Buck, a game by 3-man team Wave Interactive is a 2D, side-scrolling, action adventure inspired by 90s Saturday morning cartoons. Buck takes place in a Mad Max style post-apocalyptic wasteland, complete with roving gangs of outlaws, desperate bands of survivors, and desolate shells of what used to be civilization. The game features a wide cast of anthropomorphic animals, including titular character Buck, a gruff mechanic on the road in search of a missing girl. You'll travel from location to location brawling your way to the truth of what happened to the world.
Progression in Buck follows the Metroidvania style of traipsing around the map, often revisiting areas later. Buck even has his own house, where he can stash items and craft new ones. The game opens with a trip to Westown. In order to get help from its boss, Mug, Buck will be tasked with helping out the local populace. He'll be sent to collect supplies, find tools, and fight off the ever present threat of the Vulture Gang. The game is narrated by Bucks father, a Vulture, who has the rough voice of ever guard against Morrowind. As you adventure through the bleak world, he'll share insight into the world and people around Buck.
The combat system in Buck is akin to games like Salt and Sanctuary. Buck has his standard kicks and punches, a strong melee weapon, and a shotgun. There's also a very generous dodge roll at your disposal. Buck has many skills, but there is a stamina meter you have to keep an eye on if you don't want to get caught defenseless. The dodge roll is especially helpful since you will find yourself surrounded by enemies, some of which have guns of their own. There is also a well-done crafting system for making healing items, weapons, ammo, and weapon attachments.
The art style in Buck is spectacular. Each location has its own unique style. Each character has their own style and personality. The animations are quick and smooth, each action has a deliberate motion. The voice acting is also very well done. Each character is believable and really shines in their role in the game. Even the enemies stand out. One enemy, in particular, the hyena baddies, were my favorite. Right before they drift into unconsciousness they let out a cackle, which is a very nice detail.
Buck is a great, deep, exciting adventure. The story is well crafted, the mechanics are refined, and the world is believable (animal people aside). Buck is currently in early access and is available on Steam and itch.io. The game is also set to release on consoles in the future.