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."