The titular Fuse chemical has been embedded into conventional armaments carried by each member of your squad. One creates a shield that catches bullets, one can create implosions with sustained fire, one traps enemies in a black goo, the final is just a crossbow that is a bit good. In single player you can switch between each character at will, in co-op you’re assigned someone and can only reassign if the character is currently free.
In theory these unique weapons provide an approach to combat that’s not seen elsewhere, but they don’t do enough to make the gunfights interesting for the entire run-time. When you run out of ammunition you’ll also use a variety of traditional weaponry found in any other game which mostly undermines the purpose of interesting weapons existing at all. The mistake here was not making everything at your disposal as interesting to use as the main weapons, not being more over-the-top.
The game, at that point, might as well have any name on the box. This lack of content that sets it apart means that it’s impossible to recommend, but that doesn’t mean that it’s entirely without merit. The design isn’t quite as cute and unique as the initial pitch, shifting away from a cartoonish style to one a little more realistic, but it’s a clearly polished look that contains a decent change in detail for each of the 6 chapter’s structures. The shooting mechanics are dull, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t work. They’re entirely functional. Fuse suffers from a lack of imagination, not a limit in implementing what the developer has settled on providing.
Outside of the story thread there’s a mode that allows for continued contextless shooting, which is playing to the game’s strengths in the same way that crawling is technically a viable means of transportation. Fuse thinks that the combat is enough to sustain it, but it just doesn’t provide any kind of excitement.
Fuse isn’t worse for the knowledge of what could have been, it’s just utterly dull despite. The backstory in development is a disappointing addition and the game’s biggest footnote. If you’ve gone anywhere near a cover-based shooter you’ve already played everything that Fuse can offer you. It’s a highly polished waste of time with little charm or necessity.