There’s no shortage of so-called Diablo-clones on the market, regardless of which platform you play on. From genre leaders like Path of Exile to the slightly hit and miss Torchlight series, anyone can find a loot-em-up dungeon crawler to suit their mood. The latest is Superfuse, a superhero-style sci-fi adventure with all the expected trappings of the genre and a few new ideas of its own.
On the filmy surface, Superfuse looks like most other Diablo-alikes. You set out from the hub settlement to explore randomly-generated environments crawling with enemies and random bosses, complete checklist objectives, horde as much loot as you can carry, then return to town to sell, buy, and gear up for the next foray. In between, you earn XP to level up and unlock new skills and abilities. While Superfuse’s differences aren’t exactly deep, if you push below the fairly generic top layer, there is a decent skill system that allows for a ton of customisation.
Each of the four Enforcers sent to this Corruption-plagued space station has a completely unique set of abilities. At present there are only two available: the Elementalist and the Berserker. The former is a mage class, who wields fire and ice attacks, while the latter is a heavy melee fighter. There’s no appearance customisation at this point, so what you pick is what you get, although you can alter armour colours at a vendor in Eros Town.
In Superfuse’s comic-esque universe, the Enforcers work for “Gods”, essentially ridiculously rich individuals with the money and influence to make almost anything a reality. Immortal and immensely powerful, these Gods work towards their own interests, using the Enforcers as their personal hit squad. This means each Enforcer is outfitted with outlandish abilities and gear to make them a formidable threat to any potential aggressors.
Using the Elementalist as an example, you can combine a number of special abilities from each of her trees. When you level up and complete certain objectives you receive a DNA helix which unlocks passive and active skills. You then equip the active skills as you see fit, creating a build in tandem with the various passives you’ve unlocked. At present there’s no way to directly alter your stats beyond equipment, which does limit the build capabilities somewhat.
However, the important element is the fuse system. There are loads – and I mean loads – of different fuses to collect, which allow you to then customise each of your abilities. For example, you could add a ricochet effect to your projectiles, or over-penetration, or a fork effect to generate multiple projectiles with each cast. You can add health and energy regeneration, or extra elemental effects such as poison or lightning. There’s also sun, health leach, knockback, and many others.
The system is limited by how many Fuse points you have, which go up by 5 with each level you gain. A hex-based grid system prevents you from slotting too many, as you’ll need to make sure each one is connected to the skill itself. It’s a solid system that has a ton of potential for possible build-crafting in the full game.
Elsewhere, business is fairly standard for the genre. Each foray into the world sees you beset by scores of enemies, Elites, and Bosses. There’s loot everywhere, dropping from enemies or stashed in chests. Most weapons can be used by either class I tried, though there are some things that are class-specific. Colour-coded loot adds a host of stat-boosting effects, and
Multiplayer adds a level of fun to proceedings, as you can team up with friends or strangers to combine your abilities. We’ve still yet to see an ARPG that truly encourages synergy and experimentation in the multiplayer, and Superfuse’s deeply customisable skills have the potential to offer more in the multiplayer than just tougher enemies and shared loot. The other two characters aren’t available yet, though, so we can only speculate as to what they might bring to the adventure.
Right now, Superfuse is a fun game for fans of the genre, with a Borderlands-y sense of humour and a violent, colourful world. If ARPGs aren’t your thing, you may not find anything here to change your mind, but for those waiting for a new, endlessly-replayable loot fest, Superfuse may well be the one to scratch your itch. Early Access launches at the end of January, so we’ll see what developer Stitch Heads Entertainment can do when the game is fully in the public domain.
Superfuse is set to hit Steam Early Access on January 31, 2023.