Fusion: Genesis Review

This game has been on my radar for awhile now and I am so close to using the last of my MS points for it every day. I did not write this review.  Why? Because if I were to review this game I am positive it would be VERY close to this one.

The most unfortunate thing about Fusion: Genesis is that it’s called Fusion: Genesis. I’ve had to look up the name every time someone’s asked me “What is that?” when they spotted me playing on Xbox Live. Sad, isn’t it? I keep forgetting its throwaway, generic name and nobody knows what the game actually is.

It’s a shame, because what’s-it-called is an ambitious, exciting, and atypical action/adventure game. IN SPAAAAAACE.

The Revenant faction is a zero-BS bunch of warmongering badasses.

Fusion: Genesis is smart and self-aware from the start, a subtle hint that it isn’t your typical twin-stick shooter. To start, collecting and couriering goods — for science! — was mundane, borderline boring. Naturally, civil war struck, my cranky boss got killed, and I was forced into the hard life of a mercenary. I became Han Solo pew-pew-pewing my way through rescue, collection, and exploration oddjobs.

I’d been psychologically duped. I’d been trained to expect a slow, simple space sim. The scope and ambition in Fusion: Genesis extends far beyond this straightforward setup. The tutorial is a hilarious, deliberately mindless metaphor for the simplicity of video game hand-holding, complete with condescending commentary from an impatient instructor. The funny writing permeates the game’s entirety. The enemy pilot dialogue, which is written and unspoken, was hysterical every time I happened to glance up at it.

Every so often I started seeing human players invading my game. (The innate, always-on online multiplayer explained my inability to pause at any time.) I’d run into others fighting for the opposing side during Warzone objectives, which pit players against each other as they try to take down enemy mother ships while capturing control points. Within the massive hub world, human pilots either ignored me and went about their business or formed a squadron to join my cause.

If you’re only fighting six ships at a time…you’re gonna be fine.

Encountering low-level players made me jealous. They still had so much to learn and discover about this massive world, the missions they’d go on, and the allegiances they’d make. That envy was cyclical. I saw players of a higher level than me and wondered when I’d get a ship as huge and weapons as powerful. I got excited about my past and future just seeing these people play, and it kept me playing (with or without ‘em).

This is a gigantic game with more carrots on sticks than I knew what to do with. There’s an extensive depth to each aspect of Fusion: Genesis. Stocking up on spacecrafts is useful, too, because each is advantageous in specific situations — this is my speed vessel, and it’ll be gone before you notice it’s been there; that is my badass war machine, and it will eviscerate and embarrass you in front of your friends. I struggled to settle on loadouts for each ship, too, because each has so many attachment options with varying benefits. I grew fond of replacing crummy cannon with Sentients, robo-buddies who level up based on mined materials I could either feed ‘em or sell to shops. On the other hand, sometimes a boat loaded with homing missiles and lasers is more effective than a healing assistant. If there’s one thing Fusion: Genesis isn’t lacking, it’s layers upon layers of things to manipulate and balance.

This is a complex game. It took time to learn my way around its interface and unlockable abilities, and after hours absorbed by such intricacies, I still don’t know if I fully understand Fusion: Genesis. The story, with its five ideologically disparate parties fighting to gain space-ground, is a convoluted mess. Why did that matriarchal authority invade a warzone, tell us to cut the crap, and send fighting forces on their cease-firing way? Not sure, but it was a crazy surprise to a losing battle. I don’t understand my political espionage from the cockpit of a starship, but maintaining cover in the thick of enemy territory was tense and dangerous.

These kind of interesting (and often unpredictable) objectives come after the wearying exploration, retrieval, and hunting side-quests. I found myself bouncing from one faction to another when I tired of a given team’s uninspired to-do list. There’s some potent political commentary there, I’m sure — something about allegiance breeding betrayal, maybe, or something to do with mindlessly obeying your overlords. After 10 hours of the same, seemingly endless pattern, though, I wanted to tell ‘em all to go fly a kite while I explored the universe on my own terms.

Closing Comments

Fusion: Genesis is a game that resonates hard with my sci-fi nerd obsessions. It’s the kind of stuff I imagine Han Solo was doing before bumping into Luke at the cantina, with a bit of a Battlestar Galactica pace and a Firefly tone. It’s the kind of game that doesn’t look like much, but is deceptively deep, thoughtful in unexpected ways, and has the right amount of new and different ideas to sustain itself as a strong original IP. Don’t let one of Xbox Live Arcade’s greatest games go unnoticed and forgotten. Play, fall in love with, and obsess over Fusion: Genesis as soon as possible.

[Via ign.com]

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About KiNgDeeM

I'm a gamer, geek, graphic designer, techie, half-decent blogger, master promoter, Huge wrestling fan, and just plain out of my mind.....

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Video Game Geek and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Amazing! This is the kind of game you expect to find on the PC, with it’s persistent universe, immersive game play, deep customization, and virtually infinite replay value.. this one may have to be the next DLC on my list! Now, does the Firefly and Battlestar Galactic a feel extend into hot space girls?? ;o)

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