With six years of Resistance development under their belts with Sony, Insomniac are beginning a fresh stage in company history with a new IP - the project known at E3 2011 as Overkill is now called Fuse.
The name isn't all that's changed. The rebranded game has an aesthetic styling more akin to Resistance than previously expected - disappointing those hoping for a completely new approach from Sony's former second-party studio.
CVG spoke to Insomniac president Ted Price and Fuse's creative director Brian Allgeier ahead of the game's Spring 2013 release, discussing what exactly sets Fuse apart from the wealth of gun-centric IPs already on the market.
Traditionally, Insomniac create an IP and stick with it for a very long time. What was it about Fuse's concept that made it the next big Insomniac IP?
BA: We're always excited about advanced weaponry and imaginative weapons, and we tend to play games more socially now. We play with wives and brothers and friends. The idea of combining this co-operative aspect with crazy hi-tech weaponry was very exciting.
TP: I think it has to do with four unique players. Four unique archetypes in a third-person shooter, and those weapons are integrally tied to those characters. They reflect the character personalities and they enhance the character archetypes. That helps create combat scenarios you won't find in other games and the opportunity to work together you won't have in other third-person shooters.
Why did you originally call the project Overstrike?
BA: Well, we had thought about The Expendables and the A-Team and naturally we wanted to name it after the squad. But once we were working on Fuse and realised it was the driving force behind the gameplay, it made sense that Fuse was much bigger than the team.
A lot of the weapons have changed since that initial project. What's been the biggest shift?
BA: The game was originally going to be a four-player stealth game, and Naya was going to be able to cloak herself and cloak other people. But we quickly discovered that there was always going to be a Leeroy Jenkins who runs in the middle of the group, wakes everyone up and ruins it for everyone. So we dialled back the stealth.
We heard one team member describing the ideas of the E3 2011 trailer as restrictive earlier...
TP: On the previous version we were self-restricted from doing a lot of the over-the-top, in-your-face, high-impact weapon deaths that we are used to. Once we made the decision to go darker with our tone we were able to take the handcuffs off and do crazy crap to the enemies.
BA: The moment we started playing around with how severe and unstable we could make this alien tech, the more brutal and violent and surprising the weapons became. But out of that we discovered when you do have an element of humour and a bit of stylisation, it becomes so much more intense and brighter when you're in a grounded universe - unlike a game like Ratchet and Clank where we're stylising every single doorknob, box and character, and the stakes don't seem so high. I think Fuse's humour is going to be more potent now, because the rest of the world has a more serious tone.