Insomniac: Fuse Is "Something Fresh" in a "Sea of Sequels"

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Insomniac: Fuse Is "Something Fresh" in a "Sea of Sequels"

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Insomniac boss, Ted Price, on his insane plan to release a game without a number on the end of its name.

Fuse is an upcoming new IP from Ratchet & Clank developer, Insomniac. It's a - okay. Hold on. I can see I've lost you there. I know it's a difficult concept to grasp. A new IP is ... well, it's kind of like a sequel, only there's nothing for it to be a sequel to, you understand? It's cool if you don't, it's an old concept you don't see too much these days.

A lot of developers and publishers argue that the beginning of a console cycle is the best time to launch new IPs. As a result, they use the twilight years of a cycle to either bring franchises to a close or prepare them for a next-gen debut. The only problem is this generation has lasted much longer than those before it, and new IPs are starting to look uncomfortably thin on the ground. Insomniac's Ted Price is hoping that'll mean less competition for the upcoming co-op shooter, Fuse.

"There's no question that it's a challenge. There are plenty of news items to take gamers' focus off of this generation. For us, the opportunity was to be a new IP in a sea of sequels, offer something very fresh for players to check out when they've been playing, essentially, the same games for the last five or six years," he told Gamesindustry International. "What we wanted to do with co-op in particular was raise the bar and offer features that no other co-op games are offering at this point. Fuse was a great opportunity for us to do that."

While every AAA dev and their mom is quick to label new IPs "a risk," the past few months have seen a clutch of relatively successful new IPs, and there's an impressive degree of buzz surrounding upcoming titles like The Last of Us, Remember Me and, despite David Cage's best efforts, Beyond: Two Souls.

Of course, it's not just about being a new IP; New games have to distinguish themselves from the old to secure an audience desperate for new experiences, and that's where Fuse has ran into trouble. Originally titled Overstrike, the game that would become Fuse was rebranded in August of last year. The game's slightly-cartoonish art style was tossed out with the title, in favor of a "more realistic" art direction; A choice that was met with derision from fans hoping to see something closer to Ratchet & Clank than Resistance. Still, Price doesn't seem worried.

"Everybody's approach and response at the very beginning of each of [our] franchises was to ask the same question: 'Is this IP going to do well? What's it all about? Boy, this is a risk to take,'" he said." And, in every case, we stayed focused and did the best we possibly could to build the right story, build gameplay that does something better than other games and that helps the franchise stand out in some way, and then we've continued to take each of those franchises in different directions because, for us, that's what we enjoy doing. So its really nice to look back at Resistance and Ratchet and say, 'Those franchises did well.' But, when we released the first games in each of those franchises - and I'll throw in Spyro as well - we had no idea what was going to happen. We really didn't. And that's both the exciting and scary part of being a new IP creator,"

Fuse is set for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this May.

Source: Gamesindustry International

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Wait...new IP? What series is that? Can I get the first IP on steam for cheap to try it out before the sequel comes out?

Let's hope that this is good. I will admit, I love Insomniac a lot, but the last two Ratchet and Clank games weren't their best works for sure.

So in order to make a new IP, they started with another IP, largely scrapped it, and rebranded it.

Who says we're lacking creativity?

Maybe if it still looked like this

I'd be more interested. As it stands, this just looks like yet another realistic/serious shooter and I just can't find any reason to be interested in it. Yeah it's a new IP, but it just doesn't look all that original.

I would be all over applauding this if they hadn't taken something that was genuinely, interestingly different and replaced it with gray-brown quasi-realistic military shooter #1149672

Seriously, go back to Overstrike, then we'll talk.

If it was still called Overstrike and looked like James Bond meets TF2 art style, I'd be inclined to agree.

Agayek:
I would be all over applauding this if they hadn't taken something that was genuinely, interestingly different and replaced it with gray-brown quasi-realistic military shooter #1149672

Seriously, go back to Overstrike, then we'll talk.

They needed to remove the charm and the distinctive character design to make room for all the sun glare and multiplayer.

Thank God they changed the fucking stupid TF2 art style.

DVS BSTrD:

Agayek:
I would be all over applauding this if they hadn't taken something that was genuinely, interestingly different and replaced it with gray-brown quasi-realistic military shooter #1149672

Seriously, go back to Overstrike, then we'll talk.

They needed to remove the charm and the distinctive character design to make room for all the sun glare and multiplayer.

I'm surprised they didn't have the space left over from the extremely controversial decision of not having gun manufacturers insert their weapons into the game as free advertising (and to add gun variety).

