Beta Perspective: Wild Buster Is The Final Fantasy XIII of Diablo Clones

I’m having quite a bit of fun with Wild Buster, the latest MMOARPG to hit beta, but the game is rather one dimensional and I have a feeling that’s going to hurt its potential.

If you haven’t heard of Wild Buster, this is the Diablo-style game that has hinged some of its marketing on the inclusion of Duke Nukem and Serious Sam as official, licensed characters. The game is currently enjoying its last beta weekend before early access, so I decided to jump in and give my two cents.

Final Fantasy XIII was rather creatively labeled a corridor simulator, and if you translated that element into a Diablo clone, you’d probably end up with Wild Buster. Not to say the game is poorly designed; combat is smooth and responsive, the visuals aren’t half-bad, and there is plenty of loot to go around without going overboard. There are a number of classes across the two factions that operate quite distinctly from one another, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of tomfoolery in the cash shop department at least at this juncture.

But the level design is horrendous, a series of re-skinned corridors where the only option is to go forward, defeating small groups of trash mobs with the occasional mini-boss style character, before you eventually face off against the big boss of the dungeon. Games in this genre generally make use of randomly generated dungeons to provide players with a varied landscape.

These games are mostly pretty linear but provide an open enough area to make up for that, but in Wild Buster you’ll just be going down hallway after hallway, without even the illusion of being able to move around. Even the bosses themselves seem poorly designed, mostly tanks with high health counters and stunning attacks, whose fights mostly boil down to increasingly spawning trash mobs and area of effect damage totems.

Wild Buster also seems to have some vestigial features in place, like being able to jump which doesn’t seem do much of anything. At least in the first twenty levels you won’t encounter anything that requires you to jump, nor do enemies appear to have attacks that can be jumped over.

Still, the hack and slashy, killing monsters in large quantities aspect is keeping me playing Wild Buster despite the grievances that I have with the beta at this time. I get the feeling that Wild Buster won’t so much fade out of my interest as much as it will hit a hard dead end where I just stop playing.

Oh and the game committed the cardinal sin of using “might’of” is a word as though that’s still okay in 2017.

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