Glitch Busters: Stuck On You (PC) Review

The Glitch Doesn't Scratch the Itch

We tested out a Glitch Buster Stuck on you during SGF Play Days

Glitch Busters

I love a good cartoony aesthetic. Understandably, most shooters are darker and bloodier, but to see something reminiscent of Splatoon with a pure PvE focus is admirable. Glitch Busters undoubtedly has a winning visual design with plenty of creativity and enjoyable hooks.

Glitch Busters also fails to live up to the standards of many better team-based shooters, offering an utterly bare-bones gameplay style that simply doesn’t do enough to make the game worth playing compared to what genre fans will expect. It’s not bad and can be fun at times, but it’s not enough.

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To be precise, team-based shooters have tended to have varying levels of depth in recent years. Players are usually given a choice between classes or unique characters with their own strengths. Then there’s usually some sort of progression system that allows the gameplay to evolve as players sink hours into it. Glitch Busters barely even tries.

“Glitch Busters also fails to live up to the standards of many better team-based shooters…”

It’s a four-player co-op shooter focusing on players working together in specific ways. But virtually nothing changes as the game progresses. Whether you’re five minutes in or five hours in, you’re playing as precisely the same character in exactly the same way.

Glitch Busters boasts a roughly six-hour story campaign, supplemented by additional missions set within the game’s diverse maps. Rewards for your efforts come in the form of an in-game currency responsible for unlocking new assets. However, the game’s characters lack distinct loadouts. Instead, each new weapon you unlock joins a collective pool, and you randomly receive items from this pool when opening chests in the game.

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All characters, regrettably, bear striking similarities. I often found myself yearning for an option to select two weapons for each mission. As it stands, players spawn with only the default weapon and are limited to carrying a single weapon at any given time. In comparison to other games in the genre, Glitch Busters seems somewhat behind the curve.

At least the levels are mostly fun. They’re nicely varied, from jungle to volcano, and the enemies are memorable and unique. But they’re also very tedious to fight. One enemy grabs characters and won’t let go until the rest of the team kills it or the character dies. Another has a barrier that you usually have to stack characters on top of each other to shoot at.

“Whether you’re five minutes in or five hours in, you’re playing as precisely the same character in exactly the same way.”

Your team is made up of what I can only describe as little emoticons with magnets for legs. Stacking on top of each other allows teams to reach things they couldn’t otherwise, and stacking can be used to combine damage or bounce off each other’s shoulders to reach platforms.

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This character interaction feels rather awkward, and I never felt that it was natural. Glitch Busters tries to turn itself around with a lot of gimmicks, but it is all an odd choice for a co-op shooter. Sometimes levels turn into an autoscrolling affair that’s either 3D or side-scrolling, and other levels rely on gimmick vehicles that usually only appear once or twice in the story. Some of these, such as a car that you can use to race forward or crash into enemies, are a blast. Others, such as a slow-moving mech that can mostly just stomp, don’t fare so well.

Glitch Busters can be played solo, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You can switch between all four team members, but the AI is useless. It gets killed constantly, and it’s pretty terrible at pathfinding. Characters can’t take much punishment, so it’s not uncommon to have to stop and revive them almost constantly. This is exacerbated in fights where enemies swarm you, and the AI simply doesn’t give you the help you want.

While I really enjoyed the art direction and visuals in Glitch Busters, the game is simply too shallow and unfocused to recommend. The large amount of dialogue and moments where things slow to a crawl don’t work with the team-based nature of the game either, so most people will probably have to slog through the story alone, even if they can find someone to do the unnecessary side missions. The game is very cute, but it just doesn’t come close to offering the bare minimum of what a co-op shooter should.

Final Thoughts

Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell

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