I have been a fan of the ARPG formula since I first sunk hours into Diablo on the PC. Since then, that has been my go-to genre, with Diablo III easily consisting of well over a thousand hours, between all my playthroughs on all the different systems it has been on. So, when I saw Superfuse from Raw Fury at GDC, suffice it to say that I was very excited.
Superfuse feels like a mix of The Boys and Diablo, focusing on a future where elites have used technology to elevate the select few to the level of almost gods. With extended lives and new powers, they have quickly lost touch with the average person, so much so that people have lost faith, and want change, at least until a new threat manifests known as the Corruption.
Now that humanity faces this new evil, the gods have created the Enforcers, a new super-powered police force to try and keep order. This is who you play, one of the Enforcers, looking to keep the peace on the ground as the gods look from on high. With the new powers, you are humanity’s last hope, and it is up to you to fight against the Corruption, even as it keeps spreading throughout the population.
It is a setup that mixes monsters with comic books, and feels right for the ARPG formula. But developer Stitch Heads have mixed things up with Superfuse to make it something truly special. The dynamic skill tree is one of the most interesting features I have seen in this genre in years. While many games have skills that can be adjusted to fit your playstyle, Superfuse has upped the ante, giving granular control over how powers act and what that means for gameplay.
During the demo, it was immediately apparent how this could change gameplay. Playing as the Berserker, I got to mess with how the powers worked, changing what happened when I slammed the ground, including what AOE damage and how much energy it takes to work. You can push the power, making each punch cause more damage, or you can make it send a shockwave from the point of impact. The only thing limiting you is your level of energy and what that will mean when you are actually playing the game.
I can imagine the countless guides and threads about the perfect build, and with the massive level of potential at play with such a system, it will be one of the major aspects when you actually dive in for the first time. That does not even touch on the loot, which, like Diablo or other ARPGs on the market, is a major part of how you play the game.
“The art style and characters are another level that stand out, Superfuse. “
As you go through the procedurally generated levels, you will find plenty of loot to spec your character in any of countless ways. Combined with these skills, you can build some truly exciting superhero like characters, with them constantly changing and evolving as you go through the game. I only played around a 30-minute demo, but even with the vertical slice, it was easy to see all the potential, and how deep you could go should you want to really experiment with the many combinations possible.
The art style and characters are another level that stand out in Superfuse. Even in its early state, Stitch Heads has built a world that is engrossing, and exciting. I want to know more about the lore, the gods, and how much society is rotting just below the surface. There is a wealth of concepts that can be explored as you go through the game.
The voice acting also adds to that feel, utilizing award-winning actor Eli Harris for the Berserker, with many other talents voicing the characters you will encounter in the world, giving the universe a sense of life and depth. From the time I spent talking with the team and exploring the demo, there was a sense this team cares about how the characters feel, act and talk. Bringing in Harris early on in development meant he could give his input as the game progressed, making it feel much more natural and well realized.
With co-op, a deep world and one of the most exciting skill trees I have seen in a game, Superfuse has blown me away. The game is still very early, with plenty more needed to bring this universe to life, but from what I have seen, this is a game Diablo fans should get excited about. The ARPG formula fits very well with the superhero concept. The sheer scope and potential at play within the game, makes Superfuse a game that is firmly on my mind as we wait for the 2023 release date.