Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan is an ARPG that feels a lot like Diablo, if Diablo was set in space and you fought evil cyborgs instead of monsters and demons. You choose from a dozen different heroes, pick your faction, equip your gear and start hacking and slashing. You have a regular attack, in addition to upgradeable special attacks, ultimate attacks, a quick-roll and myriad consumables to keep you alive and give you an edge in combat. The game features a guild system, raid dungeons, and a squad league to get your fix of PVP and PVE combat.
The Story & Flow
Insel Games is all too familiar with this genre (see our review of their well-received Guardians of Ember), and it shows in Wild Buster. The story follows two rival factions, the radiation-soaked Abandon and the militant Guardians, as they fight to stay alive and avoid getting turned into cyborgs by the Broken, an evil, half-human, half-machine race that is hell-bent on cyborg domination. The two factions are in constant conflict, but they have to band together against their common, robotic foe. Regardless of which faction you choose, you’ll still be able to fight together and against each other; the factions are more for the story’s sake than the gameplay, from what I could tell.
You begin in a hub that is surprisingly full of interactive ducks. The area is loaded with a variety of quest-givers, merchants, pilots and craftsmen. Here, you can sell your unwanted gear or break it down into components to build more powerful armor and weapons. There isn’t as much loot in Wild Buster as I’ve seen in similar titles, but there is still a good amount to find and buy, and the crafting system opens up a lot of possibilities as well. Building your own stuff can be a little time consuming, but there are tons of options and I ended up gleefully hurrying back to the anvil icon to see what possibilities my latest raid had given me.
There are a good variety of classes here, and they are varied and fun to play around with as you search for your perfect fit. There are down and dirty dual blade-wielding murderesses, fire-spewing flame-throwers, Duke Nukem(!!), long range specialists with sniper rifles, mid-range units and more. You can do a fair amount of customizing, and you can easily make your hero into a medic, support, tank etc., by pouring your skill points into certain categories. Obviously, there are certain heroes better suited for a given role, but the amount of tinkering you can do is varied, refreshing and fun. You can even get animalistic companions to run through with you, Old Yeller style!
You accept quests in the hub and then make your way through boom tube looking teleporters to go carry out said quests in various “dungeons”, most of which look like abandoned space stations loaded with baddies. The enemies are not all that remarkable, but the art style is pleasant and fits in perfectly with the game’s story and aesthetic. You fight your way through each “dungeon”, murdering everything that challenges you, picking up loot and leveling up along the way, which happens pretty quickly and makes sense, given the fast nature of the gameplay.
One strange thing with Wild Buster is that you don’t pick up loot off the ground. Sometimes loot will automatically appear in your inventory as you slay your cyborg foes, and the game will inform you that you’ve acquired the gear. This is both a pro and a con; on one hand, there is usually a sense of reward when you see loot hit the ground, and again when you pick it up and hurry to your inventory to see how it stacks up to what you already have. On the other hand, auto-acquiring loot keeps the game flowing, since you don’t have to stop after each skirmish and individually click the items you want to pick up. Ultimately, I think the choice is the right one; the fighting is fast paced and frenetic, your attacks generally have short cooldowns and it makes sense to keep blazing ahead, instead of stopping over and over to grab stuff off the floor.
At the end of each dungeon, you’ll find a healer and a merchant, ready to serve your needs for a price. There are four different healing options, each one more expensive and effective than the last, while the merchant will buy your goods and sell you some basic stuff, from potions to pick-axes. Initially, I thought this was a little too much help, since there is usually a boss battle right afterwards, but it ends up making sense; having a full inventory after fighting through a dungeon is a common occurrence, and it wouldn’t be fair to make players dump valuable loot so you can pick up the prize (or prizes) you get from beating the boss.
Each boss comes with an introductory cinematic, which is not only visually appealing, it’s smart, given how crazy the boss battles are. It’s hard to appreciate a bosses’ appearance when you’re dodging for your life and unloading everything in your considerable arsenal. The bosses are well done and varied, from demonic looking robots to animal kingdom mash-ups, and they all have unique tactics and strategies, in addition to generally having their minions running around to distract and attack you.
The multiplayer is where this game really shines. Playing with a group of people is always more fun than playing alone, and it’s interesting to see how other players are building their sniper, healer, etc. Running through a dungeon with a pack of players who know what they are doing is exciting, frenetic fun, and I had a blast running through levels I had previously played solo. Coming across someone using a set of special attacks you haven’t delved into or a badass ultimate attack you haven’t seen makes you that much more eager to finish leveling out your current character so you can experiment with a new one.
My only complaint would be that it can be tough to find a game. My first two attempts I got zero results, even sitting there for five or ten minutes, trying to find players to join. There were players standing outside the teleporter, so either they had already found a game, or we just weren’t getting synced up. The next time I tried I got much better results, so I’m not sure if the game wasn’t connecting me, or there just weren’t any games to be had.
Graphics & SoundThe graphics aren't anything to write home about, but they are fitting to the world and look nice enough. The boss design is great and the environments won't blow your mind, but they work. The sound is great, and each attack sounds like it should, with explosions, the "fwoosh" of fire, sharp cracks of a rifle and the screams of the dying.