Common Sense Media says

Social co-op shooter has bloody, gory violence.






What parents need to know

Positive messages

Themes of friendship, loyalty, and courage run throughout the story, but the game's primary purpose is to entertain via frenetic gunfights and bloody, gory spectacle.

Positive role models

The players' squad are clearly heroes and exhibit camaraderie in several scenes as they risk themselves to help each other and work together as a team to overcome obstacles. However, their only means of solving problems is through copious amounts of bloodshed.  

Ease of play

Straightforward shooting action should be easy for most players to pick up and isn't particularly hard when playing alone. However, the difficulty when playing in teams depends directly on the skill and cooperation of your fellow players. If players don't work together, the game becomes much more challenging.


Players shoot human and non-human enemies with a wide range of guns including rifles, pistols, flame throwers, and alien weapons. Spurts of blood erupt from enemies when they get hit. The greater the damage, the more intense the effect. More powerful weapons will cause enemy bodies to explode in a shower of crimson that leaves wide stains on the ground. Red spatters appear around the edges of the screen whenever the player's character is hurt.

Not applicable

Infrequent but strong profanity includes the words "f--k" and "s--t."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the game's female characters is shown lighting and puffing on a cigarette during a lengthy cinematic.

Privacy & safety

Major privacy and safety concerns. This game facilitates open voice communication with strangers. Players may be exposed to inappropriate language and subjects of conversation. They will also have opportunity to share identifying information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fuse is a third-person shooter designed for co-operative play among up to four gamers. Frequent gun violence, a high level of blood and gore, and occasional strong language helped earn this game a "Mature" rating from the ESRB. It also includes open, unmoderated online communication with strangers. However, its team-based design can make it a satisfying social gaming experience for older teens. They'll be forced to communicate with one another throughout the game as they work out strategies and solutions as a team.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy


  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

While elements of Fuse focus on strategy and teamwork, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy


  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

While elements of Fuse focus on strategy and teamwork, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

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What's it about?

Designed to be experienced in groups either locally or online, FUSE is a third-person shooter in which four separate characters are meant to play specific roles as part of a team in frenetic firefights. The quartet -- a group of private military contractors hired by the CIA to retrieve alien technology stolen by a rival outfit -- each have their own special talents and weapons. One can create a one-way shield that stops enemy bullets while letting friendly fire through, another has a bow that pretty much vaporizes anything it hits, and yet another has a gun that creates tears in the fabric of space-time to suck foes into the void. You can gradually evolve your characters' abilities via skill trees and learn how to combine their attacks, eventually developing an all-but-unstoppable offensive force. Gamers without any friends available can play alone, leaping between characters at will. A second mode called Echelon takes place outside of the story and simply lets players face wave after wave of enemies, earning credits all the while.

Is it any good?


Fuse doesn't have a particularly memorable visual style and its characters are little more than military stereotypes. It's not for people who play games for their stories or who want to be swept up and lost in a marvelous virtual world. That said, if you're looking for a polished action game with solid covering and shooting mechanics, a healthy array of original and imaginative weapons, and cleverly designed cooperative play, then you could do a lot worse.

The controls feel great and multiplayer strategies are often innovative and original. And while the action is clearly best experienced as a team with two or three friends, the ability to leap between characters while playing alone means even solo gamers can have fun creating and tinkering with tactics. Fuse may not be a must-play, but it is worth considering if you're an older gamer looking for slick action and fun times with friends.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. How do you talk to your kids about what they see in the video games they play? How do you make sure that they're ready for the violence they see?

  • Families can also discuss playing games together. Do you enjoy playing games with friends and family, or do you prefer play games alone? What sorts of games are better suited to be played in groups? 

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:May 28, 2013
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Fuse was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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