I guess its on a tight budget then, at least that means it'll only have to sell 4 million for EA to ever associate with Insomniac again.

Agayek:
I would be all over applauding this if they hadn't taken something that was genuinely, interestingly different and replaced it with gray-brown quasi-realistic military shooter #1149672

Seriously, go back to Overstrike, then we'll talk.

What this guy said.

So Insomniac replaced the original game that actually looked like a risk taking IP, than changed it to a gray/brown shooter that is flooding the market of today. Did these guys forget about what they did or are they in denial?

Overstrike WAS something fresh and new in a sea of sequels, then EA marketing department had a "word" with them. Now it's a pseudo Resistance Sequel.

I'd be angry, but this seems to be EAs standard mode of operation: Take a perfectly good idea, gut the heck out of it, and then proceed to try and sell it as either a rushed piece of work or a over generalized piece of wall plaster. That's assuming the game actually functions right to begin with. How can there be people that still buy from this company?

psicat:
Thank God they changed the fucking stupid TF2 art style.

Not a fan? Fair enough, but they also changed the tone to be more "serious" and made it more dry "wit" as we see in more "Modern Military Shooters (MMS for short). All that really sets it apart at this point is the distinct weapons and drop-in drop-out multiplayer, which is hardly an innovation anymore (or maybe it is on consoles, I don't know, but I've certainly seen the feature on PC games).

So yeah, overall, its more or less gone from The Incredibles + actually intentionally killing people + every first time d&d group ever, to Gears of War, but with drop in co-op and class-specific weapons.

Which, hilariously enough, is at least partially a thing in the new Gears of War.

DVS BSTrD:

Agayek:
I would be all over applauding this if they hadn't taken something that was genuinely, interestingly different and replaced it with gray-brown quasi-realistic military shooter #1149672

Seriously, go back to Overstrike, then we'll talk.

They needed to remove the charm and the distinctive character design to make room for all the sun glare and multiplayer.

See, THIS is what I don't like about them now. I distinctly liked the old No One Lives Forever vibe from the old look, but I can handle the more realistic look if the guns are fun, and the characters are still a bit out there. But their absolute crush on multiplayer and co-op have almost ruined one IP (R&C All4One and Full Frontal) and could kill another before it even begins.

They should give R&C to another dev willing to keep making the games like they were originally designed. They're clearly done with it, and are just milking the IP to see if they can change the rules of possibly the penultimate platformer series (Mario being ultimate). As for Fuse, they seem to think they have something to make this stand out a lot despite the changes, and I'm willing to stay cautiously optimistic. But they better start showing their audience something that wows us, and SOON. So far Last of Us and Remember Me have them seriously beaten in terms of style.

Chalk up another would have bought Overstrike, don't care for Fuse response here. I like NOLF, Overstrike had a definite NOLF flavour to it. I have read not good reports from previews to compound the problem.

Well, the EA curse strikes again.

'Fuse' may be a new IP, but it brings very little to the table in terms of any actual difference compared to every other shooter in the whole saturated market.

Ironically this is something 'Overstrike' had little issue with.

Put me down for the ones who want Overstrike back. That looked fun and fresh. Fuse looks like another gritty realistic shooter. Why can't we have a Ratchet and Clank meets Restitance. You know a fun look that is over top with many different weapons that has a slice of realism in it.

I honestly don't care about the aesthetic, it's Insomniac.
It's going to be fun. : D

DVS BSTrD:
They needed to remove the charm and the distinctive character design to make room for all the sun glare and multiplayer.

And here I thought they had made a blood sacrifice of the game's charm to the spirits of vengeance in order to make a proper Ratchett and Clank again.

And by 'Something Fresh' they of course mean a bland and generic dude-bro Co-Op/Multiplayer shooter that, at best, looks like the bastard unholy offspring of the Splinter Cell reboot and Resistance. Right. Well, hope EA wrote Ted Price a fat check sufficient enough for him to sell out his original vision for this "Fresh Idea."

Grey Carter:
Insomniac: Fuse Is "Something Fresh"

*Looks at image*

...Yeah that's definitely something "fresh" there, Insomniac. Tell me, have they tried making a game that didn't involve guns? I bet if you made a game that didn't use violence as a mechanic, it would be... I dunno.. actually fresh?

Nice try Insomniac, nice try, you're really singing the same song as everyone else but at a different pitch.

piinyouri:
I honestly don't care about the aesthetic, it's Insomniac.
It's going to be fun. : D

We can only hope so. But of course, many modern military shooters are, at least in part, well built games. The problem is the consistent tone and general plot and even character personalities which are shared between fucking ALL OF THEM. Which is what Insomniac made this, at least that's what I could gather based on the gameinformer article and interviews/previews I've read.

