Upon first look at Fuse, you wouldn't really expect it to be a property from the development team that brought you the Ratchet and Clank and Resistance franchises, Insomniac Games. But the team was going for something different with its first multi-platform effort, which will see release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sometime this year. And different, it is – yet in a good way.
The game will focus heavily on co-op, as four players will be able to team up together online, working as a team as the Overstrike 9 squad. Their mission is to stop a paramilitary group known as Raven from attempting to steal a strange alien substance that's known as Fuse, as its theft could very well trigger a global arms race that is unwinnable. And the best way that the Overstrike team knows how to fend them off is to use Fuse itself, combined with their weapons for a bigger effect.
But who is the Overstrike team, and what do they have to their advantage when it comes to the use of the Fuse technology? Here now is our breakdown of the four key members, as well as what each one brings to the bigger picture. Now you'll just need to decide which one you want to play as…
Who is he? The dedicated leader of Overstrike 9, Dalton has a way of thinking through situations with his team, both physically and psychologically. He knows Raven inside and out, since he used to be a member on their team, trained personally by their division leader, Malan Mao. Though the reasons for his departure haven't been disclosed, we're guessing things didn't work out so personally between the two parties, and he has a little revenge in mind.
Fuse weapon of choice: The Magshield. This is more of a defensive tool than a full-on offensive weapon, but you won't hear the team arguing when it comes to keeping incoming fire off them. Using a liquidized material known as Ferrofluid, the Magshield generates a huge portable shield that stays around the front of Dalton's range, enabling him to move around and provide protection for those who need it, while still firing his assault rifle.
You see the range that the Magshield covers as you move around, so you can adjust accordingly. And there is one offensive use with it, as you can release the shield in a burst of kinetic energy, tearing apart anyone within its range. Just be careful – its magnetic charge can only last so long.
Who is she? Isabelle, who also goes by the name of "Izzy", isn't likely to win the "humanitarian of the year" award. She's a criminal who finds herself reformed to fit in with the Overstrike 9 team. First busted after selling secrets (and revealing that she isn't so crazy about certain folks in the human race), she's likely been given the opportunity to wipe her slate clean if she assists Overstrike in terms of technical prowess. She does know her way around computer systems, which can be useful when it comes to fighting someone as dire as the Raven squad.
Fuse weapon of choice: The Shattergun. It's probably a good thing that "Izzy" hates people, because this is the ultimate crowd control weapon. By fusing with a particular material called Melanite, she can fire off shots that immediately crystalize anyone within firing range. As a result, they freeze up into huge crystal piles, which can then be shattered. For its secondary use, the Shattergun can also do a surprising bit of healing, as "Izzy" can fire beacons that will revive downed teammates. And you thought she hated everyone…
Who is he? Jacob is a former Los Angeles police detective who feels that justice is the ultimate way to get the job done – which isn't exactly something that the members of Overstrike agree with, namely Dalton. That said, Jacob is an effective member of the force, and his aggression pays off in a number of ways. (In fact, before the team, he's able to kill a child murderer, without hesitation, just to get the point across.) His tactics on the battlefield make him a remarkable asset – even if his morals are higher up than anyone else.
Fuse weapon of choice: The Arcshot. This makes Jacob lethal from a distance. Intertwining with a substance known as Mercury, the Arcshot enables Jacob to shoot long range shots, while also enabling trap functionality with bolts on the ground. He can chain these together to generate streams of molten mercury on the ground, which obliterate anything it touches – mainly Raven squad members that are running around on the ground. Those of you who found joy strategically placing bombs in first person shooters (or if you're a fan of Goldeneye, proximity mines), this is the guy for you.
Who is she? Like Dalton, Naya has her own back story with Raven, though hers takes a more personal turn, as it's a family matter. She was trained in the ways of assassination by her father, Luther Deveraux, and worked alongside him for many years. However, one day, Luther chose to sell out to Raven, which didn't go over that well with her. So she opted to join Overstrike 9 and dispense her own brand of effective justice, something that Daddy isn't so thrilled over.
Fuse weapon of choice: The Warp Rifle. This is one of the more powerful weapons in the game, as it utilizes Antimatter to generate singularities. Once Naya fires it towards an enemy, it generates a black hole, which can tear an enemy to pieces if they aren't prepared for it. What's more, Naya can actually tag multiple enemies with shots, and then activate the black holes collectively, creating a chain reaction that very few stand the chance of escaping. She can also temporarily distract and get around enemies, if players prefer to take the classic stealth route.
Fuse will release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this March.