the stereotypes, then use them in a new way! Don’t just throw them into the plot and walk away wiping your hands. These characters just scream of lazy!!!
Let’s not forget these strange organizations like Raven and The Order. For the love of god we might as well just call them Cobra and the Illuminati, because that is what they are. There is no new edge to them, there is no new arc to them, there is absolutely nothing about these two organizations that is original. Raven is a paramilitary organization who exists because, yay mercenaries with faux philosophical names. I would personally have more respect for this game if they just called it Mercenary Organization. Because at least than it wouldn’t have an air of pretentiousness to it. Seriously is a name like ‘Raven’ really striking fear into the hearts of anyone?! As far as the Order is concerned. I really wish people would shut up about the Illuminati conspiracy bullshit, but I understand that it is a part of culture and can make its way into video games and movies… But if you are going to do it, at least give them some more motivation then this ‘we are above the system and mysterious’ bullshit!
Then there is Senator Fable… Okay… Before we get into this I want to make something clear to the entire world. Even though they fight and squabble over silly things, even though it would seem that they do nothing but let the little people get picked apart by corporations while they line their pockets with Big Business gold… Politicians are not as bad as people make them out to be. THERE I fucking said it! Yes, there are corrupt ones out there. It is an easy position to become corrupted in. I’m not saying they are saints. But for the most part, these elected officials are just trying to do their jobs and help their government in a way that they feel will benefit the people of their government and repay the people who voted for them. Yes there are some bad guys, but for the most part they aren’t the blood sucking demons that people make them out to be and man does this game love to use the bad guy politician schtick. Senators always get the short in of the stick when it comes to being bad guys. They are considered by the general public to be a ‘higher level’ then your regular representatives, but still a nameless suit wearing politician. Perfect level of corruption for stories. Senator Fable is every bad guy politician rolled into one big slimy plate.
The second you see this guy walk on-screen you know he is the villain. He has all the looks. The middle-aged, yet young and ambitious look, the combed over salt and pepper hair, and worst of all that suit. Oh that suit! He wears a suit so he has to be evil! The Suit of Evil! This guy bugs me to no end, because he is just a carbon copy of that regular bad guy politician, nothing more. The second that you even hear the word ‘Senator’ in the game, you know damn well this guy is going to turn on you, turn on the people he turned on you for, and keep turning until eventually he turns into a big bad monster and you have to kill him! If I were to do a list of the worst villains in video games, then this guy would make the damn list.
What really pisses me off the most about this game is the fact that it isn’t terrible. There are some damn good moments. The Co Op is fun as hell, the weapons are cool and original, the concept of Fuse is a good concept that I would like to see more of, and really I’m the kind of guy that can forgive generic graphics for a good game.
But Jesus, the story and the characters just ruin this game. It just makes it so lackluster and overdone. The whole feel of the game is tired concepts and dated material. I wouldn’t even mind as much if they tried to do something new with it, but they didn’t. The story is a dime a dozen and feels like it is hammered out in ten minutes to give some sort of substance to the game. As far as 2013 is concerned, the past 5 years for that matter, and with no hyperbole… This has to be one of the worst stories I have had the misfortune to sit through in a video game and film.
Final Score 2/5
Thank you for reading. Come back tomorrow to read my latest film review and remember if you enjoyed then please like and subscribe for more.