I'm quite frankly done with blaming EA over this ever since Ted Price "explained" the change in tone with "We love crazy weapons at Insomniac, and with this new direction we can just take the handcuffs off and go for it and do crazy crap to enemies, and it feels really good when you're playing this"

I'd expect the CEO of Insomniac to know better than to say stuff like this.

Something totally fresh - from the heat lamps. It's only been on the warming plate for a day or two guys! It's not like these are baked goods!

Wow. I'd never watched the Overstrike trailer before. That looks like a game I'd actually play. Fuse? No, not gonna happen. Sorry, guys. I dunno what happened to you, but I miss the days of blowing everything up with my gatling rocket launcher that explodes into a supernova and kills my zombie robot enemies.

Irridium:
Maybe if it still looked like this

I'd be more interested. As it stands, this just looks like yet another realistic/serious shooter and I just can't find any reason to be interested in it. Yeah it's a new IP, but it just doesn't look all that original.

Why would change that? That is a magnificent looking game; why change?

Gordon_4:

Irridium:
Maybe if it still looked like this

I'd be more interested. As it stands, this just looks like yet another realistic/serious shooter and I just can't find any reason to be interested in it. Yeah it's a new IP, but it just doesn't look all that original.

Why would change that? That is a magnificent looking game; why change?

Three words. Published by EA.

Oh wow.. people shooting guns.. what a fresh and interesting concept, it's never been explored before..
Hahahahahahahahahahaha! xD
Seriously though, this situation reminds me of all the hype around Brink, remember that one? Yeah, me either.

Grey Carter:
Fuse is an upcoming new IP from Ratchet & Clank developer, Insomniac. It's a - okay. Hold on. I can see I've lost you there.

You didn't lose me here...

...the upcoming co-op shooter, Fuse.

This is where you lost me.

I think it's bad sign when the most noteworthy thing about an upcoming game is the fact that it's a new IP. And I have to agree with the sentiment here that it basically looks like the epitome of the generic action shooter.

Ahahahhaahahaha.... What about No Mr.Price?

As many has already stated I was more interested when it was Overstrike then generic shooter Nr(Insert Nr here).

Something fresh in a sea of sequels...*Pfft* Ahahahaha, Thanks you Mr.Price for making my morning.

digital warrior:
Three words. Published by EA.

I don't know what you mean, everyone working under EA says they have complete creative control so it must be true...

Well what can you really say about this #5932 generic copy paste shooter, I guess this outing makes a good lesson why people are so distrustful of companies, because the fuckers will show a stick figure drawing and call it Picasso at every motherfucking opportunity they get.

Gordon_4:

Irridium:
Maybe if it still looked like this

I'd be more interested. As it stands, this just looks like yet another realistic/serious shooter and I just can't find any reason to be interested in it. Yeah it's a new IP, but it just doesn't look all that original.

Why would change that? That is a magnificent looking game; why change?

Well, the developer said this, and I swear it made me lose a little hope in the video game world:

Fuse, even before we knew it as Overstrike, began life as something different altogether: a four-player stealth game.

"That didn't work," says Price of the game's original intent. "We were struggling to find the fun there. [Brian Allgeier] was the one who came to me and said, 'I don't think this is working at all. We need to take this in a more action-oriented direction.' It made a lot of sense, because that's what we do best."

"There's always going to be a Leeroy Jenkins that runs in and screws things up," Allgeier says of the original co-op stealth design. "We realized we really needed to make this about these dual functional weapons - they were called gadgets at the time - but we finally locked down on what seemed to be an offensive, four-player game that's class-based. That was a big step for us about six months into the project."

That's when Insomniac began prototyping Fuse's signature weapons, some of which made their way into the E3 trailer, some of which have since evolved. Price says that, constrained by Overstrike's stylized art direction, the developer was having trouble giving the game's weapons "the impact that we believed they needed to make combat feel satisfying."

"When we went in a darker direction, a less comic direction, we were able to do a lot more over-the-top experimentation with the weapons," he says. "We were able to make them look more brutal and do things to enemies that we simply couldn't do with our previous incarnation of the game. It wasn't until we started trying these things that we realized that's where the core fun, in terms of the minute-to-minute combat, lay."

Source

Yeah. So the guns didn't make him feel manly enough, so they gutted the interesting looking characters to make them suitable walking Gun Holders.

also, i guess they thought people who were bad at stealth games would buy a co-op stealth game, because those people historically enjoy games they don't enjoy playing

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