Funko Fusion. Credit: 10:10 Games.

Funko Fusion may as well be called Pop Culture: The Game. An action-adventure debut from Warrington-based studio 10:10 Games, Funko Fusion is set across the many TV shows and films that Funko has got its plastic mitts on. That, if you haven’t stepped foot in a Forbidden Planet recently, is a lot: in a hands-off preview, we’re told that the game pulls from Scott Pilgrim, Five Nights At Freddy’s, The Umbrella Academy, Shaun Of The Dead, and far more.

Our preview begins at U.S. Outpost 31, the chilly Antarctic research base where John Carpenter’s iconic horror film The Thing takes place. We’re watching Russel Crowe’s character MacCready fend off waves of Norwegian soldiers, but the floaty third-person combat, environment-based puzzles, and even the way that characters burst into plastic chunks when killed feels more like Lego Star Wars than The Thing. That’s by design: 10:10 Games co-founder Arthur Parsons, who is leading today’s preview, directed and designed much of TT Games‘ iconic Lego series.

It all comes together surprisingly well. Each playable Funko has a unique ranged and melee weapon – MacCready has a pump-action shotgun and fire axe – and their own ways of interacting with the world, which means you’re encouraged to switch between characters  to explore levels. While MacCready is capable of rescuing huskies, battling soldiers and finding gas tanks to power the research base; The Thing’s canon is launched out of the window when Back To The Future’s Marty McFly turns up to shatter glass with his electric guitar.

Funko Fusion. Credit: 10:10 Games.
Funko Fusion. Credit: 10:10 Games.

Shortly afterward, our characters are transported to London’s Crouch End for a Shaun Of The Dead-themed level. Here we follow Simon Pegg’s Shaun, armed with a Winchester rifle and cricket bat, as he takes on a horde of zombies. This is one of Funko Fusion’s “cameo levels,” and loosely follows the film’s plot, as the goal is to escort the film’s characters to the Winchester pub for a nice cold pint.

There’s more depth to combat than we were expecting – unlike U.S. Outpost 31’s baddies, zombies can still give chase after being dismembered, and you’ll become infected if you take too many hits. Amusingly, Parsons points out that if you’re infected by The Thing’s shape-shifting parasite before coming to Crouch End, the zombies will sense you’re infected and ignore you.

Those are the only two settings we saw before our preview ended, but outside of The Thing and Shaun Of The Dead, there’s more adult source material than Funko Fusion’s cutesy aesthetic would suggest. Modern horror hits M3gan and Nope will be featured along with superhero satire Invincible and Child’s Play 2, though we’re yet to see how.

Naturally, this means there’s a surprising amount of violence, and we see someone impaled by a helicopter rotor in the game’s reveal trailer. An exact age rating is pending, says Parsons, but violence has been “tastefully” implemented – though that doesn’t mean much to Hot Fuzz’s poor florist Leslie Tiller, whose vinyl form still ends up on the wrong end of some gardening shears.

Before our preview, we cynically wondered if Funko Fusion was another nostalgia-baiting, saccharine cash grab in a culture that’s permeated with the stuff. Instead, Funko Fusion has significantly more charm and character than the dead-eyed plastic it’s based on. There’s a nonsensical silliness caused by blending so many franchises together, and we’re hoping to see the full game double down on this when it launches in September. Pop Culture: The Game this might well be, but in the right hands, does that necessarily have to be a bad thing?

Funko Fusion launches on September 13 for Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC

The post ‘Funko Fusion’ preview: life in plastic seems fantastic appeared first on NME.


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