Fuse

ted color

For all of us at Insomniac, every time we build a new property it’s a wild and crazy rollercoaster ride. From the initial concept to the day that first game hits the shelves, anything can happen. Fuse is our latest escapade.

From the outside it probably appears that the development process for a new franchise is fairly mechanical where there is a recipe of sorts one uses to build the game. Put tab “A” into slot “B”…make sure each box is checked…file all the right TPS reports.

But the reality is far different. Game development is an insanely fluid process even when you’re not making new IP. After almost 20 years we’re still figuring it out. Still evolving. Still trying, failing, trying again, succeeding, and still learning. And that’s what makes building games so much fun!

While we’ve continued to experiment with Ratchet & Clank and while we’ve jumped into browser games (and soon mobile) with Outernauts, Fuse is the first new console IP we’ve built since Resistance. It’s also our first multiplatform game ever. It’s running on a brand new engine. It’s got a new world, new characters, new weapons…and it’s doing stuff that no other 3rd person co-op shooter does.

We’re damn proud of it.

Of course I’m well aware that we’ve taken some heat over our switch from Overstrike to Fuse. We read the YouTube comments. We watch the forums. And we listen.

After our re-reveal of the game in summer 2012 we continued to make adjustments to the game, adding more color; making sure the humor came through in emergent dialogue. No, we didn’t make aesthetic changes because of a 12 year-old’s focus test comments. We did what we thought was right for the Fuse universe. In particular we focused on creating co-op weapons and gameplay that we think work better than any other co-op shooter out there and allowed that to drive the game.

In particular I remember when we had a collective “eureka” moment with the Shattergun. It was last year in mid-spring – in other words way late in production. But we were up against the wall with none of our Xenotech weapons achieving the fun factor we knew we needed.

We decided to go back to the drawing board with all four weapons. Better, our weapons team decided to take off the T-rated shackles and go big with the weapons’ visceral nature. The Magshield started liquefying enemies with a satisfying blast of kinetic energy. The Arcshot began to shoot streams of molten mercury for its traps, melting soldiers. The Warp Rifle, a complete redo, generated black holes where the blast rings would chain together and disintegrate nearby enemies.

It was also then that the Shattergun, my favorite weapon in the game, was born. The weapons crew prototyped this vicious-looking effect where enemies were trapped in razor-edged black melanite. Shooting the melanite resulted in an explosion of bloody black melanite shards – it looked like something out of a heavy, dark sci-movie. And it worked big time. With the Shattergun, everything clicked into place and we knew we had finally figured out the weapons puzzle we had been trying to solve for so long.

That’s just one story out of many. Yet we’ve been unusually (and sometimes unintentionally) open – giving everyone a window into the changes we’ve made along the way. This has been both good and bad for us. While I know there are some who will never be convinced that moving to Fuse was the right decision, I know there are many who appreciate what we’ve done. I know there are many who will try Fuse and will love it.

For you, our fans…for those of you who dig what we do with crazy worlds, characters and weapons…for those of you who check out Fuse and enjoy a co-op romp through a very “Insomniac” game, this is what I have to say: we’re just getting started.

We’ve already begun expanding what we’ve begun with Fuse. Right now as I write this we’re taking the core concepts behind Fuse and prototyping new stuff…stuff that leverages this bizarre alien substance which is at the heart of the game. No, I’m not talking about DLC. I’m talking about new Fuse experiences altogether.

What’s wonderful about creating and owning one’s IP is that you can take it any direction you want. And that’s what we’re going to do. Stay tuned!

Ted

In one week, you shot, spliced, and remixed together your very own Fuse video. Not a small task by any stretch of the imagination. Despite the tight deadline  we were thrilled by the amount of talent and creativity displayed in the entries. Every single one showed passion, and for that we sincerely thank you.

However, four grand prize winners had to be chosen.  After fans voted in the Top 10, we had the arduous task of narrowing it down. Selecting the final four was tough, but in the end we believe we selected the videos that showcased the creativity, energy, wit, and skill we were looking for. So, let’s get to it. In no particular order: The Fuse This! Video Contest $5,000 Grand Prize Winners!

