FUSION from Electronic Arts is the first British title to be released on that label. If you played the game for five minutes you'd ask yourself why EA bothered to sign it up.
On first impressions it looks like the good old standard game of wide-
You'll quite quickly find a mother ship in which you can fly around the landscape and start blowing away the various aliens, missiles, cannon turrets flying and driving pods. If you don't know what you are doing, you'll quickly be bored, and probably dead.
This is where Fusion's biggest problem lies. Hidden on the landscape are switches, in one or two colours and many shapes.
By using the small crawler vehicle you can flick the switch, and somewhere else on the landscape, an obstacle will vanish or a gate to another screen will open. But if you flick a switch of the same colour, the effect of the previous switch is undone. You can't just open all the gates and you have to plan which switches you want to get on to other screens. That's not the end of the problem though.
The mother ship can only land in certain locations, and this leaves the crawler with a dangerous journey to wherever the switch is. This, I've found, means planning the crawler's journey adopting a scorched earth policy en route.
Wreaking such havoc becomes easier once you have picked up the extra weaponry that is available for the mother ship, but the crawler will always be vulnerable, and finishing later screens can mean travelling a route totally surrounded by turrets and missile bases.
Once you've done that you can start using the switches to assemble a bomb, parts of which are scattered through the landscape. The landscape is a mapper's delight and figuring out the switch combinations will keep a lot of people puzzling.
Fusion is a different game, trying to evolve the traditional shoot-'em-up and add a puzzle behind it. Because it looks like a shoot-'em-up it doesn't maintain interest as such. It doesn't have the immediacy of many arcade games, and puzzle-
If you are either of these type of players, Fusion is worth an extended play, if only to scratch at the depth that actually is there.
If I had to quibble with it, I think I'd have to complain about the 30 lines smaller than NTSC display which makes it feel like the game area is more cramped than usual, and the fact that when you save a game, you can only save one game at a time, and when you load up the game it resets all the aliens.
Bullfrog should do something about this, get rid of the cryptic score system, and maybe add an able-to-