I started writing this review for FUSER with the question if it is a game or a music tool. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what it is but it is exceptionally awesome and addictively fun. With your Xbox controller in hand, you can easily be the DJ this Christmas, New Year, or upcoming parties in 2021 and beyond, thanks to Fuser. It is easy to mix and create your own dancing atmosphere with the many songs that are available.
We played as a mixing lunatic in Fuser for over 10 hours on Xbox One X
What we liked!
- Campaign (or let us be honest the incredible long tutorial): Six different mentors in the campaign will teach you how to play Fuser. Each mentor has a different festival that looks and feels very similar to Belgium’s Tomorrowland. You know, impressive stages and lots of visitors who come for only one thing: dance! Developer Harmonix did an excellent job of teaching everything the game has to offer, by literally taking your hand and slowly learning how to do some of the advanced possibilities. Simply dropping into Fuser without playing the campaign is not something I recommend as you will be completely lost in all the different sound options. I will tell you one thing, Harmonix created the most perfect tutorial I have ever seen, making sure the player understands everything and wrapping it up in a cheesy but fun story with some colorful characters.
- Great selection of popular songs: I don’t think I ever saw a better song selection in a rhythm game or any game for that matter. Every genre has some all-time favorites, listing all 100 songs isn’t something I am going to do but you’ll find popular Rap/hip hop artists like Post Malone, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar. Or great bands like Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay or The Clash. It has a great selection of classics and recently released favorites like Blinding Lights from The Weeknd or Loco Contigo, I was more surprised to see some very old but great songs! Starting 1967 with Otis Redding. The real strength of this song selection is that mixing them together creates fantastic new sounds, which makes the replay value high for FUSER.
- Available tools to really create whatever you want: Beginners will simply mix some vocals, drums and guitar plays but things get really interesting if you start to master the game. Cueing up other tracks, fading out lyrics or adjusting the tempo. You end up with something like drums from Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff and In Da Club, the typical catchy sound from Mi Gente and the lyrics from Billie Eilish bad guy. Advanced players can build upon that and switch vocals on the fly and perfectly match ‘I am a bad guuuuy’ with Push me from Satisfaction. Continuously switching parts of the songs not only sounds fantastic but you really feel like you are creating something special. Additional layers can be added with playing instruments yourself, examples are acid bass, Marimba, Submerged Synth and many many more. Lastly, you can add more than 30 effects that loop, echo or distort your song.
- Nice touch to remember a song mix: Something I really liked was the option to instantly save a mix, this is called Snapshot. It is a great option to fall back too and add it in future sets. You can also share these snapshots online and others can rate it. Simply press up on the directional pad and your current song set-up is saved for later use.
- Creating your own DJ look wasn’t enough, you can create your own stage kit too! While creating your own character isn’t something new nowadays the real surprise for me came with stage kits. You decide what light show happens, what kind of fireworks are used, what the stage projectors show, or if the stage seems fit for Rammstein with all kinds of fire effects. The coolest option is the crowd effects here you can give the crowd balloons, huge plastic balls that they smash to others, or something you often see at Tomorrowland country flags. These effects can be bought with in-game money value that you get while playing. It is a nice touch for some kind of progression!
- Connecting people online: There is a lot going on with FUSER when it comes to an online community. Every week the game has genre events, here you can share your mix and other players can rate them. Depending on how good your ratings are you get unlockables for being in the top 50% or 25%, while browsing the social menu you can decide to follow players and you’ll get notifications when they uploaded a new mix. Battling is also an option, 1 versus 1 your song knowledge and timing is tested. This is a fierce and often devastating game mode that will hopefully catch on so the game has additional playtime. Battle has its own matchmaking and the higher you rank the more unlockable gear you unlock.
- Cinematic visuals: While playing the camera shifts in cinematic views, showing the crowd, showing people dance, or giving a close-up from your created character. Stages look absolutely fantastic, especially when all the stage kits are active. It’s honestly as magical as stages from Tomorrowland and really helps you to get in the zone. Animations from dancing might seem a bit silly at times but a lot of detail has been spend on giving a genuine festival atmosphere.
- Frustrating to have limited time for requests: While performing someone in the audience can request songs based on genre, year when it was released or specific instrument. Considering that your song crate has three song lists and 24 different songs it can be a bit stressy to find the requested song. when you found it you have to mix it in nicely too so enough time is really an issue here. This isn’t something of an issue with Freestyle-mode but most of the players will feel this frustrated urge when finishing the campaign.
What we disliked
- Well, we have nothing to say here! As a LifeisXbox recommended game we couldn’t find anything negative!