– Unzipped Zebra

– Colin Windmuller

– Hardedge

– ajuno131 

 

Good looking bunch! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you so much to everyone that entered. Again, it was a very hard decision deciding who took home the top prizes.  However! The Top 10 will also receive signed copies of Fuse and the Top 25 will receive signed posters. Not a bad palette cleanser.

Check out the other talented top 25 entrants here.

Insomniac’s first game, Disruptor, came out all the way back in 1996.  Like any good narrative imbued game released during that time period, it features live action cutscenes.  The acting was… well… bold.  If you want a more vivid idea of what we mean by bold – go check out some of them out on YouTube.  We’ll wait.

Welcome back! Hopefully, you didn’t get distracted by that fake “Harlem Shake Goes Wrong” video.  Anywho, things have changed a lot over the years including the caliber of the actors in our games.  You’ve seen from Ratchet and Resistance how we like to wrangle the best possible voices for our games – and with Fuse it’s no different.  The challenge this time, however, was finding four veteran voice-over actors to bring the dysfunctional chemistry of Overstrike 9 to life.  After looking at the cast list – we think you’ll agree that we found them.

Brian_Bloom

Brian Bloom as Dalton Brooks: I could list the games Brian has been in, but it would be much easier to list the ones he hasn’t. He’s never acted in a Mario game. Done. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he has put in some serious work in the games industry. He’s touched everything from Mass Effect to Call of Duty to StarCraft to Kane & Lynch to… you get the idea. He’s also voiced many characters in animated shows such as The Avengers, Batman: Brave and the Bold, and TMNT. Throw in his live-action films appearances (The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces, etc) and you have one seasoned actor at the helm of Overstrike 9.

jennifer-hale-06

Jennifer Hale as Naya Deveraux: This is another “Brian Bloom” situation. Jennifer’s game industry resume is quite possibly the largest of any actress out there. Seriously. My finger got tired from scrolling through her IMDB credits. A few highlights: Naomi in Metal Gear Solid, Samus in Metroid Prime, and, of course, FemShep in Mass Effect. And on top of all that she has been in over 50 animated series such as X-Men, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Well, now she’s in Fuse. With a British accent.

khary

Khary Payton as Jacob Kimble: Chances are you’ve heard Khary recently. He’s been Drebin in MGS4, Emmit in Starhawk, Azrael in Batman: Arkham City, among many others. Heck, if you played our very own Resistance 2 – you heard him as Warner. Even when you aren’t playing videogames (gasp) you’ve probably heard him on T.V. Aqualad on Young Justice? Yup! Cyborg on Teen Titans? Double YUP! He certainly has the repertoire to bring Overstrike 9’s efficiency-loving sniper to life.

Ali_HillisCrop

Ali Hillis as Izzy Sinclair: Another Mass Effect alumnus has joined the Fuse ranks! Only this time, she’s 100% less blue. Ali has been, of course, Liara in Mass Effect, Sofia in Gears of War: Judgment, and Lightning in a little indie game called Final Fantasy XIII.  In animation, she’s played Emma Frost in X-Men and Karin in Naruto. To add to an already impressive resume, she has also had parts in live-action movies such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Must Love Dogs. What’s the trick to voicing the world’s most apathetic support agent? Grab the game and see!

But everyone can’t be a good guy, right? That would make it difficult to have a narrative arch. So, the antagonist crew in Fuse required acting-chops just as good as the protagonists’. To achieve this, we rounded-up Steve Blum (Cowboy Bebop, X-Men, Legend of Korra, and everything else ever) as Sovlenko, Gwendoline Yeo (Final Fantasy X-2, Wolverine and the X-Men, The Clone Wars) as Meilin, JB Blanc (Count of Monte Cristo, Darksiders, Naruto) as Luther, and Dave B. Mitchell (Fallout: New Vegas, Brutal Legend, Kingdoms of Amalur) as Fable.  So, rest assured that knowing that the other side of the morality scale is equally represented by a talented cast.

The result of combining this veteran cast is a game where character chemistry is at the fore-front. Every witty one-liner, jab, and dramatic moment lands thanks to their performances. The benefit for the player is that the world of Fuse is given life – whether from a cutscene or banter in the middle of a firefight. No live-action or boldness necessary.

