Mission objectives also work strangely in co-op. Whereas mission progress is shared between players in pretty much every multiplayer RPG ever, Genesis throws convention to the wind. Whether the mission involves killing X number of enemies or repairing X number of satellites, every pilot has to complete every objective on his own - even if a teammate has already accomplished the same objective. This usually results in partners completing missions at different times. Teaming up to earn faction points can still be faster and easier than going solo since teammates can at least fight enemies together and/or heal and buff each other, but it sort of feels like you’re playing by yourself alongside another person instead of truly cooperating.
Special Missions are the true saving grace of Fusion: Genesis’ co-op. Reaching milestones in certain factions unlocks the Legion Raid and Warzone missions. Legion Raids are Genesis’ version of Horde mode. Up to four players must defend a space station from waves of computer-controlled ships. Since everyone is trying to do the same thing, the sense of cooperation is far more palpable than normal missions.
Warzones pit two factions against each other as each side tries to destroy the enemy’s flagship. Each side has a limited number of lives, so working together to capture strategic points on your way to the main target is a must. Warzones tend to be ghost towns because of only specific factions can join them and each hub area has its own separate Warzone… Nothing that a proper matchmaking and queuing system couldn’t fix. But even just teaming up against the AI is pretty fun.
Finally, completing the last Story mission (which ends with a whimper, BTW) unlocks Ark Raids. The Ark is an awesome WOW-style raid dungeon. It’s packed with high-XP enemies and bosses that drop rare weapons and items. The final boss would be frustrating to take on alone, but with a group of high level players you’ve got a fighting chance. Completing Ark Raids, like the other special missions, earns special points that can be spent on unique high-level items.
The TL;DR multiplayer rundown:
- Matching random players in the same instanced zones is cool, but feels undercooked thanks to the inability to communicate with each other.
- Having to manually switch factions to play with friends is time-consuming and annoying.
- Because teammates can’t do story missions together, co-op has a generally stilted feeling as teams must regularly separate whenever they unlock new faction story missions.
- Group mission objectives are not shared, which is totally bonkers and makes co-op less fun than it should be.
- You’ll definitely want to team up for special missions, which feature greater teamwork and rewards than regular missions.
Despite multiplayer's many fstumbles, Fusion: Genesis is still an amazing game. It packs an incredible amount of content for a team’s first title, let alone a downloadable one that only costs ten bucks. I must have played it for over 30 hours and I still have two factions quest lines left to finish and many levels to go before I hit the cap. The backgrounds and film-like musical score are absolutely beautiful and help draw you into the game’s world. The story seems to have a great lore behind it even if it’s told in a disjointed manner and very little payoff. With a few multiplayer improvements and a steady stream of content, Fusion: Genesis could have unrivaled staying power for an XBLA game. Regardless, Genesis stands as a must-play for fans of science fiction and RPGs alike.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to four friends can join the same faction and take on group missions together. Strangely, each player must complete said mission objectives separately as progress isn’t shared among the group. Three types of special missions offer much more substantial cooperative gameplay and unique rewards.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.