Some internet reaction has labeled the new style powering Fuse as just another 'standard military shooter,' but Insomniac says it's not totally shunning the game's fantastical elements.
"We have our underwater bases. We've got missiles and volcanoes. We have a lot of exotic situations but at the same time we want people to take the universe seriously," Insomniac Creative Director Brian Allgeier told Joystiq at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
But over-the-top elements still exist in the more mature-looking multiplatform game, as evidenced by the game's weapons and abilities.
Character Dalton Brooks has the ability to project a shield from his weapon and walk around with it. You can use it to protect your team, while your squad fires from behind. As an upgrade, you can drop the shield so that your team has stationary cover, while you switch to another weapon. Naya Devereux has a warp rifle, which fires a wormhole at enemies and sucks them inside. As an upgrade, Naya can turn invisible, allowing her to pass through sensors that teammates are forced to avoid. Izzy Sinclair is the unit's healer. She can use her Shatter Gun to crystallize enemies and raise them out of cover to shoot. Jacob Kimbell is the unit's distance damage dealer. His weapon, the Arc Shot, fires bolts that pin enemies to walls.
Despite the outlandish weapons and skills, Allgeier says that the team wanted to take a more grounded approach, where the locations and situations were believable. T.J. Fixman, who worked on the Ratchet and Clank games as well as Resistance 2, wrote the story. Insomniac brought in SWAT team members for dialogue advice and weapons handling direction for their mo-cap sessions.
To aid in grounding the game, Insomniac looked to recognizable action heroes when defining the personalities featured in the Fuse foursome. "Some of the movie icons we looked towards were Riggs (Mel Gibson) from Lethal Weapon," says Allgeier. "For Dalton, some of his mannerisms and some of his humor come from that. John McClane (Bruce Willis) from Die Hard as well."
Fuse launches in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from publisher EA.