To see these fine actors in action, pick up Fuse starting on May 28th.

Description:

Experience the devastating power of co-op teamwork as you and up to three friends join forces in the Fuse demo from Insomniac Games. Overstrike 9 has tracked the stolen Fuse source to a remote Raven base in Pakistan’s treacherous Karakoram Mountains. The team must stop rogue paramilitary corporation Raven from carrying out its horrific plan to form a new world order. Taking place midway through the game, the demo gives players a chance to play with and level-up all four Overstrike operatives along with their Xenotech weapons. The demo supports 1-4 players with online and split-screen drop-in-and-drop-out-co-op.

Controller Maps:

Fuse_PS3_ControllerMap Fuse_Xbox360_ControllerMap
PlayStation 3 Xbox 360

 

Play the Fuse demo online alone or with up to three friends. The Fuse Demo supports 1-to-4 player online co-op, you also can play alone or two-player split screen locally. If you have less than four human players, you can use LEAP to jump between the four available characters. To LEAP, press and hold Select/Back to bring up the character menu. Press the face-button to leap to the corresponding agent. You can LEAP to any agent who is not currently controlled by a human or performing an action. You also cannot LEAP to/from a downed or incapacitated agent.

Download Now:

PlayStation 3: Available Now
Xbox 360: Available Now (Gold Members)




We are less than four weeks out of Fuse, our new four-player co-op shooter, hitting shelves.  For those of you that live in the past – that’s two fortnights! It’s about time we start giving you more depth of the threats you will face through your globe scaling adventure.

To do that – trailer time! So, sit back, relax, press play, and become intimidated by Fable and company.

Good news, everyone! Fuse has gone Gold! For those of you wondering where Au fits into our game, let me halt your thoughts right now. Going Gold on a game means that it is fully complete and off the factory to be printed and delivered to your local store of choice – primed and ready to you to pick up on May 28th (NA) and May 31st (EU).

To mark this occasion, we have created an exclusive Unboxing video. I don’t want to say that it’s a momentous moment, but it’s a momentous moment.  Check it.

Make sure to pre-order today to experience your own Unboxing.

comicimageIZZY

You’ve seen the co-op crystallizing, liquid mercury dissolving, and electromagnetic pulsing. That stuff’s flashy and a ton of fun, but now let’s look at the people behind those triggers.

To help give you a look into how the four Overstrike 9 agents came be in such an  – uh – interesting profession, we have teamed up with the fine folks at Radical Entertainment to create a digital comic that sheds light on the agents’ past. Why is Dalton attacking his former employer? Why is Jacob not welcome near Korea Town anymore? Can Izzy drop some dope beats in da club?  Find out all this and more in the video below.

For more information, check out MTV Multiplayer for some exclusive information.

FuseBTSbanner2

Skill Trees! You know what they are. A progressive set of enhancements roughly resembling a tree.  A very, very unrealistic tree. Well, Fuse has one of those for each of its 4 unique characters, as well as a separate set of team perks. However, the road to get the progression in Fuse to feel natural and impactful took quite a few turns throughout development.

First, let’s go over the basics. In Fuse, you use your XP to level-up. When you level up – you can unlock a skill for that character. The skills can be anywhere from “More sidearm damage” to “Unlock Fusion mode.”  By the time you unlock and upgrade each skill – you’ll be all the way at level 35. It’s not possible to max out a single character’s tree in one campaign playthrough, but you carry over you unlocks to further playthroughs and Echelon. Yay, replay value!

Skill_tree

Moreover, there is a separate set of upgradable unlocks called Team Perks. These affect the entire team and range from a good ole’ XP boost to reduced bleed-out time.  To unlock them, you need to spend Fuse Credits, which are bars of gold littered throughout the campaign. However, the primary way to acquire them is by Playing Echelon mode, where they will literally fall from the sky. Be warned, though – Team Perks do not stack, so making sure your team composition is in place is imperative to success on harder difficulties.

Team_perk

Ok, cool. We’ve got all those boring facts out of the way. Now let’s talk about how we messed up!

