Developer Harmonix has actually made its mark on the computer game market with its special combination of music and gameplay. While Guitar Hero may be the studio’s best-known getaway, Fuser is a much more developed symptom of Harmonix’s vision; it’s a video game that utilizes pop music to provide a musical experience that is as pleasurable to form as it is to listen to.

Fuser puts you behind the mixers and turntables, providing you complete command of a brochure of hit tunes covering rap, R&B, dance, rock, and nation music. Using 4 turntables (managed with  your gamepad or mouse), you blend various aspects of these tunes to craft your own productions. I was typically shocked by how well these tunes combined together; I never ever might have thought integrating the beat of Childish Gambino’s “Summertime Magic” with the bassline of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” the synth of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” and the vocals of Smash Mouth’s “All Star” would work so well in performance. Discovering surprises such as this is typically a natural procedure in Freestyle mode, where you have no constraints or concentrate on rating, however Fuser does a great task of mentor you the gameplay through profession mode.

You’re cast as an up-and-coming entertainer, working to acquire the regard of the most popular DJs on the celebration scene. While these characters are typically grating and cartoonish, the profession mode is a very finely veiled (yet reliable) guide set to a rise-from-obscurity story. In this mode, you discover the fundamentals through goals created to please the crowd and increase your rating, consisting of altering the pace or secret, using various impacts to discs, or cuing up numerous discs to leap to concurrently through the incredible riser function. Swapping out discs separately works all right when searching for what deal with a specific noise, however the riser function effortlessly shifts from your present development to a brand new work of art.

The library of tunes offered at launch is outstanding and varied, giving you ample tracks in each genre to choose from. Each song brings something unique, whether it’s the hot Latin beat of Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola” or the heavy guitar riff of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name.” While certain combinations work better together than others, I rarely found any that sounded downright bad; a testament to the impressive technology Harmonix uses to blend sounds and songs together in organic ways. If you happen to find the perfect audio concoction, you can save a snapshot for easy access in the future.

Once you get the feel for marrying disparate songs into cohesive and infectious mixes, you can use other tools to take your creations to the next level. Adding effects like delays, filters, and tape stops add extra flourishes to help make your fusion your own, but nothing allows you to customize quite like performing on the several available instruments. You can’t play whatever note or pattern you’d like, but you can choose from various instruments including distorted vocals, a string section, and trap drums to create your own loops to drop into the soundscape. While I rarely preferred these custom-instrument tracks over the established songs that make up the core tracks, nothing made my songs standout more than adding my own custom piano loop.

Creative expression is obviously crucial to the core gameplay experience, but it carries over into how you present your set. You can customize your character’s appearance, including unlockable clothing and accessories, but I love tinkering with different stage setups and light shows. Going beyond how customized the song mechanics are, choosing the perfect pyrotechnics, fireworks, and laser shows to match the mood I’m setting in my performance is a lot of fun.

 

Music can certainly be enjoyed alone, but the festival scene is a social experience, and Fuser allows you to go online for collaborative multiplayer. When you hop into a lobby, you take turns with up to three other people to perform your perfect production. It’s always fun to see what other people come up with, which is why I love this mode, as well as the social section, which holds themed events featuring songs from different genres and decades. You can submit your own creation to these events or listen to recordings from other players.

Battle mode is a chaotic competitive multiplayer option where you take on other players using ever-evolving songs you come up with on the fly. Unfortunately, even more than a week after launch, battle mode does not work on Xbox. While you can undoubtedly have fun with Fuser’s other avenues of play, the fact that Harmonix released a non-functional mode as part of the package is disappointing. However, this is a comparatively small portion of Fuser as a whole, so those who can’t get into a match aren’t missing much.

By affording you such command of a terrific catalogue of varied hits and certifiable classics, Fuser allows you to aptly fulfill the DJ fantasy much better than ever before, without the need for clunky peripherals you’ll only utilize for one game. Though I poured hours into the experience, I still feel like I have so many corners and interactions to explore within the library of available tracks. Fuser transcends musical genres to deliver a magical and intuitive music creation toolset within the framework of a game.