The action RPG genre may be in a lull, but a few highly anticipated titles are in development. One notable entry is the indie gem, Superfuse, which presents a hack-and-slash experience with a distinct comic book aesthetic. Its arrival to Early Access on Steam is well-timed, and its charming qualities promise to set it apart from its peers. This game is worth keeping an eye on for fans of the genre.
Superfuse is an ARPG that stands out with its cel-shaded art style and gameplay reminiscent of early Diablo 2. It introduces an innovative skill fusing system, which replaces the traditional skill tree commonly seen in the genre. This fresh take on skill progression and customization keeps things interesting as you traverse through the solar system, grinding out contracts and collecting loot.
The Fusing System is Innovative
First off, the game’s primary draw is the skill fusing system. Each class — Berserker, Technomancer, and Elementalist — has six skills, but these skills can be heavily modified using Fuses. These lootable Fuse items can heavily alter a skill’s behavior, how much damage it does, how fast it is, and, well… it ends up feeling like there are a lot more than just six skills per class. It’s a great idea, and I’m on board with it.
Take, for instance, a simple fireball skill. Shooting a singular fireball at an enemy is cool and all, but how about a homing fireball that splits into three fireballs, and then each of those fireballs splits into three more, and each one releases a shockwave on impact? That’s just one of the hundreds of possibilities, and it’s a blast to experiment and find some game-breaking synergies.
That brings us to the Talent Tree, which is how the base skills are unlocked. The Talent Tree is a DNA strand that starts with a Mastery node, in which you can put points to progress through the main track and unlock your skills. Other passive nodes branch off from those, where you can invest points to enhance your damage, add status effects, etc.
Players can easily respec at any time by speaking with Shade in Eros Town, and it’s free if you’re under level 20. After that, it costs a negligible amount of coins. Overall, the talent tree is nice, and I can appreciate the simplicity. It ties in nicely with the fuse system, which is the real bread and butter of the game.
Gimme the Loot
The loot system is decent, and it’s what you’d expect from an ARPG. Gear slots include Primary Weapon, Off-Hand Weapon, Helmet, Chest, Legs, Boots, Shoulders, Gloves, Kneepads, and two Rings. Item rarities range from Common to Legendary, including class-specific items like the Power Glove for Elementalist, Brass Knuckles for Berserker, and Transceiver for Technomancer.
Four potion slots are available on the character, which house Boosters — a kind of combination between the potion system from Diablo and Path of Exile. They hold six Charges, which drop from monsters, that you can consume to heal health, regenerate energy, or add some utility. You can run something like a Health Booster, an Energy Booster, a Hybrid Booster, and a Utility Booster. Utility Boosters can give you extra movement speed, armor, resistances, etc., which comes in handy in the endgame. You’ve also got your Portal Beacons (town portals) for teleporting back to town and Item Scanners (identification scrolls) to identify items.
Superfuse also has a detailed character stats page, showing a more in-depth look at your base attributes, defense, resistance, attack, and a breakdown of defensive, offensive, and adventure stats. It’s all you need to start min-maxing.
Endgame System is a Work in Progress
An endgame loop does exist in the game, which is great to see for Early Access, and it’s not the worst thing ever. It’s actually a nice foundation to build on for a far more complex endgame system. After finishing the co-op, which will likely take you a few hours, you’ll have the ability to travel out to the solar system and fly to different planets or asteroids to take on contracts. Each contract has different modifiers (positive and negative), which can boost Luck and Credits so you can grind out the good gear but also boost the enemy’s difficulty level.
Contract difficulty ranges from easy to hard, so there’s a little something for every type of player, whether casual or hardcore ARPG-fiend. In its current state, there are limited map variations and objectives. Adding more endgame content and activities so players can switch it up will prevent them from getting bored. The developers will hopefully build on the Contract System because it has potential.
A Great Soundtrack
Sound design is undoubtedly one of Superfuse’s strong suits. Raw Fury pulled together some talented people for this project, including composer Michael McCann and voice actor Eli Harris.
Raw Fury managed to snag BAFTA-nominated Michael McCann to do the soundtrack and music for Superfuse. For those who don’t know him, you probably know some of the games he’s worked on, including Borderlands 3, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, to name a few.
It’s McCann’s first indie title, and he explains in this article that he was specifically looking for an indie project to work on, as he noticed “better soundtrack work being done at the indie level.” And let me tell you, this is an epic soundtrack that vibes perfectly with Superfuse.
You can check out Michael McCann’s full 16-track original soundtrack for Superfuse here:
We can’t fail to mention the fact that Superfuse is fully voice-acted. Eli Harris, actor and voice artist, lends his voice to the Berserker and does a great job bringing some personality to the character. I’d recommend giving all the characters a playthrough if you enjoy the game.
Superfuse Has Potential to Build a Solid Fanbase
My only current quip with the game is that the endgame system is not fully fleshed out, and some minor performance issues can make it feel unoptimized and somewhat demanding on your hardware. Some players may find the game getting stale after a few dozen hours due to a lack of different enemy types and content, but I think this will be addressed in time.
Superfuse is poised to leave its mark on the hack-and-slash genre with its unique aesthetic and innovative skill fusing system. As an Early Access title, it may still have a few rough edges, but with a $25 price point, I believe it’s well worth it in its current state. This game is a must-try for fans of Diablo or Path of Exile who want a new experience. I sincerely hope the developers continue improving what they have already built so that they can realize their ultimate vision for the game.
Superfuse Early Access Review
Superfuse might be the game hardcore action RPG fans come back to after grinding out the current season of Diablo. It’s one to keep an eye on.
You can purchase Superfuse on Steam.
Reviewed on PC, with a review copy provided. See our Review Policy.