When we first introduced the idea of Fuse credits, we revamped the Skill Tree and Team Perks to include both Credit unlocks and XP unlocks. The result? Confusion. Players had a hard time understanding what unlocked what. So, the decision was made to separate the two unlock systems in a unified structure. Boom. No more confusion.

Another issue we ran into was an overabundance of skills and perks that only provided marginal increases to stats.  The result as Lead Designer Joel Goodsell recalls was that were perceived as “low value from players and avoided.”  Well, that’s not good. It’s our goal to make sure each time you upgrade you actually feel upgraded.  So, three fixes were made: 1) We cut the weakest perks, 2) Consolidated several to make them more functional, 3) Pump up the numerical upgrades and rebalance the rest of the game to fit.

Other changes such as opting against focusing certain characters on specific non-xenotech weapons and streamlining the Tree so that major upgrades (Fuse Grenades and Fusion Mode) took priority round out the major overhaul our Progression system went though.  The overall theme? Streamline and Enhance. Make Skills and Perks easier to understand, while also beefing them up so each one has noticeable impact.  At the end of the day – that means a more satisfied player.  And we like that.  Shocking, I know.

It took us a little while to get there, but we believe we’ve hit it. Don’t take out word for it, though – See for yourself when Fuse drops on May 28th.

Coolcoolcool.

triton_heavy-forachie

Hey, you. Is the joy of playing games not satisfying enough? Do you yearn something a little…more? Well, have I got just the thing for you! Achievements (or Trophies based on your current alignment).  Our upcoming co-op shooter Fuse has 40 of em’ and we have the details.

—-

Bronze

  • Buddy System – Complete a single mission in co-op (2,3, or 4p) – 20G
  • Perk-olated – Purchase a single Team Perk – 20G
  • That’s a Lot of Dead Guys – Kill 2,500 enemies in Campaign and Echelon – 10G
  • Killer Perk – Fully upgrade 1 perk in the Team Perks menu – 10G
  • Unstoppable – Complete 6 waves on a single map with 2+ players – 10G
  • Ain’t Got Time to Bleed – Complete 12 waves on a single map with 2+ players – 10G
  • Let’s Go Shopping – Spend 100,000 Fuse Credits – 20G
  • Echelon Specialist – Get 5 Stars on a single Echelon Map with 2+ players – 20G
  • I’m Your Huckleberry – Kill 3 Leadfires, Leadfoots, or Leadshots using only your sidearm – 20G
  • We’re Gonna Need a Mop – Eviscerate 3 enemies at once using the MagShield -20G
  • Chain Gang (of Dead Guys) – Create a chain reaction that takes out 3 enemies at once – 20G
  • Shots Fired! – Pin 3 enemies within a 10 second period – 20G
  • The Geologist – Crystallize and kill 3 enemies at once – 20G
  • Shh… Go to Sleep – Perform a stealth takedown on 2 enemies at once in a co-op game – 20G

 

Silver

  • Overstrike – Complete all missions on normal difficulty – 50G
  • The Merc – Get Dalton to max level – 25G
  • The Assassin – Get Naya to max level – 25G
  • The Detective – Get Jacob to max level – 25G
  • The Hacker – Get Izzy to max level – 25G
  • Group Hug – Complete all missions in co-op (2,3, or 4p) – 75G
  • All Grown Up – Unlock 16 perks – 25G
  • Dalton 2.0 – Upgrade Dalton’s entire skill tree – 25G
  • Naya 2.0 – Upgrade Naya’s entire skill tree – 25G
  • Izzy 2.0 – Upgrade Izzy’s entire skill tree – 25G
  • Jacob 2.0 – Upgrade Jacob’s entire skill tree – 25G
  • Echelon Agent – Get 5 Stars on all Echelon maps with 2+ players – 75G
  • Ninja Style – Stealth takedown 4 enemies at once in a 4 player co-op game – 30G
  • The Inspector – Collect every piece of Intel in the game – 30G

 

Gold

  • Overstrike Elite – Complete all missions on Lethal – 75G
  • Valued Customer – Full upgrade 16 perks in the Team Perks menu – 50G

 

—-

Be warned that there are spoilers in this next list. If you want to stay immaculate from a barrage of story plot-points – avert your eyes. Go look at something else. Like a tree. Or the sun (but not directly).

