After over a year of radio silence about their new IP, OverStrike, revealed at E3 2011 and teasing just a single new screenshot of this years Penny Arcade Expo, the floodgates have finally opened and the information has come pouring out.  Personally, I’ve been dying for new information as the debut trailer really struck a chord with me.  I’m glad the curtain was finally pulled back finally as it’s been a long wait.  The first thing that should catch your attention is OverStrike is no more, meet Fuse.

As originally expected, Fuse is a (optional) 4 player cooperative and cover based shooter, where you play a mercenary group named Overstrike 9 set out to stop a rogue private military company who has stolen secret alien technology known as ‘Fuse’.  This tech is the basis for all of those crazy weapons you remember from the trailer such as the Mag-Shield, and Shattergun.  One could expect some very unique and creative weapons that Insomniac is known for from it’s Ratchet & Clank series.

OverStrike 9 is made up of 4 people all with very different traits and skills.  The team hasn’t changed from the original trailer, so Dalton Brooks is the team’s leader and represents the ‘tank’ character.  His special fuse weapon is the mag-shield which lets him block enemy gunfire and also blast back at enemies doing some major damage.

Naya Deveraux can be described as the team’s stealth character.  She’s able to “disincorporate” basically making her invisible. Her special weapon is the Warp Rifle. It coats targets with singularities basically tearing them apart at a molecular level.  If a few of them are close together, the singularities will actually chain together and smash everything doing area of effect damage.

Jacob Kimble fits the sniper role using a crossbow like weapon called the “Arc Shot”.  It fires superheated bolts and each shot can be remotely detonated.  He can also fire them behind targets so if someone his hunkered down behind cover or using a shield, Jacob is your man.

Finally, Isabelle “Izzy” Sinclair is the healer and wield the “Shattergun”.  When fired, it basically crystallizes your target crushing, immobilizing, and piercing them.  It’s also handy for ripping enemies out of cover.  It’s secondary effect is being able to lob crystals which heal and revive teammates.

Each character has their own progression system and complex skill tree.  Gain points for doing stuff in the game from simple kill and assists to more complex team attacks.  Not only that, more normal guns will be available to help round up your arsenal with upgrades improving them further as well.

So what’s new?  Well, OverStrike Fuse has gotten pretty much overhauled from what you remember from that trailer.  If you remember, the game’s visuals were more stylized and exaggerated.  The dialogue was campy but in a fun sort of way that gave the game a humorous tone.  After a lot of internal debate and struggle, ultimately, many of those things you remember were changed.  Why?  Well, when challenges arose earlier this year during development, the team found that something just wasn’t right.  Almost like something was missing. That lighthearted visual tone didn’t quite fit anymore with what the team was trying to pull off.  With a change to a more grounded and mature game, the visuals changed to be more photo realistic and gritty.  The humor however is still there as Ratchet & Clank writer, TJ Fixman, is leading the script for Fuse.

Overall, I’m happy that Insomniac continued to plug away at the game.  From all of the previews and impressions that were released yesterday, it sounds like the game is just as fun as it looked all the way back in 2011.  While we continue to wait for EA’s crack lawyer team to clear up the rights issue so we can see the new trailer, we can at least rest assured that the game is in good hands.  Fuse is due out early next year on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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