Funko Fusion Preview – By your franchises combined

Posted on July 2, 2024

Funko Fusion is the amazingly ambitious debut title by 10:10 Games, the studio founded by ex-Traveller’s Tales developers who are bringing their years of experience working on LEGO video games to the realm of Funko Pops. After witnessing a demo and Q&A with 10:10 Games’ co-founder and design director Arthur Parsons, we finally have a greater insight into how these different branded universes will interact and how players can experience these different settings via the medium of Funko Pop figures in this upcoming game.

Funko Fusion will feature over 60 playable characters from over 20 licensed settings. Players will be able to choose which world they want to start in rather than playing through each franchise in a set order. Each world can be accessed via the Wonderworks Toy Factory hub area, and the player can switch between characters by finding them stuck in their iconic Funko Pop packaging. The demo started with Parsons playing through a section of the level based on John Carpenter’s The Thing. Later on, he also showed off worlds based on Jurassic World and Masters of the Universe.

Gameplay is a somewhat more actionised affair than is typically found in the LEGO games, with each character having melee and ranged weapons and being able to aim at enemy weak points via third-person shooting mechanics. Don’t expect lining up headshots to be too challenging considering the massive noggins of Funko Pop characters, but at least it makes the combat accessible for all ages and skill levels. This is despite the wide range of target demographics for the featured franchises, which range from family-friendly fare like Back to the Future and Masters of the Universe to stuff young kids really shouldn’t be watching, such as Child’s Play or Invincible.

One of the more fascinating elements of Funko Fusion which was shown off in the demo was how each of these licensed settings blend together. Levels can have secret exits which lead into completely different settings, such as Quint’s bait shop in Sandford from Hot Fuzz leading into Amity Island from Jaws. Not unlike the LEGO games, each Funko Pop character has special abilities inspired from their source materials which can be used in gameplay. These include Nicholas Angel from Hot Fuzz’s ability to reconstruct crime scenes to uncover clues, or being able to influence guards with the mind control powers of Allison Hargreeves from The Umbrella Academy. In addition, players can craft items such as batteries and portals in Mould Machines with in-game currency to solve puzzles.

“Fans of the franchises featured are likely to get a kick out of the wealth of deep cut references buried in each level.”

The demo did a good job of demonstrating how versatile and immersive Funko Fusion can be, with virtually anything made of vinyl in the game being interactable in some way. Fans of the franchises featured are likely to get a kick out of the wealth of deep cut references buried in each level. The game will feature multiplayer, however it will be online-only and with no local co-op options planned.

Parsons ruled out microtransactions, such as the ability to purchase in-game currency with real money, however the developers do plan on releasing new levels and characters post-launch. One advantage of Funko Fusion’s modular, non-linear approach to the order that you play through the game is that integrating new levels post-release should be fairly straightforward.

From what we have seen, Funko Fusion seems like a compelling distillation of 10:10 Games’ founders’ 20 years of experience of making licensed LEGO games. By mixing together each setting from the franchises featured through fun Easter Eggs and secret cameo levels, the project promises a combination that will hopefully be better than the sum of its parts. While the lack of local multiplayer is a little disappointing, the online features will at least give players the opportunity to play through it with their friends.

We will find out more when Funko Fusion eventually releases on September 13th 2024 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.