Silver

  • Missing Persons – Complete Hyperion Base – 20G
  • Cold Turkey – Defeat Ivan Solvenko – 20G
  • Damaged Goods – Defeat Melin Mao – 20G
  • Extraction Specialist – Complete Raven Facility – 20G
  • Daddy Issues – Save Luther from the Order of Grigori – 20G
  • What a Waste of a Space Station – Complete Grigori Station – 20G

And there are 4 Secret achievements that we aren’t going to tell you about because that would make it the opposite of a secret.

—-

 

SPOILERS OVER

Well, there you have it. 40 extra-curricular achievements for you to garner outside of your pure gameplay satisfaction. Yes, and for you PS3 users – there is a Platinum Trophy to be had, as well. We’ve made sure to provide fans with an Achievement set that takes dedication and skill to complete. No quick 1,000G’s in a few hours here.

So, buckle-up and get ready to watch those screen notifications pop-up when Fuse releases on May 28th.

FuseFAQ image

 

Hey! During our recent livestream (Thanks for watching! Or not.), fans had some common questions about Fuse – and we have some answers. If we didn’t – well – that would be awkward.  Let’s get to it.

 

1. What is Fuse?

– Our new 4-player co-op shooter coming to the PS3 and 360 on May 28th!

2. What makes it special?

– Each of the four characters has their own unique xenotech weapons that were specifically designed to utilize and enhance cooperative play. This game was built from the ground up for co-op – not just to include co-op like most games.

3. So, I can play the entire game co-op with up to 3 of my friends?

– Yar.  Or solo, or with one friend, or with two friends, etc.

4. Will it have drop-in/drop-out co-op?

– That it will. As long as you allow friends to join when you start your game – an online friend can easily jump into your game and immediately take over control of an AI bot in your game. No reloading or any mess like that.

5. I don’t trust the Internet, so I only have real friends. Is split screen available?

– Yes. You can play split-screen with one other person.

6. Can I play split-screen and have the other 2 characters be controlled by online friends.

– Yup.

7. I can still play the whole game solo, though?

– Naturally. Since the beginning of development we focused on making the AI bots helpful, but not kill stealing jerks. Plus, you can switch between any character at anytime with a push of a button (we call it the LEAP feature). So, yes – you still get a great experience solo.

8. Cool.  Online pass?

– Nope. But, you should still buy it new to support us because there are no microtransactions to make up for it, though.  😀

9. Any other modes besides the story campaign?

– Yes, in addition to the full story based campaign, it has Echelon mode, which is an offensive wave-based co-petitive mode across 6 different maps. Also, bags of money fall from the sky. Just like real life.

10. Is it hard?

– It can get very hard – in a good way. You will need to perfect your co-op play in order to beat it. A true, fun challenge.

11. I saw the original Overstrike trailer. Why did you change the art style?

– The tone of the game shifted, so we shifted the art in order to match it. We wanted to go visceral with the weapons.  The result is a better game. This type of thing always happens when evolving a new IP.

12. But, does it still have humor?

– Of course! It’s not as slap-sticky as before, in favor of dryer, more sophisticated humor, but the Insomniac vibe is still present.

13. And color?

– Technically, it’s impossible for something to not have color, but we get what you mean. Yes, it has color. In fact, we spent a lot of time in the final months putting a brighter palette on the game. See for yourself in our newer screens.

14. Will there be a demo?

– *nods* There will be a public demo on both the 360 and PS3 closer to release.

15. Sweet! Where can I pre-order?

– Right here, my good sir/madam

16. And why are the characters heads cut off on the boxart?

– Because they weren’t wearing make-up that day. Also, the game’s core focus is on the Fuse-powered weapons and the way you can combo them with each other. So, we wanted to make them front and center.

17. Okay, one more question – Why don’t you guys make a new Spyro?

– Because he has no hands.

 

That satisfy some of your questions? If not, drop them below and we will do our best to answer them!

Thanks as always for your support, guys!